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F lorida I nternational U niversity Miami, Florida

Vertical Factory Town: Architecture as a Platform for Alternative Business Strategies

A Master’s Project Submitted in partial fulfillment of the Requirements for the degree of MASTER OF ARCHITECTURE By Federico Zapata 2011


This project, completed by Federico Zapata, and entitled The Vertical Factory Town: Architecture as a Platform for Alternative Business Strategies, has been approved in respect to design quality and intellectual content. We have reviewed this Master’s Project and recommend that it be approved. Date of Final Review: May 02, 2011

John A. Stuart, Critic

Adam Drisin, Project Chair

Dean Brian Schriner School of Architecture

Copyright Š 2011 by Federico Zapata All rights reserved. ii


Dedication...

iii


iv


Contents

2

Introduction

Chapter 1 3

Research

Chapter 2 10

Project Site and Program

Chapter 3 25

Conceptual Investigation

Chapter 4 30

Project Documentation

40

Notes v


Vertical Factory Town: Architecture as a Platform for Alternative Business Strategies

by

Federico Zapata

Florida International University, 2011

John Stuart, Major Professor

This study proposes to create a vertical factory town designed to bring industry with their factory workers and management back to downtown Miami while taking production back to the United States. The purpose is to investigate a new perspective on how to introduce innovative programmatic relationships in a high-density urban area. This is a project that will support basic middle class economic necessities. By integrating the program vertically the project will attempt to reduce the cost of production and the cost to the environment. The factory produce mono crystalline PV cells for solar panels and midsize nacelle for wind turbine towers. The factory will feature a moving assembly line similar to that found in an auto factory. This product and its method of production will create a sense of pride on the part of the workers by making them an integral part of producing a sustainable alternative to current energy collection and production methods. 2

Introduction


Research

the sake of saving money during production and manufacturing: “At its core, the China-America growth engine worked like this: We in America built more and more stores, to sell more and more stuff, made in ore and ore Chinese factories, powered by more and more coal, and all of those sales produced more and more dollars, which China used to buy more and more U.S. Treasury Bills, which allowed the Federal Reserve to extend more and more easy credit to more and more banks, consumers, and businesses so that more and more Americans could purchase more and more homes, and all those sales drove home prices higher and higher, which made more and more Americans feel like they had more and more money to buy more and more stuff made in more and more Chinese factories powered by more and more coal, which earned China more and more dollars to buy more and more T-bills to be recirculated back to America to create more and more credit so more and more people could build more and more stores and buy more and more homes…”3 This relationship between Americans and the Chinese people was the engine “pulling up living standards across the planet for three decades,” and not surprisingly, when Americans stopped buying houses, entire villages in China lost their source of income and collapsed in turn.4 12%

From 2007 to 2008 the United States, along with the rest of the world, experienced one of the most devastating economic crises in recent memory. Triggered by a liquidity shortfall in the U.S banking system, the recession would ultimately shed light on the many shortcomings of commonly

10%

Consumer

Producer

used business practices. Author Thomas Friedmam, in Hot, Flat, and Crowded, describes the 1

unique nature of this crisis: “This was not just a deep economic slowdown that we can recover

8%

from and then blithely go back to our old ways. No, this Great Recession was something much more important. It was our warning heart attack.”2 There was a set of socioeconomic conditions

6%

that facilitated the crisis, and the warning Friedman makes reference to is against the lifestyle Americans have become accustomed to for the past few decades. It was this lifestyle, and the

4%

Unemployment rate

business practices associated with it that ultimately led to the crisis. Friedman offers an somewhat ‘cartoonist’ account of the chain of events leading to the weakening of the U.S economy, and how it relates to the fragmentation of business practices for 1 2

“Paulson Seeks Mortgage Value That Eluded Bear, Lehman,” Bloomberg, accessed November 2, 2010, ?pid=newsarchive&refer=home&sid=aGT_xTYzbbQE Thomas Friedman, Hot, Flat, and Crowded (New York, NY: Picador, 2009.), 6.

Chapter 1

2006

2007

2008

2009

Current recession Average of all post-WWII recessions, since the beginning of the recession. 2010

2011

Fig. 1 The relationship between Americans and the Chinese people was the engine for a high rate of unemployment.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news 3 4

Thomas Friedman, Hot, Flat, and Crowded (New York, NY: Picador, 2009.), 5. Thomas Friedman, Hot, Flat, and Crowded (New York, NY: Picador, 2009.), 5.

3


of production, while the real factories developed into no more than temporary structures in thirdworld countries that could move from place to place to avoid local taxation and generate even more income for companies in America, Friedman comments: “The obsession with the economizing of time, space, speed makes the mobility of the production process the reference model.”9 The responsibility of finding a solution to the current state of the economy lies in the Fig. 2 Manufactured Landscapes (2006) - Photographer Edward Burtynsky travels the world observing changes in landscapes due to industrial work and manufacturing.

hands of everyone from corporations to individual consumers. The integration of programs offers an alternative to current business practices, which have proved ineffective in light of the past

The possibility of a globalized economy became a reality in the 1970’s with the designation

recession. The time for the implementation of such new business strategy is ripe as a result of the

of offshore tax-free export processing zones. These offered large corporations the opportunity of

latest recession and a general shift in public opinion. Friedman cites sub urbanization, executives

incurring in low-cost labor and production. The gains for particular corporations however, meant

wanting to live outside the city, and a need to remove pollution from city centers as the driving force

the local economy suffered by losing business to competition overseas.5 Factories and call-

behind factories migrating away from the cities. He argues however, that “now that the effects of

centers then moved out of the United States, and in the process started both the fragmentation

globalized infrastructure, such as high shipping costs have been assessed, manufacturing could

of business systems, and a new strategy that minimized a company’s responsibility/accountability

shift again to the local within the global marketplace, as more ecologically-minded companies

for its products and employees. Friedman explains how regular people in America find themselves

build factories closer to their consumers.”10 He goes on to explain how this shift from urban centers

on both sides of the spectrum of change generated by this migration of work into other countries.

of labor and interaction, factories became suburban autonomous machines “housed in tightly

On the one hand, “Most of us are propping up our current lifestyles, and our economic growth, by

sealed, artificially lit, air-conditioned [suburban] sheds.”11 Also characteristic of today’s production

drawing—and increasingly over-drawing—on the ecological capital of other parts of the world.”6

process is an emphasis in brand as opposed to product. Author Nina Rappaport argues there is

We are damaging places far enough from us not to care, but at the same time this unsustainable

an emphasis on the spectacle of production instead of production itself. There have been previous

lifestyle gradually weakens the American economy by reducing the workforce: “The dearth of

attempts at creating an interaction between the production process and consumers by designing

‘designed’ factories in America can be attributed to a tendency among the largest companies to

factories that act as displays of their inner workings.12 This attempt to make an experience of a

outsource their production to offshore locations, thereby downsizing the American employee base

product somewhat more memorable is quite superficial, and fails to address any of the issues

and divesting from U.S facilities.”7 At the scale of the company, this fragmentation of the workforce

already discussed above. However, Friedman argues that the technology is right to go back to

obscured the company’s knowledge of its own manufacturing system, hiding both the workers

early twentieth-century model of manufacturing and production, in which industry, urbanism,

and the architecture that had previously served to house them in faraway locations.8 This situation,

engineering and architectural innovation worked as one: “New industries have the potential to

coupled with technological advances, alienated workers from their products and the site where

develop innovative architecture that vastly improves upon prevailing patterns of urban industrial

production occurred. As a result, some factories in Western countries became merely symbols 9 5 6 7 8

4

Nina Rappaport. “The Vertical Urban Factory” Parsons School of Design journal, SCAPES, January 2009, 17. Thomas Friedman, Hot, Flat, and Crowded (New York, NY: Picador, 2009.), 25. Nina Rappaport. “The Consumption of Production.” New Orleans, La.: Praxis, Inc., 2003. 58-61. “Paulson Seeks Mortgage Value That Eluded Bear, Lehman,” Bloomberg, accessed November 2, 2010, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news ?pid=newsarchive&refer=home&sid=aGT_xTYzbbQE

“Paulson Seeks Mortgage Value That Eluded Bear, Lehman,” Bloomberg, accessed November 2, 2010, ?pid=newsarchive&refer=home&sid=aGT_xTYzbbQE 10 “Paulson Seeks Mortgage Value That Eluded Bear, Lehman,” Bloomberg, accessed November 2, 2010, ?pid=newsarchive&refer=home&sid=aGT_xTYzbbQE 11 Thomas Friedman, Hot, Flat, and Crowded (New York, NY: Picador, 2009.), 19. 12 Nina Rappaport. “The Consumption of Production.” New Orleans, La.: Praxis, Inc., 2003. 58-61.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news

Chapter 1


zoning and clustered production areas through a return to the vertical urban factory as a space of

economically and ecologically balanced growth, and Friedman argues that “having one country

innovation and renewed urbanization.”13

be exclusively a consumer, and another exclusively a producer is both economically unsustainable

From this discussion it seems that integrating different programmatic elements can produce

and ecologically unsustainable.”17 He also makes an interesting parallel between the market and

an architectural prototype capable of positively influencing the local economy and business

the natural environment, and how both seemed to collapse simultaneously and will continue to

philosophy of the United States, using Florida as background for an initial intervention. Friedman

decline unless we change our lifestyle. The way in which American society interacts with their

explains that given the recent change in our economic outlook, the timing is right to consider

commodities is as detrimental to the market as it is to the environment: “We have been getting rich

changes into factory design: “Each economic shift influences the urban industrial space and the

by depleting all our natural stocks—water, hydrocarbons, forests, rivers, fish, and arable land—

design of factories—whether in relation to a single structure, industrial zone, military industrial

and not by generating renewable flows.”18 He then points to the two original purposes of any

complex, or globalized free-trade zone.”14 Shipping costs would make this new type of factory

financial firm: funding innovation, and financing a process of ‘creative destruction’ through which

dependent on pre-existing transportations infrastructure, since low travel distances could reduce

new technologies improve on living conditions by replacing older technologies.19 Programmatic

cost, maximize efficiency, and reduce the building’s carbon footprint on its environment. By its

integration also means that an ideal production process would follow a ‘cradle-to-cradle’ approach

very nature, the project would also need to be located in a zoning area that allows mix-use since

through which consumers could perhaps return obsolete products to the factory. These products

it would likely integrate administrative, retail, live-in, and manufacturing programmatic elements.

would then be either recycled or disposed of by the factory itself. Finally, the role of the customer in

In regards to form, the factory would be influenced by factors discussed by Rappaport: “As in

the production process must also be taken into account. Rappaport comments on how “in today’s

other building typologies, the factory corresponds to cultural and spatial practices in urbanism

new mass-customized manufacturing, the consumer is involved in controlling both the financing of

and architectural design, influenced by social and economic organizational systems resulting in

the product and the product design through customization of the traditional demand-supply circuit.

a form that—follows the functional logic of both the internal operations and the manufacturing

The result is a consumption of production in which the architecture itself becomes a marketing

process.”

The concept of interaction of factory and consumers could draw inspiration from the

tool. In this scenario, the factories become display vitrines as well as the site of manufacture for a

somewhat trivial, vitrine-like interaction described above. Rappaport describes the example of

product.” By taking into account the consumer as integral part of the process, the project integrates

a potential customer at the Volkswagen factory in Dresden, Germany, who sits behind a glass

not only programs, but also different aspects of society into a new sustainable business model.

window overlooking the assembly of his/her car from start to finish.16 This interaction certainly

To wrap up this point, it is of paramount importance to keep in mind America’s responsibility to

improves on the isolated suburban factory, but architecturally limits the interaction to consumer

be a world leader in innovations for better and more sustainable living practices. Even as history

and manufacture. It bypasses the workers, gives the client no background on materiality or product

indicates that we are resistant in the face of large-scale changes, particularly when these changes

research, and leaves many important factors in the life of the product out of the picture.

affect our accepted beliefs, Friedman is adamant in pointing out that “we have to summon the will,

15

An architectural strategy focusing on programmatic integration could also generate

energy, focus, and innovative prowess to regenerate, renew, and reinvent America in a way that

a sustainable model of production almost organically. There is a palpable need for a more

will show the world a new model for growing standards of living and interacting with nature that is

13 14 15 16

17 Thomas Friedman, Hot, Flat, and Crowded (New York, NY: Picador, 2009.), 6. 18 Thomas Friedman, Hot, Flat, and Crowded (New York, NY: Picador, 2009.), 9. 19 Thomas Friedman, Hot, Flat, and Crowded (New York, NY: Picador, 2009.), 19.

Thomas Friedman, Hot, Flat, and Crowded (New York, NY: Picador, 2009.), 17. Thomas Friedman, Hot, Flat, and Crowded (New York, NY: Picador, 2009.), 17. Nina Rappaport. “The Vertical Urban Factory” Parsons School of Design journal, SCAPES, January 2009, 16. Nina Rappaport. “The Consumption of Production.” New Orleans, La.: Praxis, Inc., 2003. 58-61.

Chapter 1

5


truly sustainable, renewable, healthy, safe, fair, and creative of more opportunities for more people

vertical factory may again be pertinent in order to conserve land use and to integrate industry back

in more places than ever before.” As a society, we need to step up and say enough is enough.

into the dense urban environment.”21

The implementation of new business practices does not seem like an alternative anymore, but a necessity and an ethical responsibility. The workforce driving the production process behind this project is yet another element that must be addressed prior to proposing a concrete architectural intervention. Rappaport comments on the role of internet connectivity in accelerating business transactions, and how this acceleration results in a fragmentation of the workforce: “Quick-paced exchange, faddish buying, and junkbonds are sped up by internet connectivity, and the demand for ever-changing products creates a work environment where both blue- and white-collar workers are alienated from each other and from the products they produce.”20 Some companies have tried to address this problem by improving the working conditions of their employees in Export Processing Zones, but these improvements fail to bring back business to America and seem a bit like using a Band-Aid to prevent another ‘heart attack.’ The project would need to address this issue by creating a sense of belonging to the workplace and making a person an intricate part of the way the system works. Living and breathing a particular product, employees would consider their job more than just a source of income—they would consider it a lifestyle. Taking all aspects of the above discussion into consideration, this study proposes to create a vertical factory town designed to bring industry with their factory workers and management back to downtown Miami while bringing production back to the United States. The purpose is to reduce the impact of current commercial practices in America and bring a new perspective of how to introduce fresh program relationships in a high-density urban area. Its a building that will support basic middle class economic necessities, it tries to revive the Made in America, and at the same time maximizes the client profits. The project would be somewhat similar to how car-manufacturing companies work, except that for a holistic integration strategy the production process will work as a network instead of a linear process. Friedman offers a glimpse into a probable spatial configuration of the project when he states that “In our present ecologically-conscious time, the idea of the

20 Nina Rappaport. “The Consumption of Production.” New Orleans, La.: Praxis, Inc., 2003. 58-61.

6

21 Thomas Friedman, Hot, Flat, and Crowded (New York, NY: Picador, 2009.), 19.

Chapter 1


Chapter 1

7


Project Site

Fig. 3 Miami offers the opportunity of trade expansion with several international emerging markets. In 2010, Miami ranked seventh in the United States in terms of finance and commerce.

Located in downtown Miami, the site's address is700 N Miami Ave, where the Miami Arena was previously located prior to its demolition in 2008 by Lewis B. Fisher, CEO of Fisher Auction Co. Downtown Miami contains a mix of zones and uses that vary from condominiums and offices to

Fig. 4 Miami is touted as the Gateway to the Americas, and as such offers the access to several major import/export routes

shopping centers, night clubs, and parks. The site is centrally located between a network of major freeways and roads, including I-95 to the west, I-395 to the north, and Brickell/US1 to the east. The site also benefits from Downtown Miami being the major business hub in South Florida. 8

Chapter 2


OPA LOCKA AIRPORT

FORT LAUDERDALE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

PORT EVERGLADES

EL PORTAL

HIALEAH

395

LIBERTY CITY

LITTLE HAITI 95

ARENA BLVD

27

195

27

MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

BISCAYNE BLVD

95

N. MIAMI AVE

BROWNSVILLE

WYNWOOD OVERTOWN

1

1

MIAMI BEACH

8TH ST

395

LITTLE HAVANA

WEST FLAGER

DOWNTOWN MIAMI

395

395

PORT OF MIAMI

41

6TH ST

BRICKELL

BISCAYNE BAY 1

CORAL WAY

VIRGINIA KEY COCONUT GROVE

95

DOWNTOWN MIAMI

ATLANTIC OCEAN KEY BISCAYNE

0 0

Fig. 5 Miami is home to one of the major ports in the world. The site is located between south beach and brickell. Chapter 2

0 0

2,000 Feet

600 Feet

Fig. 6 Major transportation arteries and access to site 9


hrs 143+ 128 50 km/ h 50 km/ h 40 km/ h 30 km/ h

Fig. 7 Context massing model - The densification towards the east, allows for opportunity of growth towards the west. This area West of the site is largely underdeveloped

Fig. 12 Summer prevailing winds 1st June – 31st August

Fig. 8 Summer solstice shadow study

Fig. 9 Winter solstice shadow study

Fig. 10 Spring equinox shadow study

Fig. 11 Autumn equinox shadow study

10

42 28

20 km/ h

<14

10 km/ h

Fig. 13 Autumn prevailing winds 1st September – 30th November

50 km/ h

50 km/ h

40 km/ h

40 km/ h

30 km/ h

30 km/ h

20 km/ h

20 km/ h

10 km/ h

10 km/ h

Fig. 14 Winter prevailing winds 1st December – 28th February

71 57

30 km/ h

10 km/ h

100 85

40 km/ h

20 km/ h

114

Fig. 15 Spring prevailing winds 1st March – 31st May Chapter 2


Project Program

4.

3.

2.

1. Manufacturing Office Retail Residential Parking

General programmatic requirements:

Code for programmatic relationships: 1. Raw materials receiving = 14,600 sf. 2. Silicon disk manufacturing = 45,300 sf. 3. Final assembly = 39,000 sf. 4. Quality control = 21,500 sf. 5. Shipping = 14,600 sf. 6. Marketing = 18,800 sf. 7. Management offices = 28,700 sf 8. Retail = 15,700 sf. 9. Residential Apartments = 70,000 sf. a. Studio unit (40x800 sf) = 32,000 sf. b. Two bedroom units (20x1,000 sf) = 20,000 sf. c. Tree bedroom units (15x1,400 sf) = 18,000 sf. Chapter 2

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Final Assembly must provide a transition between disk manufacturing and quality control that emphasizes the concept of linear production. The relationship between manufacturing and office must provide a new understanding of open and closed architectural elements. The relationship between retail and residential must provide a new understanding of edge. The relationship between manufacturing and residential must provide a new understanding of physical separation. Office must provide a transition between manufacturing and retail that emphasizes the concept of passage. General circulation and retail must provide offer a physical break between manufacturing and residential. 11


Conceptual Investigation A series of conceptual models was produced to investigate the programmatic relationships through the project. A series of codes exploring concepts of circulation, linearity, connectivity and engagement with the city inspired and informed the construction of these models.

Fig. 16 This massing model investigates the concept of circulation and how the project connects with the city. An exploration of the lineal qualities of copper wire and how it engulfs volumes within and adjacent to the site informed the decision making process in the later stages of development of the project 12

Chapter 3


Fig. 17 This massing model investigated the concept of circulation and connectivity to the city. The layering of copper wire also helped determine a differentiation of program across the project, and began to inform the potential location of main circulation paths Chapter 3

13


Fig. 19 Level 1 - Manufacturing is in direct contact with offices but separated from retail

Fig. 20 Level 2 - Office space is in direct contact with retail

Fig. 18 Using transluscent material the main programmatic elements in the project were determined. A process of layering and repetition of modular linear elements organically created overhead conditions, semipublic spaces at ground level, and began to inform the formal composition of the building 14

Fig. 21 Level 3 - There is a physical separation of manufacturing and the space housing living quarters Chapter 3


Fig. 22 Circulation analysis model

Fig. 23 Investigation of a solid core model

Fig. 24 Radial Programmatic configuration

The following models were part of the process of exploration that began with the code system. Although deemed unsuccesful, the models served to inform decisions later on in the design process. Chapter 3

Fig. 25 Programmatic configuration reacting to context 15


Using this model as starting point, with each linear element being eight feet wide, an exploration of modularity and layering began to take shape. A gradual increase in the level of detail of the model led to surfaces and volumes that responded to site conditions, and organically generated public spaces at ground level. The formal configuration of the final model was also influenced by this model, and traces of this poetic composition are evident in the actual project.

16

Chapter 3


Fig. 26 Programmatic configuration reacting to context

Fig. 27 Programmatic configuration reacting to context

Fig. 28 Programmatic configuration reacting to context

Fig. 29 Programmatic configuration reacting to context

Fig. 30 Ideal spatial confirurations Chapter 3

17


Project Documentation

Fig. 31 Aerial perspective looking east 18

Chapter 4


Level 36 300' - 0"

Fig. 32 South elevation Chapter 4

19


8TH ST

N. MIAMI AVE

ARENA BLVD

Retail Office

Lobby Manufaturing

0 0

60 Feet

Fig. 33 Ground floor plan 20

Chapter 4


8TH ST

N. MIAMI AVE

ARENA BLVD

Retail

Office Lobby Manufaturing

0 0

60 Feet

Fig. 34 Second floor plan Chapter 4

21


8TH ST

N. MIAMI AVE

ARENA BLVD

Office

Retail Manufaturing

0 0

60 Feet

Fig. 35 Third floor plan 22

Chapter 4


8TH ST

N. MIAMI AVE

ARENA BLVD

Office

Manufaturing

0 0

60 Feet

Fig. 36 Fourth floor plan Chapter 4

23


8TH ST

N. MIAMI AVE

ARENA BLVD

Office

Office Manufaturing

Parking

0 0

60 Feet

Fig. 37 Fifth floor plan 24

Chapter 4


8TH ST

N. MIAMI AVE

ARENA BLVD

Common Area

Office

Office

Parking

0 0

60 Feet

Fig. 38 Sixth floor plan Chapter 4

25


8TH ST

N. MIAMI AVE

ARENA BLVD

Common Area

Common Area

Common Area

0 0

60 Feet

Fig. 39 Seventh floor plan 26

Chapter 4


0 0

60 Feet

Fig. 40 Housing units Chapter 4

27


Fig. 41 Sectional perspective showing the relationship of manufacturing and office. It explores the concept of articulating the dividing wall using open and close architectural elements with the purpose of increasing the collaboration between the two programs. 28

Chapter 4


Fig. 42 Sectional perspective showing edge condition created by the separation of retail-office and residential. The resulting space is the common areas for the inhabitants of the factory town. Having open spaces looking at the manufacturing creates a deep sense of ownership for the workers. Chapter 4

29


30

Chapter 4


Chapter 4

31


32

Chapter 4


Chapter 4

33


34

Chapter 4


Chapter 4

35


Bibliography

Brown, Denise Scott, Izenour, Steven, and Venturi, Robert. Learning from Las Vegas - Revised Edition: The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form. Revised ed. London: The MIT Press, 1977. Conrads, Ulrich. Programs and Manifestoes on 20th-century Architecture. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1964. Friedman, Thomas L.. Hot, Flat, and Crowded 2.0: Why We Need a Green Revolution---and How It Can Renew America. New York, NY: Picador, 2009 Jencks, Charles and Kropf, Karl. Theories and Manifestoes of Contemporary Architecture. England: Wiley & Sons, 2006. Koolhaas, Rem. Content. Germany: Taschen. 2004. Koolhaas, Rem. Delirious New York. New York: The Monacelli Press. 1994. Koolhaas, Rem and Mau, Bruce. S,M,L,XL. New York: The Monacelli Press. 1998. Rappaport, Nina. “The Vertical Urban Factory” Parsons School of Design journal, SCAPES, January 2009. Reeser, Amanda, and Ashley Schafer. “The Consumption of Production.” In Architecture after capitalism: reorganizing appropriating pursuing subverting aftermath. New Orleans, La.: Praxis, Inc., 2003. 58-61. Ward, David and Zunz, Oliver. “The Landscape of Modernity: New York City, 1900-1940”. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. 1997.

36

Notes


F_Zapata Masters Project