West Bottoms Reborn: A Vision Study for a System of Public Spaces (Pt. 1)

Page 1

WEST BOTTOMS

REBORN

KANSAS CITY DESIGN CENTER 2018 KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY

A VISION STUDY FOR A SYSTEM OF PUBLIC SPACES


Content This publication documents the processes and findings of Phase Two and Three of the West Bottoms Reborn project, occurring during the academic semesters of Fall 2017 and Spring 2018. This publication was written by Fiona Bhuyan and George Aguilar under the counsel of the Kansas City Design Center. The Kansas City Design Center is made possible by two generous support grants from the William T. Kemper Foundation and the Hall Family Foundation. This project was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the City of Kansas City, Missouri Office of Culture and Creative Services. This publication cannot be sold, duplicated, or published electronically or otherwise, without the express written consent of the KCDC. The purpose of this publication is academic in nature and is intended to showcase the research, scholarship, and design work of the students of the KCDC.

In order to accommodate divergent perspectives, KCDC included a range of artist-created images, some of which some readers may find offensive.


Table of Contents Ch. 1 Introduction.....................................5-56 Ch. 2 Placekeeping Investigations.......57-324 Ch. 3 Appendix................................... 325-335


Foreword This publication is the final and comprehensive account of the two-year long study for the system of public spaces for the West Bottoms Area of Kansas City. The study was originally funded by the NEA Our Town grant, but the full extent of its execution presented herein, including art installations, space activations and urban design elements prototyping was made possible through the support of the Office for Culture and Creative Services, City of Kansas City, under the directorship of Megan Crigger. The first part of the study focused on developing methodologies for analyzing the given urban context, articulating strategies for discriminating and selecting potential public spaces, exploring and cultivating collaborative modes of engagement with the team artists and devising an overarching urban concept for the system of public spaces, was presented in a KCDC publications issued in August of 2017. Unlike other KCDC publications primarily focused on the work of urban design studio, this one given the extensively collaborative nature of the study includes in significant proportion work of the artists Jim Woodfill, Miranda Clark and Carmen Moreno offered as a parallel, intersecting and eventually contesting discourses on approaching and framing the question of public space and the practices of its creation and engagement. The question of public space remains an elusive design subject. This study was born out of a desire to counter the impending and eventually gentrifying change of the study area and stake out the elements of the original urban territory to be held in common as a public realm. It centered on the conceptual premise of ‘place-keeping’ as opposed to ‘place-making’ intent on drawing out and capturing the essence of the divergent present and reading into it possibilities for critical design interventions where any innovative outcomes would remain inextricably bound by the same genetic roots [of the place.] The original intent to work towards and operate on the basis of team-shared ideas of public space and use them as a platform for the generation of collaborative design propositions was in the due course of the study proven untenable. This was not necessarily the failure of the project or the incapacity of the team but much more a revelation of the dynamics of the divergent ideological perspectives of conceiving public realm, understanding its meaning, purpose and practice reflective of our social and cultural discord that intersected our efforts to engage the subject of public space. So rather than seeking a compromise in the lowest common denominator or trying to defuse ideological conflict by false normativity the team has by trial and error engaged in an open dialogue that didn’t necessarily yield common ground but has given a place to be heard and be present to each team member affirming in the process a different idea of public realm. The one synonymous with the classical city-state where, as Hannah Arendt had argued: “The public realm, in other words, was reserved for individuality; it was the only place where men could show who they really and inexchangeably were” as opposed to the idea of conformity that she associates with the modern public realm. In that regard it could be postulated that the success of the project and its eventual and true materialization resides in the creation of the space of the dialogue – the ‘adjacencies’ as Jim Woodfill puts it – that had allowed for different agencies to coexist, diverge, touch and eventually intersect inscribing the impossibility of the fixed realm and offering a different paradigm of public space as pervasive potential that has to be


strategically and continually [re]created through human [inter]action and the visceral engagement with the found urban environment of the West Bottoms. Our hope is that this publication truthfully represents those adjacencies and ensuing dialogues which in between themselves mark an unfolding construct for a different and more engaging idea of public space and can be of service to the stakeholder community as a conceptual manual in pursuing such public space actualizations. Finally, from a design perspective while using the conceptual premise of ‘place keeping’ as an operational platform for drawing from and building on the found qualities of the individual locations, our intent was to counter normative use paradigms and consider public space as a working infrastructure grounded in the place dictated environmental imperatives. Consequently, the design is focused on discovering critical functional and operational aspects of the necessary infrastructure[s] that could be translated into opportunities for the invention and the facilitation of engaging experiences of the given locations leaving the scripting of the public space use and programming to the spontaneous discoveryTo that extent each designed [infra]structure doesn’t have a normative equivalent – it is original to its place and the performance criteria/program and causal relationship of its constituting parts/functions as a system. We are thankful for the opportunity to prototype select design elements and test their viability through the proposed public spaces activation. This culminated in the Liberty Courtyard public project presentation where the work of the artists and the KCDC urban design studio coalesced into a multidimensional community event demonstrating the capacity of the ‘adjacent’ agencies to intersect and create compelling outcomes. I remain indebted to Megan Crigger for her comradery, wisdom and leadership. She was instrumental in making this project a success over and beyond the original NEA plan. I am equally thankful for the intellectual investment and dedicated work of our fellow team artists Jim Woodfill, Miranda Clark and Carmen Moreno as well as the support of Bruce Holloway as a representative of the Historic West Bottoms Association. However, the bulk of the work on this project was carried out by the KCDC students who have spent immense amount of intellectual, creative and physical effort on developing and carrying out all of its parts. In doing so they had to negotiate complex process of divergent dialogues never losing the professional grace and the desire to learn and excel. It is owing to them and their passion to live their work that the project was such a success. I am grateful and feel privileged to have had a chance to work with such a group of dedicated and talented students. This publication in its entirety was conceived, designed and produced by Fiona Bhuyan and George Aguilar. Their classmates, the project team and I owe them a debt of gratitude for their dedication and hard work. Thank you, Vladimir Krstic


1. Project Introduction 07-08

2. Time line 11-14

3. Urban Process and Approach 15-32

4. Finding Agency 33-44

5. Community Engagement 45-56

Part One 5 Introduction



P1.1 7 Introduction


P1.1

Project Introduction The premise of the project was to address the needs of the creation and definition of the public realm in the face of impending redevelopment and urbanization in the West Bottoms. The project took place in three phases (1. Analysis, 2. Design, and 3. Prototypical Implementation) over three semesters. The first two phases (discussed in the first publication), were an extensive analytical undertaking that attempted to develop a cohesive framework for understanding public space. The final phase of the project (outlined in this publication), attempted to establish design development strategies in parallel with artist collaboration. As part of design development, there was an extensive exchange with artists’ agency, as well as finding a way in which their work would become resonant with the design explorations. The project and design explorations conducted were based on two critical guiding concepts. The first assumes placekeeping as an operational strategy for discriminating, capturing, extolling, and nurturing unique qualities of the extant urban environment and using them as a framework for staking potential public space and integrating artistic production into its creation and enactment. Placekeeping is a design approach and a way of thinking that celebrates the act of observation as the primary method of understanding our place and context-based reality. The idea of placekeeping asserts that the nature of a place is embedded within its artifactual and living presence along with stories and ideas that reveal its unique character. This authenticity is intended to be the basis for a design infrastructure which encourages understanding, complements existing narratives, and form places we want to live. The second concept was the six core values that were established by the core team through the workshop engagement with Lynn Osgood who was a part of the Policy Link and national LISC office support grant awarded to the project. The six core values are: 1. Inclusive and Public Space 2. Activation and Interactivity 3. Inspiration and Rejuvenation 4. Digestion and Understanding 5. Equity in Partnership 6. Pragmatic During the final phase of the project, the conceptual framework became the urban concept for the public realm in the West Bottoms. Three specific sites were chosen because of their complimentary relationship as well as their typological significance to the system itself. These three sites demonstrate the sustainability of the system and how it works in a complimentary fashion. The site studies are design investigations that incorporate the values and framework defined above and center on the questions/ideas of green infrastructure as an experiential dimension of the quality of the space itself.

Project Introduction 8


Image by Mike Sinclair


Project Introduction 10


P1.2

AUGUST 11 Introduction

Sep 28 Guest Lecture: Talk with Lynn Osgood

Oct 28 Public Meeting: Mulberry room

Sep 21 Final 3 sites selected

Oct 26 Guest Lecture: Ryan Gravel- Where we want to live

Aug 14 Meeting with city officials (visual packet presented)

Sep 19 Guest Lecture: Julie Schenkelberg at Faultless event space

Oct 21 Walking Tour: Blind folded walking tour- The king of hearing

Aug 10 Beginning of drawing process for implementation

Sep 15-28 Guest Exhibition: Julie Schenkelberg at Plug Projects

Oct 16 Walking Tour: Plants,Place: A workshop at the perenial projects eld station

Aug 5 Temporary installs and pathways theorized

Sep 7 Public Meeting at Foundation event space

Oct 7 Walking Tour: Missouri river cleanup- Healthy Rivers Partnership

Aug 5 Development of project roadmaps, possibilities & goals

Sep 6 Conversation around case studies. How can a drawing fulll a need? How can new lines respond to existing structure?

Oct 2 First chalk drawing

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER


P1.2

Time line The two-year long project development process was very complex and has occurred on several concurrent and overlapping layers that could not be fully captured by the publication narrative. The time line is an attempt to reconstruct the entire process and reveal its intricacies that faithfully represent the effort and though invested in it by all project participants

Nov 28 Wooden models in process

Nov 15 Guest Lecture: Jeff SteinWhat if? Architecture, Ecology, and the West Bottoms

Dec 19 Exhibition: West Bottoms Reborn, KCDC Open House

Nov 15 Walking Tour: A walk with Jeff SteinArcossanti Foundation & Conrad Mcannay

Dec 11 Phase 2 Final Review

Nov 12 Walking Tours: Silent walking club

Dec 4 Reection Movement History: 3 themes identied as conceptual platform moving forward

Nov 8 Studies of sites 3d printed. Utility of a shape inherent in the site plan. Exploratio -n of feelingsas an object

NOVEMBER

Dec 2 Walking Tour: Karen McCoyListening Trumpets

DECEMBER

PHASE 2

Time line 12


P1.2 Feb 15 Public Meeting at KCDC

Feb 9 Beginning of ďƒžnal forms for implementation

JANUARY 13 Introduction

Jan 26 Presentation: Downtown Council annual luncheon

Feb 9 To fold a plane to create space

Jan 22 Identifying key elements to discern visual intentions

Feb 2 Guest lecture: Roberto Bedoya- Poetic, Political & Public Will in creative placemaking

Jan 22 Reconnection of process to outcomes

Feb 2 Beginning of drawing process for implementation

FEBRUARY

Mar 15 Guest lecture: Daniel Campo- Post-Industrial Appropriation

MARCH


P1.2

Apr 26-29 Walking Tours- Tours open to the public

APRIL

Apr 26 Walking Tours- Audio Tour and Sound Site destination begins

May 10 Water is coming, a ceremony in honor of our waters

Apr 1 Beginning of metal fabrication and design development drawings

May 5-12 Exhibition: West Bottoms Reborn

MAY

PHASE 3

Time line 14


P1.3 15 Site Selection Process and Analysis


P1.3

Urban Process and Approach


SSOURI KANSAS

P1.3


System of Urban Connections

KANSAS

KANSAS

KANSAS

VIA

DU

CT

I-70

I-70

P1.3

As a first step in developing the project, it was imperative to create a conceptual framework for organizing an uncharted urban territory into an ordered whole for which all other decisions could be measured against. This framework was created as a system of urban connections of which the primary elements were gateways, corridors, and nodes. Gateways are the access points from which the district allows passage in and out; access through these gateways is provided by the corridors which are the main pathways connecting different districts. The corridors provide access to a district’s nodes which are centers of activity, each having their own unique cultural and spatial characteristics.

UCT

I-35

RAL

CENT

VIAD

DSLE

Y RD

12TH ST VIADUCT

BEAR

I-670 VIADUCT

AVE

Gateways

MISSOURI

MISSOURI

CESAR E CHAVEZ

MISSOURI

AS

NS

KA

Nodes

Corridors Urban Site Selection Process 18


KANSAS

KANSAS

Gateways

VIA

DU

CT

I-35

I-70

I-70

I-670 VIADUCT

MISSOURI

MISSOURI

VIA

DU

CT

I-70

I-70

Regional Gateways

KANSAS

KANSAS

Boundaries

T

I-35

DUC

L VIA

TRA

CEN

SLEY

RD

12TH ST VIADUCT

AVE

MISSOURI

CESAR E CHAVEZ

19 Process & Approach

Local Gateways

All Gateways MISSOURI

AS

NS

KA

BEAR D

I-670 VIADUCT


KANSAS

KANSAS

MISSOURI

MISSOURI

Future Design Intervention

KANSAS

KANSAS

Events

Industrial Buildings MISSOURI

Pedestrian Uses MISSOURI

Nodes


KANSAS

P1.3 SSOURI

21 Process & Approach


KANSAS

KANSAS

P1.3

Complete Streets

MISSOURI

MISSOURI

KANSAS

KANSAS

Gateways

Future Street Improvements MISSOURI

Existing and Proposed Trails MISSOURI

Corridors


Spatial Typologies P1.3

The West Bottoms’ patterns of growth, destruction, disinvestment, and reinvestment gave way to what is known as drosscape. Drosscape is leftover and unused pieces of land in-between transitional cycles of disuse and reuse. The unused pieces of land are prime opportunities for creative designers to establish much needed public spaces. The variety and inconsistency in the West Bottoms built environment made it difficult to discern possible opportune sites for public spaces. To better comprehend the best possible sites for inclusion in the project, the design team established a view of understanding these sites in what was established as “spatial typologies�. The understanding of the drosscape through spatial typologies helped the design team better compare possible sites for implementation and establish a set of rules for pattern recognition in the West Bottoms.

Mapping of spatial typologies 23 Process & Approach


FLANKING

FLANKING

METER OF

METER OF

METER OF

POINT

ALLEYS

MISS

MISSING TEETH

ALLEYS

MISS

EMPTY PARCELS WITHIN AN OTHERWISE FULL BLOCK

EMPTY PARCELS WITHIN AN OTHERWISE Missing Teeth FULL BLOCK TEETH MISSING Empty parcels within an otherwise full block

EMPTY PARCELS WITHIN AN OTHERWISE FULL BLOCK

P1.3

FLANKING

MISSING TEETH

LINEAR SPACES DEFINED BY FLANKING STRUCTURES

LINEAR SPACES DEFINED BY FLANKING STRUCTURES ALLEYS

EMPTY FULL B

Alleys

Linear spaces defined by flanking structures

LINEAR SPACES DEFINED BY FLANKING STRUCTURES

EMPTY FULL B MISS

EMPTY FULL B

UNDER OVERPASSES

COURTYARDS

UND

UNDER SpacesOVERPASSES defined by elevated transportation infrastructure

Spaces defined by a perimeter of structures COURTYARDS

UND

SPACES DEFINED BY ELEVATED TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE Under Overpass

SPACES DEFINED BY ELEVATED TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE UNDER OVERPASSES SPACES DEFINED BY ELEVATED TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE

Open Areas OPEN AREAS Spaces formed with more than one access point

SPACES FORMED WITH MORE THAN ONE ACCESS POINT

OPEN AREAS

SPACES DEFINED BY A PERIMETER OF STRUCTURES Courtyards

SPACES DEFINED BY A PERIMETER OF STRUCTURES COURTYARDS SPACES DEFINED BY A PERIMETER OF STRUCTURES

ISLANDS ISLANDS

SPACE TRANS UND

SPACE TRANS

Islands Spaces with one access point

SPACES WITH ONE ACCESS POINT

SPACE TRANS

Urban Site Selection Process 24

OPEN

SPACE ONE A

OPEN


Overall System Plan and Connection Typologies P1.3

Accessibility Typologies is the second organizing system of the framework of urban connections. The system compliments the previous, morphological system. The site classification and selection system has two intersecting aspects aimed at capturing all critical attributes of the location that need to be considered. These typologies were established to understand how users would initially be introduced to the sites and their initial experiences once there. The established three categories each have their own unique characteristics and interact with users in ways that were crucial to understanding the requirements for the design of public spaces. In understanding accessibility of the site, the design team was informed of the contextual responsibility that informs specific design for each site. This enabled the team to better understand the necessary components for public spaces to function properly. The system itself functions in a way to allow or each of the sites to function separately and yet still relate to each other in the way they spatially connect with each other. The connections between sites are the infrastructure through which they are understood as a system. The different spatial and connectivity veins allow for the system to be understood as the public realm rather than one specific site being the public realm in the West Bottoms.

90 Urban Concept Diagram 25 Process & Approach


riences outer and amenities context. that another does

DESTINATION

HIDDEN

tion: ogies other way, their

Destination Sites are spaces that one would most likely intentionally travel to, because unlike Contextual and Hidden Sites, they do not have many nearby uses. One would not be likely to stumble upon a Destination site without waynding or some adventure. Connections to Destination Sites are usually made via the trails system, where automobiles cannot travel. Hidden Sites arespaces similarmust to Destination public Contextual sitesconsider in that they more carefully how tend to occur as the interstitial its users will travel to and from spaces existing the site. between buildings; however Hidden Sites are more difficult to nd. These sites may have a few restricted access points or may be located off of the beaten path. A Hidden public space can be more intimate and secretive, however to be wellused it may require waynding Contextual Sites are those that and safety improvements. have a well-dened context and many neighbors that

HIDDEN

CONTEXTUAL

Hidden Sites are similar to Contextual sites in that they tend to occur as the interstitial spaces between existing buildings; however Hidden Sites are more difficult to nd. These sites may have a few restricted accessHidden points or may Hidden Sites are similar to Contextual Sites in that they tend to occur aslocated the interstitial spaces between be off of the beaten existing buildings; however Hidden Sites are more path. public space difficult to find. These sitesA mayHidden have a few restricted access points or may be located off of the beaten becan bemore intimate and path. A Hiddencan public space more intimate and secretive, however to be well used it may require way secretive, however to be wellfinding and safety improvements. used it may require waynding Contextual Sites are those that and safety improvements. have a well-dened context and many neighbors that inuence and are inuenced by this space. Contextual Sites tend to occur in the Historic Core district, due to Contextual its relatively tight urban fabric. Contextual Sites are those that have a well defined Many Contextual Sites are the context and many neighbors that influence and are influenced by the space. Contextual Sites tend to interstitial spaces occur in the Historic Core district, due to its relatively between tight urban fabric. Many Contextual Sites are the or existing buildings other interstitial spaces between existing buildings or other infrastructure.infrastructure. A public space of this typology must A public space carefully consider all of its context. of this typology must carefully consider all of its context. Urban Site Selection Process 26

CONTEXTUAL

P1.3

en categorized based on their location: estination. These Connection Typologies ather Destination Destination Sites are spaces that one would ublic each spaces will not relate to each other most likely intentionally travel to, because unlike Contextual and Hidden Sites, they do not have nearby uses. One would not be likely to stumble sy of arethe West Bottoms in the same way, upon a Destination Site without way finding or some adventure. Connection to Destination Sites are usually made via trail systems, where automobiles ntions must be deeply conscious of their ched: cannot travel. Destination public spaces must carefully consider how its users will travel to and from the site. does

CO

Conte have and inuen by th Sites Histor its rela Many interst existin infrast of this consid


P1.3

Selected 3 sites 27 Process & Approach


Site Selection

WESTBOTTOMS REBORN REBORN WESTBOTTOMS

12 SITE PLAN

12 SITE PLAN

Selected 12 sites 5 SITE PLAN

SITE SELECTIONCENTRAL PROCESSAVENUE VIADUCT SITE SELECTIONCENTRAL PROCESSAVENUE VIADUCT

P1.3

Twelve potential sites were selected based on three distinct processes. The processes used to filter the sites include: Analysis of Spatial Topologies, Relationships to the System of Urban Connections, and Community Feedback. Each of the twelve site embodies a variety of spatial conditions, each relating to the framework of Gateways, Corridors, and Nodes and aligning with the feedback received from the public. The twelve sites that were selected relate to each other not only through proximity, but through common problems, history and experiences, as well. The sites were analyzed using two methods: Connection Typologies and String Theory. These two analytical methods unveiled layers of physical and experiential connections across all the sites. Through this analysis, the sites were understood not as separate entities, but as part of a network of public spaces that together forge the West Bottom’s public realm. To generate a comprehensive urban design vision and to strategize implementation for the creation of a system of public spaces in the West Bottoms, the selected sites were further narrowed down to five, concluding with the final chosen 3 sites: 12th Street Alley, Liberty Courtyard and Central Avenue Viaduct. The sites were narrowed down with community input by their feasibility of implementation of a public space and their respective critical attributes.

WEST BOTTOMS REBORN WEST BOTTOMS REBORN

5 SITE PLAN

Selected 5 sites Urban Site Selection Process 28 WEST BOTTOMS REBORN

WEST BOTTOMS REBORN


A System of Public Spaces P1.3

The three chosen sites of 12th Street Alley, Liberty Courtyard, and Central Avenue Viaduct provide a unique perspective into the elements that define the West Bottoms. Each site provides an ability to create necessity based on site specific characteristics. The sites were selected based on feasibility to further design explorations and to condense implementations. Each site was chosen as they contrast one another based on their contextual and programmatic paradigms. The sites’ contextuality create a unique ideology that defines the idea of public space as an understanding framework that can be used to activate public spaces in the West Bottoms that retains the place’s inherent qualities.

PUBLIC SPACES .49 MI {1050 STEPS}

.35 MI {762 STEPS}

Central Avenue Viaduct

CENTRAL AVENUE VIADUCT

29 Process & Approach

LIBERTY COURTYARD

Liberty Courtyard

12th Street Alley

12TH ST ALLEY


Connection Typologies

12th Street Alley

12th St Alley is located between 11th and 12th Streets to the North and South, then bound by Santa Fe Street and Mulberry Street to the east LINEAR SPACES DEFINED BY FLANKING EMPTY PARCELS WITHIN AN OTHERWISE STRUCTURESbased on their location: FULL BLOCK The twelves sites have been categorized and west. The enclosing brick buildings house a Contextual, Hidden, and Destination. These Connection Typologies acknowledge that a set of public spaces will not relate to each other variety of uses including haunted houses, a varior to the existing conditions of the West Bottoms in the same way, ety of antique shops, and Blip Coffee Roasters. meaning that design interventions must be deeply conscious of their outer context. However, the alleyway itself is quite underutilized Missing Teeth DESTINATION HIDDEN CONTEXTUAL as can be seen by the amount of vandalization ALLEYS MISSING TEETH which takes form as tagging and graffiti on the LINEAR SPACES DEFINED BY FLANKING EMPTY PARCELS WITHIN AN OTHERWISE COURTYARDS UNDER OVERPASSES STRUCTURES FULL BLOCK SPACES DEFINED BY A PERIMETER OF SPACES DEFINED BY ELEVATED brick facades. Downtown KCMO and rail yard STRUCTURES TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE can be seen from the East and a view of the 12th Street Viaduct to the south. Hidden Destination Sites are spaces Hidden Sites are similar to that one would most likely Contextual sites in that they intentionally travel to, because tend to occur as the interstitial unlike Contextual and Hidden spaces between existing Sites, they do not have many buildings; however Hidden nearby uses. One would not Sites are more difficult to nd. be likely to stumble upon These sites may have a few These twelve sites are best not viewedaasDestination individual entities but rather site without restricted access points or may UNDER OVERPASSES way ndingthat or some adventure. each ISLANDS be located off of the beaten as parts of a larger network of publicCOURTYARDS spaces compliment Connections to Destination path. A Hidden public space SPACES DEFINED BY A PERIMETER OF are SPACES SPACES DEFINED BY ELEVATED other and work together to improve the realm. When they ACCESS POINT and Sitespublic are usually made via can WITH be ONE more intimate ALLEYS STRUCTURES TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE the trails system, where secretive, however to be wellunderstood as related spaces, the public experiencecannot becomes enriched: automobiles travel. usedSPACES it mayDEFINED requireBY way nding LINEAR FLANKING Destination public spaces must does and safety improvements. one space can provide experiences and amenities that another STRUCTURES more carefully consider how not. its users will travel to and from ALLEYS the site.

Contextual Sites are those that have a well-dened context and many neighbors that inuence and are inuenced by this space. Contextual Sites tend to occur in the Historic Core district, due to its relatively tight urban fabric. Many Contextual Sites are the OPEN AREAS interstitial spaces between SPACES FORMED WITH MOREorTHAN existing buildings other MISSING ONEinfrastructure. ACCESSTEETH POINT A public space of PARCELS this typology carefully EMPTY WITHINmust AN OTHERWISE consider all of its context. FULL BLOCK

Liberty Courtyard

Connection Typologies

The Hobbs Building on the courtyard’s northern edge hosts many artist studios. The Abernathy MISSING TEETH Building is destined to be repurposed into small LINEAR SPACES DEFINED BY FLANKING EMPTY PARCELS WITHIN AN OTHERWISE FULL BLOCK The twelves sites have been categorized based on their location: STRUCTURES Chapter 3: Site Selection 91 apartments with a few small commercial uses at Contextual, Hidden, and Destination. These Connection Typologies acknowledge that a set of public spaces will not relate to each other the ground floor. At the base of the Abernathy is a or to the existing conditions of the West Bottoms in the same way, series of graffiti murals known as Art Alley. These meaning that design interventions must be deeply conscious of their outer context. murals are popular backdrops for amateur and ISLANDS OPEN AREAS Courtyard SPACES WITH ONE ACCESS POINT SPACES FORMED WITH MORE THAN DESTINATION HIDDEN CONTEXTUAL COURTYARDS UNDER OVERPASSES professional photographers. Recently, just outONE ACCESS POINT SPACES DEFINED BY A PERIMETER OF SPACES DEFINED BY ELEVATED side of the courtyard, a sculpture made of scrap COURTYARDS UNDER OVERPASSES STRUCTURES TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE Connection Typologies SPACES DEFINED BY A PERIMETER OF SPACES DEFINED BY ELEVATED rail lines, deconstructed shipping containers, and STRUCTURES These twelve sites are best not viewed as individual entities but rather TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE a deconstructed water tower was installed by artas parts of a larger network of public spaces that compliment each other and work together to improve the public realm. When theyContextual are ist Ben Wolf in collaboration with BNIM. ALLEYS MISSING TEETH Alley

understood as related spaces, the public experience becomes enriched:

Destination Sites are spaces Hidden SitesDEFINED are BY similar to Contextual areAN those that LINEAR SPACES FLANKING EMPTY PARCELSSites WITHIN OTHERWISE that one would most likely Contextual sitesprovide in that they have a well-dethat ned another context does one space can experiences FULL and amenities STRUCTURES BLOCK intentionally travel to, because tend to occur as the interstitial and many neighbors that not. unlike Contextual and Hidden spaces between existing inuence and are inuenced Sites, they do not have many buildings; however Hidden by this space. Contextual nearby uses. One would not Sites are more difficult to nd. Sites tend to occur in the The twelves sites have been categorized on their be likely to stumble upon These sites may have a few Historic based Core district, due location: to These twelve sites best not viewedrestricted as individual entities but rather a Destination siteare without access points or may its These relatively tight urban fabric. Contextual, Hidden, and Destination. Connection Typologies ISLANDS way nding or some adventure. be located off of the beaten Many Contextual Sites are the as parts of a larger network of public spaces that compliment each ISLANDS Connections to Destination path. A Hiddenthat public space interstitial spaces between acknowledge a set of public spaces will not relate to each other SPACES WITH ONE ACCESS POINT other together to improve the realm. Whenand they are SPACES WITH ONE ACCESS POINT Sites and are work usually made via can public be more intimate existing buildings or other orsecretive, to the existing BottomsA in the space same way, the trails system, where however toconditions be well- of the West infrastructure. public understood as related spaces, the public experience becomes enriched: automobiles cannot travel. used it may require wayinterventions nding of this carefullyof their meaning that design must betypology deeplymust conscious Destination public spaces must andamenities safety improvements. consider all of its context. one space can provide experiences and that another does outer context. more carefully consider how not. its users will travel to and from COURTYARDS UNDER OVERPASSES the site.

Connection Typologies

DESTINATION

SPACES DEFINED BY A PERIMETER OF

The twelves sites have been categorized based on their location: STRUCTURES Contextual, Hidden, and Destination. These Connection Typologies acknowledge that a set of public spaces will not relate to each other or to the existing conditions of the West Bottoms in the same way, meaning that design interventions must be deeply conscious of their outer context.

DESTINATION

Destination Sites are spaces that one would most likely intentionally travel to, because unlike Contextual and Hidden Sites, they do not have many nearby uses. One would not be likely to stumble upon a Destination site without waynding or some adventure.

HIDDEN

Destination Sites are spaces that one would most likely intentionally travel to, because unlike Contextual and Hidden Sites, they do not have many ISLANDS nearby uses. One would not SPACES WITH ONE ACCESS POINT be likely to stumble upon a Destination site without waynding or some adventure. Connections to Destination Sites are usually made via the trails system, where automobiles travel. Hidden Sites cannot are similar to Destinationsites publicinspaces Contextual that must they moretocarefully consider how tend occur as the interstitial its users will travel to and from spaces between existing the site. however Hidden buildings; Sites are more difficult to nd. These sites may have a few restricted access points or may be located off of the beaten

OPEN AREAS

OPEN AREAS

Central Avenue Viaduct

SPACES FORMED WITH MORE THAN SPACES FORMED WITH MORE THAN ONE ACCESS POINT ONE ACCESS POINT

Central Avenue Viaduct connects James Street

Under Overpasses one of the main arteries of the West Bottoms to HIDDEN CONTEXTUAL Kansas City, Kansas. This area was once an inSPACES DEFINED BY ELEVATED TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE Chapter 3: Site Selection 91 tersection of the streetcar and the freight lines.

CONTEXTUAL

Hidden Sites are similar to Contextual sites in that they tend to occur as the interstitial spaces between existing buildings; OPEN AREAShowever Hidden Sites are more difficult to nd. SPACES FORMED WITH MORE THAN These sites may have a few ONE ACCESS restrictedPOINT access points or may be located off of the beaten path. A Hidden public space can be more intimate and secretive, however to be wellused it maySites require Contextual areway thosending that and safety improvements. have a well-de ned context and many neighbors that inuence and are inuenced by this space. Contextual Sites tend to occur in the Historic Core district, due to its relatively tight urban fabric. Many Contextual Sites are the

Parallel to the length of the yard is 1st Street; this road services milling and concrete facilities to the Hidden southwest. During the work day, concrete trucks Contextual Sites are those that pass back and forth in front of what is now an have a well-dened context and many neighbors that abandoned building. Because of its neglect and inuence and are inuenced by this space. Contextual Sites tend to occur in the erosion, this building is now a canvas for graffiti Historic Core district, due to its relatively tight urban fabric. artists and an attraction for urban explorers who Many Contextual Sites are the interstitial spaces between existing buildings or have other named it “The Lab”. Contextual infrastructure. A public space

Urban Site Selection Process 30

of this typology must carefully consider all of its context.

Chapter 3: Site Selection

91

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These twelve sites are best not viewed as individual entities but rather as parts of a larger network of public spaces that compliment each other and work together to improve the public realm. When they are understood as related spaces, the public experience becomes enriched: one space can provide experiences and amenities that another does Alley not. ALLEYS MISSING TEETH


P1.3 31 Process & Approach


Occupying the Shadow West Bottoms

Conclusion This photograph is

capturing an idea of

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The site selection process was an attempt to generate an idea of a larger urban order two-dimensionality from based on a system of public spaces. This system was created to establish an urban concept for the public realm in the West Bottoms that uniquely adapted to ever-changa three-dimensional ing parameters. The methodology that was created filtered through site conditions object. When constraints occupyingto assess and recognize potential sites for implemenbased on specific tation the system. The methodology for discrimination, which relied on specific this into shadow, the shadow typologies, helped understand explicit site conditions, and articulated urban environbleeds into the frame ment characteristics that spoke of the spatial character of the West Bottoms. Each and light highlights thethe specific site needs and creates the system of public design exploration addresses space to establish the public outline of the object. realm within the West Bottoms. The unique relationships created between each part of the they system of public spaces are what allow the system to function as a self-sustaining entity. The system of public spaces served as a platform in the project to open the dialogue with the artists as a means of incorporating unique perspectives from different disciplines. The artists agency was a lens that remained prevalent throughout the project and continually questioned established initial pre-conceptions. Specifically, in the site selection process, artists consistently alternative ways of understanding public space. Collaboration with the artists was provided unique ways of understanding the system of public spaces both as a symbiotic self-sustaining entity as well as the parts of the system itself. Through the utilization of the platform created by the framework of public spaces, different avenues of understanding public space became possible and through artist agency the questioning of ideologies.


Image by Mike Sinclair


Finding Agency: James Woodfill and Union Office 34


P1.4 35 Process & Approach


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Finding Agency: James Woodfill and Union Office


P1.4 37 Process & Approach


Finding Agency Introduction:

This project synopsis is not intended to give a full overview of the project, but simply to shed light on the difficult endeavor to build agency for the artists within this complex project. It is not meant as a critique of KCDC or WBR, but rather an outline of the obstacles faced in an unusual collaboration and the strategies that we ultimately chose to attempt course correction. The start of my involvement with West Bottoms Reborn came after the title to the project was chosen. I was asked to participate in the process of discussion and writing as the NEA Our Town Grant application took form, and from the onset I saw the need to expand and fill out the project’s perceptions of the West Bottoms. I feared that this project, as a “Creative placemaking” exercise, would stumble when it came to capturing the real nature of what exists here. My intent was to bring a focus on the sustained and lengthy habitation of the area by artists, a fact that seemed to be missing in the implications of the title, and to examine the reasons for this history so we could take steps to protect and enhance them. From the artist point of view, I was interested in re-tuning the process as a “place-keeping” study in order to engage with the forces that were going to shape the policies and practices that would define public space in the West Bottoms. I was aware from early discussions that a broad “civic growth” point of view intent on building a brand for the city around its artistic output, along with the voices of development and business were at the table. I intended to add the voices of artists to the mix and to push for their primacy. After all, the goal of the project was to incorporate the voices of artists within the core design team, and to amplify the concerns of the arts community that existed in the West Bottoms.

Finding Agency: James Woodfill and Union Office 38

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West Bottoms Reborn has been a complex undertaking. The number of moving parts seemed infinite. KCDC has taken the lead to weave the outcomes together with consideration for all of the myriad constituencies, stakeholders, students and artists. My role as the lead artist continued to evolve throughout as the project and its expected (and unexpected) outcomes took shape. Ultimately my focus landed on issues of agency and implementation. Our core team worked hard to bring the voices of the team artists, including myself, into equilibrium at the forefront of the project. And my studio specifically took on the task of defining and championing an agency within the physical West Bottoms itself through our project’s implementation.


Initial faulty assumption #1: An understanding that KCDC students would provide an

analytical study in support of the work that the artists want to do in determining the definition of a system of public space.

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This has proven to be a fundamental misunderstanding that we confronted immediately and throughout the project, and was based on faulty preconceptions of what the operating system for the project would look like. In fact, the inverse proved over and over to be the case, as outlined below, not only through the asymmetry of time commitment, but also through the idea that the urban design students would form a container, thus framing and predetermining the context within which the artists had to work. The confusion here stems from whether or not the artists should try to find agency from within the KCDC process, or whether both KCDC and the Artists should try to find agency from within a West Bottoms Reborn process. While we aspired to a lateralized, democratic operating system of WBR, a hierarchy continued to form placing KCDC Students at the fore of decision making.

Initial faulty assumption #2: My input, and that of the other team artists, would easily help to define the broad definitions that framed our investigation. We would bring unique and perhaps untested strategies and methodologies to bear in an effort to build new and innovative ways of perceiving and affecting public space. There are many reasons why this initial assumption proved to be a difficult hurdle. Above all, we failed initially to form project definitions and an operating system that worked effectively for everyone. It was primarily a communication problem, but also one of “framing.” KCDC came to the table complete with an analytical discovery and design process that, from within, I (and presumably the additional artists that we would soon select) would be able to act as a consultant that could challenge, critique and advise the work that the students would do. This framework came with assumptions about public art and the role of the artist as it sought to build an infrastructure for public art to exist within. These assumptions were invisible at the start and only became known as we moved deeper into the project. As KCDC provided a starting point, my initial responses were to steer the conversations towards a more open-ended process. We have found that it is important at the start of this type of collaboration that the definitions of what “art” might be as it manifests in the project stems directly from the practices of the participating project artists. This is important because there are always approximations in these definitions that can drive expectations, both of the public and the stakeholders as well as the design team, in the wrong direction, causing confusion, and disabling the artists’ ability to establish a platform for their work. Contemporary art is very much defined by the construction of a unique context by the artist within which their work exists. This focus will inform the objectives and outcomes accordingly. Early in the process KCDC sought to frame the work of artists generally, by defining an infrastructure for it. They sought to define the context for what might ensue, and the role of the specific team artists was murky. From my point of view, I saw the development of the “infrastructure” as synonymous with artists’ agency – the context for the work WAS the artist’s work, and not a container for future “art” interactions. INFRASTRUCTURE = CONTEXT = CONTENT. 39 Process & Approach


Framing is everything. With the idea of embedding artists comes the potential of the artists’ work to be instrumentalized. If we can see how the artist’s work is in service to an overall project goal, we also must see how that goal has in turn been in service to the artist’s outcome.

If we only see the artist’s work in service to KCDC’s mission, then the project can marginalize their agency. As stated above, building context is the framework within which the artist’s work can be appreciated or apprehended. We had to build a definition of the project that put the artists’ agency at equal standing with KCDC. Building this frame would help establish a lateralized operating system for the project where all voices could have equal footing in the discussion, and where the nature of the necessary collaborations could emerge. There were three main obstacles in building this framework. The first was the over-arching idea of “place-keeping” as it applied to the West Bottoms specifically. All three of the artists had their views of what this meant. I will speak here of my view. To engage with the visceral nature of the West Bottoms in a place-keeping exercise requires an assignment of agency to the dis-functional and ad-hoc realities that exist alongside the bare bones, exposed urban infrastructure, all in shifting doses as you move through the area. The collaboration of the site’s agency with mine, as a working artist, results in the amplification of these conditions – a careful and nuanced site-specific interaction stemming from and defined by the historic context of my practice. Again: INFRASTRUCTURE = CONTEXT = CONTENT. Only this time: PROJECT INFRASTRUCTURE + SITE INFRASTRUCTURE = CONTEXT = CONTENT. The site itself, as it exists, becomes a major player in the ultimate composition of public space. From my point of view, and within my practice’s vocabulary, PUBLIC SPACE = PUBLIC ART. A successful example of another variant of this site/agency reassignment process is seen in Carmen Moreno’s walking tours, where she has composed a framework that gives agency and standing to the environment of the West Bottoms, including a defined community of artists, in collaboration with her voice. The success of this composition resides in the complex context that Carmen has developed collaboratively with her practice over time – the very same reasons that the selection committee picked her to be one of the artists. KCDC and the students were engaged in a process closely aligned with their mission, and in particular an analytical discovery process that formed a platform for the construction of new engagements, namely, a generalized infrastructure or container for art to “happen” within. They were deep in the process of trying to understand where their agency resided in this complex structure. Finding Agency: James Woodfill and Union Office 40

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At first glance this might seem counter-productive to the idea of a problem-solving approach to planning, and it might be. In this instance, we have to understand the objectives of KCDC and the Artists as different things. According to the grant application KCDC has two distinct purposes as it operates. The first is the education of the students performing the work within KCDC’s pedagogical structure. The second is to leverage this student work to provide a public design service to the Kansas City community at large. The project, at its start, had not yet defined the intentions of its participating artists.


P1.4 41 Process & Approach


The second obstacle was closely tied to the first. There was a fundamental difference in the way we thought of implementation in regard to place-keeping. KCDC presented a process of defining discrete sites, utilizing them, and protecting them from encroachment. This approach resulted in a bordered definition of site where the designers were “staking claim” to the space by inhabiting and activating it. An alternative view of place-keeping in the West Bottoms stems from the fluid nature of existing boundaries in the area, and requires strategies that embrace ongoing change. This view sees public space more as a verb - the creation of public space happens as we move through it. Public space is not about location, but experience. As a team, we struggled with language that could facilitate both views simultaneously. From this second point of view, KCDC’s “activations” of chosen sites seemed in service to a particular type of use and an incomplete view of public, if not directly in service to encroaching development that the place-keeping exercise was meant to protect against. These two points of view proved to be contradictory, thus requiring an expanded arena. The third obstacle was an asymmetry in time commitment and the hierarchy of structure that formed around it. The artists were only engaged for a small percentage of the total hours of the project, while the students were large in number and full time in their operation. This structurally marginalized the artists fighting for agency within a process that moved quickly beyond their ability to directly participate in meaningful ways. To attempt to mitigate this, the artists either resorted to the roll of advisor, or spent way more time than they were compensated for, or both. At least in part, this asymmetry facilitated a project where the mission and intentions of KCDC were framing the outcomes. This was evidenced early for me by my inability to form a context beyond advisor or provocateur. To build the lateralized operating system mentioned above required a more holistic point of view for the outcomes. In most “percent for arts” projects, for instance, there is an over-site body, such as the Municipal Arts Commission in Kansas City, which oversees the implementation of the artwork within the project. The project itself might not adequately protect the voice of the artist, even if embedded early, if the artist chooses a process of critique. There is a need for a framework where the artist can have adequate standing. There was a need to adjust the hierarchy of the project structure to put the work of KCDC and the Artists on equal footing. Finding Agency: James Woodfill and Union Office 42

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A communication structure that acknowledged the needs of a student design project in relationship to the artists’ work did not easily form. For the type of site collaborations described above to come into existence, the artists’ agency had to be shared with the site (site-specificity) as opposed to the invention and build process of the students (site responsiveness). Both processes seemed necessary for the overall goals of the project given the mission of KCDC. Before details started to emerge, the differences were not that apparent, and the language around the issue was vague. More importantly, where it seemed early that a nuanced discourse might find a compromise position, the more the issue came into focus, the more it seemed that the two positions might be at least somewhat mutually exclusive.


Adjacencies.

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It took the first year of the project for us all to truly understand the mis-communications that were happening, in particular, with the language approximations that happened between the practices of urban design and artists. There was a continual dissonance between the stated goals, and how they played out in the communication and decision-making structures. The hope of a unified set of intentions was furthered by a list of project values parsed out in a summer workshop with the design team leadership. But even these values seemed to offer distinctly different outcomes with their interpretation and the hopes of a unified voice began to fade. Building the envelope for the WBR project became more of an umbrella that could allow for the variety of voices to act independently when necessary, and collaboratively when possible. The West Bottoms Reborn project structure, as it has played out, can be seen as a sort of large scale moving Venn diagram where various methods of discovery often overlap, forming new emergent ideas, and where these connecting points then diversify again, with the team members out on reconnaissance working to build adjacent responses. In a process as complex as this, each point of contact fades into a more general intuition about site and place. We ultimately formed the project as a container that could hold diverse, and often contradictory ideas, processes and outcomes. We formed public space as both site and activity, both permanent (designed, not implemented) and temporary. Most importantly we were able to deconstruct a singular view of the West Bottoms into a series of histories and constituencies, simply by bringing these multiple views together under one umbrella.

Public Placing Origins. Early in the process KCDC defined the idea of “a system of public spaces” that would result in three discrete sites as an outcome. From my earliest project notes, I was interested in the idea of site as a verb, with movement through the area defining the nature of what public space means in the West Bottoms. This idea was based on my history and a philosophy of public art as “field” as opposed to “object.” As discussed above, these points of view were contradictory. The lack of traction that my frame of reference was able to gain within the KCDC process was an indication of the opportunity to form an adjacent structure for implementation. The conflict was not simply a failure of the ability of both parties to collaborate, but a realization that structurally, both parties operated in significantly different ways, not just with different strategies, but with different KINDS of strategies, formed with different KINDS of reference points. The equation couldn’t be reduced. The framework of “adjacencies” ultimately facilitated a variety of outcomes within the WBR umbrella, including A System of Public Placing, a public art engagement emerging from Union Office’s work with West Bottoms Reborn. Public Placing became not only a discrete response to the West Bottoms, but also one of a number of responses to the WBR process of addressing public space. Along with the work of other WBR

43 Process & Approach


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James Woodfill is a 1980 graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute and has lived and worked in Kansas City since. His studio, UNION OFFICE, serves as a collaborative platform for experiments in public engagement. It is located in the West Bottoms area of Kansas City, MO. As an interdisciplinary artist, Woodfill’s work is focused on direct experience through the composition of objects, occurrences and site. His installations bridge the fields of sculpture, painting and public art, and his work in the public realm has extended into education and curatorial projects, writings and numerous urban planning projects and studies. Woodfill’s gallery installations have been widely recognized, including reviews in Art In America, Art Papers, The New Art Examiner, Hyperallergic, Art Slant and Sculpture Magazine. His public work has received numerous awards from the American Institute of Architects, and it has been included twice in the Americans for the Arts/Public Art Network annual “Year in Review.” His work has also been recognized by I.D. Magazine and by Art in America in their “Public Art in Review.” Woodfill holds the position of Professor in the Painting Department of the Kansas City Art Institute. Images as follows: p.35, note card results from WBR core design team value study development, summer, 2017; p.37, WBR core team meeting at KCDC, image courtesy Mike Sinclair; p.41, WBR core team meeting showing left, Annie Woodfill, Union Office associate, center, Miranda Clark, WBR embedded artist, and right, KSU/KCDC student, image courtesy Mike Sinclair; p.44 Impulse/studio responses to team value study develFinding Agency: James Woodfill and Union Office 44


Image by Mike Sinclair


Community Engagement 46


P1.5 47 Process & Approach


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Community Engagement


Introduction

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Community engagement was a critical part of the project as it centered on an understanding that the consideration of the public realm needed to be inherently connected with the inhabitants and users. It provided a connection to the design and served as an instrument to build the dialogue and enhance the culture of thinking about, and understanding of, the possibilities within the public realm. Given the specificity of the project as well as the locations and context that was needed to be comprehended, the design team, including the artists, needed to investigate multiple ways of conducting public engagement and expanding its outreach. Each team member engaged with the community in a variety of ways that were relevant to their practice and design, to cast the widest net possible. Through a collaborative process involving artists, community residents, and city policy-makers, the project facilitated a variety of public engagement strategies to reach a diverse constituency of voices and opinions that would ensure the viability of public space design. Generally, community engagement was constituted in four unique aspects, which are articulated as follows: 1. Series of public meetings and design charrettes which have created opportunity for stakeholders, client input, and integration into design process and outcome 2. Creation of the speaker and lecture series strategically targeting project related issues aimed at elevating the dialogue on cultural and social questions that inform public space and public realm. 3. Outreach was further expanded through social media and creation of the interactive project website with real time project progress presentations, creating of platforms for public input and dialogue, and the promotion of the public outreach activities and their outcomes. 4. Artists organized and led thematic walking tours aimed at addressing specific social, cultural, historic, and perceptual aspects of the urban environment subject to project consideration. All public engagement was based on the introduced concepts of placekeeping and the six core values which were instrumental in setting up and investigating any outreach dialogue. Through continuous public engagement in the project, the community was able to inform aspects of the designs which relied heavily on the cultural identity of the West Bottoms.

49 Process & Approach


PROJECT CORE TEAM

PUBLIC MEETINGS

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

LECTURE SERIES

ARTISTS P1.5

KCDC URBAN DESIGN STUDIO

DIGITAL PLATFORMS

WALKING TOURS

MODES OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Collaboration and community engagement diagram Community Engagement 50


Public Meetings and Design Charrettes Through the utilization of public meetings and charrettes, a collective will was condensed from the community’s input and became the foundation through which the entirety of the project was based. The main objectives of these meetings were to update the public on the progress of the project, as well as to collect their feedback on the process of site selection and the selected site’s potential for further design exploration feasibility.

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Commencing the Fall 2017 semester with the first public meeting, the intent was to distill three sites for further exploration from the previously established five public space sites in the West Bottoms (namely, I-670, Hickory Lot, Central Avenue Viaduct, Liberty Courtyard and 12th Street Alley). In this process, each site was tested against the six values proposed by the Core Team to form a framework for analysis; the analytical findings for each site were presented in the public meeting. Public input provided another layer to each site that was further analyzed and tested against the values to explore future possibilities and their overall connectivity as a system of public spaces in the West Bottoms. This process resulted in selection of 12th Street Alley, Liberty Courtyard and Central Avenue Viaduct as the three sites for further exploration. Successive public meetings included presentations of the analytical findings for the three selected sites, which were translated into a conceptual framework to further explore programmatic possibilities for each. Design inputs received on the presented design process and outcomes to the public during these charrettes were analyzed through a mapping system. This mapping process helped to categorize public feedback into critical design informing categories. Then, the feedback with similar inputs were interconnected to help form a meta-operative framework of public input in response to the design. This framework helped the core team to analyze and clarify design intentions and approaches throughout the process, enabling the accomodation of the commnity’s collective will into the design of public spaces in the West Bottoms.

51 Process & Approach


Space

Ecology

Hydrology

Add other layer of system into section.

Cover the alley vertically with plants.

Living wall for water management.

Look at the alley as a gallery.

Living wall for water management.

Empty lot for water management.

Op367 Poplar trees provide O2.

Plants for water management.

Plants for water management.

Fiber optic water tube.

More space for greenery.

Retain and use water.

Parallax of the space.

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Research on living wall. Green roof.

Light

Activities

Capturing light.

Leisure time.

Studying light for Spring and Fall.

Materiality Pave the alley to move water.

Provide seating in areas that frame views.

Pave the alley to increase walkability.

The alley can’t survive without businesses.

Pave the alley to prevent vandalism.

Mapping of public feedback for 12th Street Alley

Community Engagement 52


P1.5 53 Process & Approach


Speaker and Lecture Series A speaker and lecture series was created to provide a connection to the design as well as build the dialogue, and enhance the culture of thinking about, and understanding of, the possibilities within the public realm. The series of four public speaker engagements entitled Honoring History + Place was developed to attract cross-sector practitioners in arts, community, economic development, and policymakers in a collective conversation about the value of arts in creative placekeeping.

- In the fall of 2017 (in collaboration with West Bottoms Reborn) PLUG Projects commissioned internationally recognized artist Julie Schenkelberg to create a work that responded to the West Bottom’s rich history. Schenkelberg built a site-specific installation which was part of an exhibition at PLUG Projects. The exhibition, entitled Collective: Julie Schenkelberg, opened on September 15, 2017. Schenkelberg invited the public to collect materials from the region as a representation and indicator of site. On Sept 14, 2017, Schenkelberg gave a public lecture as part of Honoring History + Place about her artistic process and the importance of found materials. - On February 2, 2018, Kansas City Art Institute Professor and Artist, Karen McCoy, and City of Oakland Cultural Affairs Manager and creative placemaking thouvvght leader, Roberto Bedoya, delivered the third speaker event as part of the public engagement series entitled Poetic, Political, and Public Will in Creative Placemaking to discuss how imagination and policy influence each other. - On May 1, 2018, a panel discussion entitled Problems with Placemaking was held and facilitated by City of Kansas City, MO Office of Culture and Creative Services Director, Megan Crigger. The discussion engaged West Bottoms Reborn design team artists Jim Woodfill, Carmen Moreno, and Miranda Clark in reflections and insight into their experience as artists integrated into the urban design process. The discussion was designed to introduce the benefits and outcomes of inclusion of artists in urban planning and architecture practice as well as discuss the challenges of cross-sector collaboration. It served less as a critique or analysis of the practice of placemaking but rather about the role and expectations of artist participation in the practice of creative placemaking.

Community Engagement 54

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- On May 11, 2017, Michael Rohd, co-leader and founding artist of the Center for Performance and Civic Practice, led a robust discussion entitled Artists, Change, and Civic Imagination, which helped to provide language around the practice of artist-led efforts in process and system changes. Rohd met with the design team on four different occasions to support the team in the process of giving artist agency in the urban design and architectural processes. Opening remarks on the history and industry of the West Bottoms were provided by Crosby Kemper, Executive Director of the Kansas City Public Library.


Digital Platforms

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One of the pillars of effective community engagement for the West Bottoms Reborn was its diversified digital platform. Beyond informing the public about the project and upcoming events, the project’s digital community engagement platforms also sought to provide a way for the public to give their feedback and input on the project without attending meetings in-person. A website was created for the project, which featured information about the project (including information about the project team, objectives, and intended outcomes), events, and project feedback devises. Public meetings were advertised via social media, email campaigns, as well as in-person through fliers which were distributed by businesses and organizations in the West Bottoms. The project team also utilized digital site selection surveys to solicit feedback and input to construct a more diverse ideology. An Instagram hashtag was utilized as a means of conversing with the community and sharing stories and experiences of the West Bottoms through imagery.

Walking Tours A series of walking tours and presentations, curated and developed by design team artist Carmen Moreno, was conceived as a means to artistically drive community engagement and programming throughout the West Bottoms Reborn Project. The tours were designed as an art-based process of spatial investigation that engaged community and place by guiding the public through exercises which provided insight into history, place, and transformation. The walking tours acted as a type of “field work� that interrupted the groove of office life to engage in a visceral process of design investigations. The premise of this social investigation was to create a dialogue with community members through the exchange of information and stories on specific topics related to the West Bottoms.

55 Process & Approach


Conclusion

Community Engagement 56

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Community engagement through public meetings, guest lectures, online resources, and artist-led interactive experiences provided a comprehensive platform for design exploration and programmatic possibilities of the public space sites that were ultimately chosen by the project core team for an in-depth investigation. However, the public engagement process is an imperfect tool because there is always the question of being as inclusive and comprehensive as possible. Working with the artists we were able to find new ways of engagement that are not common among architectural practice and come as close as possible to an integrated engagement process. The artists provided critique on the traditional structure and challenged the design studio to consider new characteristics of site when determining values of public space. Throughout the project, artists shared new and fresh ways of seeing and valuing the condition of place – ones that consider history, sensory input and physical experience. Each artist brought a new way of seeing and experiencing into the process of designing for the public realm through their works of art: Jim’s Woodfill’s System of Public Placing, Miranda Clark’s Limit, Carmen Moreno’s curated series of walking tours and final performance, Waters Coming. Preliminary research shows that there is very little precedent in aligning artists practice into the urban planning and design process. In some ways, this project was breaking new ground, which pushed new boundaries, required creative thinking and required navigation of hurdles that came from assumptions of the other’s practice or language barriers. Osgood conducted a comprehensive interview process of West Bottoms Reborn participants as a means of developing a closer understanding of how the relationships are evolving for the artists, both inside and outside of the studio with the community, and how the artist perspective is formally and informally impacting the design process. Community involvement provided feedback to establish a precise understanding of the West Bottoms and how impactful history is to future developments in the area. Through the continuous public engagement in the project, the community was able to elaborate on the cultural identity of the West Bottoms. Through the project, the community and the West Bottoms Reborn team established a deeper understanding of public space (specifically public space in the West Bottoms) and celebrate the West Bottoms together. Community engagement was a way for the community to be part of the site selection process and finally the selection of the sites to further explore in the design development phase. The community was involved from the creation of the framework to the specific design explorations conducted and the design concepts for each specific site.


1. 12th Street Alley 57-110

2. Liberty Courtyard 111-162

3. Limit 163-204

4. Central Avenue Viaduct 205-254

5. A System of Public Placing 253-280

6. Rebirth 281-320

Part Two

57 Placekeeping Investigations


12th Street Alley 58


P2.1 59 Placekeeping Investigations


P2.1

12th Street Alley


A System of Public Spaces

Connection Typologies

These twelve sites are best not viewed as individual entities but rather as parts of a larger network of public spaces that compliment each other and work together to improve the public realm. When they are understood related spaces, the public experience becomes enriched: As a part of the framework of analysis investigating possibilities within theasthree chosen one space can provide experiences and amenities that another does sites of 12th Street Alley, Liberty Courtyard and Central Avenue Viaduct, 12th Street Alnot. Alley

ley’s site marks the eastern end of the established system of public spaces. Alleys and ALLEYS MISSING TEETH Missing Teeth as Spatial Typologies and Hidden as an Accessibility Typology defines LINEAR SPACES DEFINED FLANKING The twelves sites have been categorized based onBY their location: EMPTY PARCELS WITHIN AN OTHERWISE STRUCTURES FULL BLOCK this site’s spatial construct. The site’s verticality coupled with itsContextual, narrow width Hidden, contrast and Destination. These Connection Typologies acknowledge that a set of public spaces will not relate to each other its spatial quality from the other two sites. The site represents an extreme of interstitial, or to the existing conditions of the West Bottoms in the same way, service space that embodies unparalleled density. meaning that design interventions must be deeply conscious of their outer context.

DESTINATION ALLEYS

LINEAR SPACES DEFINED BY FLANKING STRUCTURES

HIDDEN MISSING TEETH

EMPTY PARCELS WITHIN AN OTHERWISE FULL BLOCK

COURTYARDS

SPACES DEFINED BY A PERIMETER OF STRUCTURES

Missing Teeth CONTEXTUAL UNDER OVERPASSES

SPACES DEFINED BY ELEVATED TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE

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Hidden Destination Sites are spaces that one would most likely intentionally travel to, because .49 MI unlike Contextual and Hidden Sites, they do not have many {1050 STEPS} nearby uses. One would not COURTYARDS be likely to stumble upon a Destination without OF SPACES DEFINEDsite BY A PERIMETER waynding or some adventure. STRUCTURES Connections to Destination Sites are usually made via the trails system, where automobiles cannot travel. Destination public spaces must more carefully consider how its users will travel to and from the site.

Hidden Sites are similar to Contextual sites in that they tend to occur as the interstitial spaces between existing buildings; however Hidden Sites are more difficult to nd. UNDERsites OVERPASSES These may have a few restricted access points or may SPACES DEFINED BY ELEVATED ISLANDS be located offINFRASTRUCTURE of the beaten TRANSPORTATION path. A Hidden public .35POINT MI space SPACES WITH ONE ACCESS can be more intimate and {762 STEPS} secretive, however to be wellused it may require waynding and safety improvements.

Contextual Sites are those that have a well-dened context and many neighbors that inuence and are inuenced by this space. Contextual Sites tend to occur in the Historic Core district, due to its relatively tight urban fabric. OPEN AREAS Many Contextual Sites are the interstitial spaces between SPACES FORMED WITH MORE THAN existing buildings or other ONE ACCESS POINT infrastructure. A public space of this typology must carefully consider all of its context.

Chapter 3: Site Selection ISLANDS

SPACES WITH ONE ACCESS POINT

OPEN AREAS

SPACES FORMED WITH MORE THAN ONE ACCESS POINT

91


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12th Street Alley 62


P2.1 63 Placekeeping Investigations


Site and Project Introduction

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The site of 12th Street Alley is a confining space defined by its narrow width, and yet it is vertically liberating. This condition continues throughout the entire length of the alley with varying degrees of expansion and contraction. It is perhaps the most enclosed alley in the West Bottoms, both vertically in its height and horizontally in its width. Due to the lack of adequate grading, the watershed volume empties directly into the alley through the disconnected downspouts of the adjacent buildings. The water infiltrates the ground and finds its way into the basements making them unusable. Therefore, in order to render functionality to the alley as a public space, water management is an imperative design necessity for the site. Identifying the need to manage and relocate storm water on the site, the design for 12th street alley explores how necessary utilitarian design of infrastructure can be translated as one that is poetic and becomes an experience accessible to the human scale. Infrastructure design for this site strives to embody the site’s spatial condition of compression and release to reinforce the inherent qualities of the place. This design strives to condense a new way of thinking to approach infrastructure, not merely as utilitarian, but as a design that can psychologically activate a public realm.


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Pragmatics Bordered by 11th Street, 12th Street, Santa Fe and Mulberry Street to the North, South, East and West, respectively, the sliver site of 12th Street Alley is enclosed by the highest vertical brick facades of the adjacent buildings. Despite being in the densest and most active location, the site’s presence remains obscure. Public right of way for the site stretches to a length of 394ft East to West, while only breathing a width of 10ft North to South. However, its enclosing brick houses bustle with a plethora of different activities. Motorcyclists and those looking for refreshments can be found at Blip Coffee Roasters and antiquers can find treasures every weekend at Ugly Glass & Co., Goldie & Myrtle’s, or The Painted Sofa. Seasonally, the brave can trudge through the haunted houses: Macabre Cinema House, The Edge of Hell, or the Chambers if Edgar Allen Poe.

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FT.FT 1010

384 FT 384 FT.

Public Right of way for 12th Street Alley 12th Street Alley 66


Viewshed P2.1

Hydrology

67 Placekeeping Investigations

Vegetation


Existing Spatial Experience

Spatial Planes 12th Street Alley 68

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Confined between narrow width and vertical release, the spatial condition of the alleyway can be experienced as a series of spatial expansions and contractions through the space. Narrow width defining the alley boasts excellent framed views that marks its East and West ends. The vertically framed views make the site a magnet for professional photographers, while gravitating and pausing people as they chance upon this site. The slenderness and height of the alley creates an enticing contrast of daylight within the space, adding vibrancy and contrast to the existing hydrology and ecology. Vegetation growth takes foundation on the site’s horizontal, as well as vertical planes. The understanding of the alley’s spatial quality forms a map of autonomous elements, or multiple interstices existing simultaneously within the space, making independence between systems an essential characteristic of the site that demands to be manifested within. Therefore, as the volume of the alley compresses and releases the program is obliged to be molded by this rhythmic quality, as the space’s progressive linear nature has a natural cadence of compression and release that is both comforting and ominous. Understanding of the alley as an interstitial space with autonomous elements that mold the whole, a series of section studies of the site were conducted. The section study further accrued an understanding of how the existing autonomous elements add vibrancy and contrast throughout the linear stretch of the alley. Breaking the site into four volumes, a series of progressive section studies were conducted for each. These studies helped to map how each section sequentially expanded and compressed. The studies emphasized that the spatial experience controlled the volume of the site. The study helped to illuminate all aspects of the space where design ideas should be investigated. Therefore, these sections provided a platform to study existing elements of the site through the process of overlaying them over these sections.


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Spatial Sections 12th Street Alley 70

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Spatial Volumes


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Daylight Study The site’s narrow width and vertical release makes daylight a precious element within the space. The alley’s orientation, along with its missing building to the North creates a unique contrast of lighting animating the space. In addendum, angles of sunlight pouring through the gaps of fire escapes interplay with layers of materiality generating a rich depth to shadows. Analogous to the site’s spatial contrast and release, the entirety of the site remains relatively dark, the ambient light transforms the place as lightness and darkness reveals and hides the space. Therefore, an in-depth study of the space’s light and shadow condition was performed to analyze how it transformed the site during summer and winter solstice. The same study helped to conclude that natural light played a strong role in animating the space throughout the day and therefore should be left untouched.

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12th Street Alley 72


Viewshed

6 A.M.

P2.1 9 A.M.

12 P.M.

3 P.M.

6 P.M.

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Viewshed

6 A.M.

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9 A.M.

12 P.M.

3 P.M.

6 P.M.

Sun and Shadow Study 12th Street Alley 74


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Hydrology Despite prevalent impromptu activities on the site, 12th Street Alley cannot be termed as a functional space. Its dysfunctionality is due to the problem of water drainage on the site. Disconnected downspouts from adjacent buildings result in accumulation of a large volume of watershed on the site. Uneven ground accumulates puddles that linger for days. Standing water infiltrates through the adjacent building foundations, flooding their basements, rendering them unusable. Even though the puddles become problematic for ground circulation, their reflection frames the site vertically inspiring an additional sense of spatial expansion that emphasizes the verticality of the space beyond the ground’s threshold.

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Disconnected downspouts on the site 12th Street Alley 76


Surface Drains P2.1

VERTICAL-CISTERN

Linear Troughs

Vertical Cisterns 77 Placekeeping Investigations


Watershed Watershed on the site is a contribution from the vertical, as well as horizontal surface. Vertically, water run-off waltzes into the ground through the disconnected downspouts that add to the surface run-off on the site. On an average, the site’s water run-off account to a petrifying number of 980 cubic ft. with an average rainfall of 1.4 inches for 24 hours a day. The ground plane is highly influenced by the need to relocate the storm water. This calculation asserts the need for utilitarian design to manage water as a design imperative required to activate the site. However, to retain the site’s found qualities, the utilitarian design to manage water needs to be translated into the site’s poetics. Infrastructure design for the alleyway becomes imperative as it allows for opportunities for the site to become a working public space, by restoring functionality on the site. However, since the site is a magnet to users for its found qualities, it is crucial for the design to understand the site’s poetics in order to condense a design that is emblematic to the site. P2.1

6,414 sq.ft

3,680 sq.ft

3,680 sq.ft

4,119 sq.ft

5,503 sq.ft

980 cubic ft.

7,360sq.ft

Average Rainfall/ 24 Hour Storm

5,791sq.ft

14,135 sq.ft

8,683 sq.ft

Water shed volume on the site 12th Street Alley 78


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Model demonstrating design elements


Design Elements and Capacities While it becomes imperative to manage water on the site, an attempt to translate utilitarian design of infrastructure into the site’s poetics became important in order to retain the site’s inherent sense of place while rendering functionality as a public space. Therefore, water management design for the alleyway draws from the site’s found qualities. The design strives to retain the existing characteristics of the site, to retain sense of place by emphasizing on urban processes, without excluding spatial form, but constructing a dialectical understanding of how it relates to processes that flow through, manifest, and sustain within the site. Therefore, the design retains independence of infrastructure design through synergistic juxtaposition of its elements on the site.

The linear trough placed above the drain becomes the interface between the system’s horizontal and vertical elements. It holds and retains water, forming a reflective surface analogous to the reflection formed by the puddles on the ground. The linear trough, being elevated from the ground allows for ground circulation on the site, at the same time retaining and reinforcing reflective qualities of the puddles. It extends vertical framing of the site beyond the ground’s threshold. Disconnected downspouts from the adjacent buildings get redirected to the cisterns placed vertically against the facades of the buildings. The cisterns with curves surface blends its edges with the existing edges of the building that define the site. Therefore, while the design retains independence through materiality, it adds another layer of contrast on the site, becoming synergistically juxtaposed to the existing elements.

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Analogous to the autonomousity that exists within the site’s found qualities, independence of the design through synergistic juxtaposition commences with the assemblage of the utilitarian design elements. The proposed design strives to assert order by managing water on the site, as well as retaining independence by employing four distinct elements in the system. The elements on the horizontal plane, the linear drain, waltzes with the existing slope of the site. Analogous to the narrowness of the site is the drain’s width, which emphasizes the need to prolong the time it takes for the total volume of water to reach the drywells. The placement of linear trough and vertical cistern add other levels of prolonging the process, at the same time building on the experiential quality of the site.


6,41

4 FT 2

3,68

0 FT 2 3,68

0 FT 2 4,11

9 FT 2

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Cistern 102FT3 Drain & Dry Well 250 FT3+375

7,36

0 FT 2

Cistern 233FT3

5,79

1 FT 2 14,1 35 F

T2

Trough 51FT3 Cistern 233FT3

Cistern 233FT3 Trough 82FT3 Cistern 102FT3 Cistern 102FT3

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5,50 3 FT 2

Trough 20FT3

Cistern 102FT3

8,68

3 FT 2

Cistern 102FT3

Diagram demonstrating holding capacity of the elements designed to manage water on the 12th Street Alley site 12th Street Alley 82


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Design Plan

Surface Drain Sections

Surface Drain Elevation 12th Street Alley 84


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North Elevation

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North Elevation

North Elevation

Site Plan

86 Site Plan 12th Street Alley

South Elevation


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12th Street Alley 88


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Reference space frame

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Design response to spatial compression and release 12th Street Alley 90


Ground Design The horizontal surface design of the system consists of a precast concrete trench drain running throughout the linear length of the alleyway. The drain moves water out of the alleyway terminating and feeding into a drywall at the western and eastern ends of the site. Waterflow throughout the length if the drain is controlled by check dams placed at regular intervals throughout the drain. The check damns also help to prolong contact of running water with plants in the drain. The biological contact with the plants helps to filter contaminants prior to discharging the water into the water table. Unperceivable grade changes are an essential part of the design to allow for circulation, as well as to move surface run-off water into the drain using impermeable granite pavers. Being impermeable, the pavers also prevent water infiltration into the ground, preventing water damage to the foundations and basements of the adjacent buildings. P2.1

Paved surface

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Viewshed from metal grates


Granite Paver ”1-’0 ’0

Check Dam

Trench Drain Concrete Backer

Paver Concrete Layer Soil 2”

Paver Concrete Layer Soil

3”

3”

6”

Surface Drain Natural Rock Soil Metal L-Channel Trench Drain Flushed Backer Concrete Layer Pavers

5”

6” 4” 1’2” 10”

Impervious Surface

1’2” 1’6”

Switch Grass

Little Blue Stem

River Oats

Granite

Surface drain details 12th Street Alley 92

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Concrete Backer


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Renderings of the proposed design for 12th Street Alley 12th Street Alley 94


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FRAME OF REFLECTION IN STANDING WATER

FRAME OF REFLECTION IN STANDING WATER

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Trough Reflection Study To map optimal location for reflection on the trough, a reflection study was performed. The study documented reflections on a mirror placed at multiple locations at varying heights. Thereafter, the frame of reflections on the mirror documented in this study was closely analyzed to conclude positions for the trough that will have the strongest vertical framing on the site.

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12th Street Alley 96


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Trough Design Concept The trough was designed to garner dual functionality. While it remains an infrastructural element that holds and manages water on the site, the design strives to prevent from producing a passé element to function as merely utilitarian. The design does so by allowing the trough to become a reflective surface that frames the verticality of the site, thus extending the site’s spatial presence beyond the ground’s threshold, while during the event of rainfall, the trough becomes a seamless volume of water. Therefore, the Reflective surface trough, while holding and prolonging the time it takes for water to move into the drain, its design translates the utilitarian act of water retention into an experience, a phenomenon that psychologically activates the site.

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Reflective surface Volume of water

WEST TITLE 12THBOTTOMS STREET ALLEY

Element

Volume of water

Trough Trough

Volume of water

Reflective surface 12th Street Alley 98

Element


Trough Design Detail

LINEAR TROUGH

The trough was designed as a singular element within the designed system of water management on the site. The trough was detailed to enforce the idea of a unified system of elements. The trough sits on the ledge of the drain to create a sense of the trough rising from within the drain itself. The legs are designed in a manner to allow vertical adjustment, allowing for the trough to accommodate elevation changes in the alley. The trough is designed to be built in three feet sections to allow for ease of assembly, bringing down the production cost of the elements themselves. The profile of the trough was in a way to eliminate the edge and allow for a seamless transition for the water to flow over the sides to the drain. The lip of the trough is designed at an angle to allow the water to rest on the very edge and create a mirror effect which makes the trough itself disappear and only appear as a reflective plane within the space. The ultimate purpose of prototyping the 9 ft section of the trough was to demonstrate functionality as well as fabrication and cost feasibility.

FAB

LINEAR TROUGH

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Downspout bracing

CO

RO

Trough Structural Bracing

Cistern Structural Bracing

2’ W

2’6 W

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Trough P2.1

2 x 1-1/2x 1/8 Steel Angle

1/8� Wire Rope

Grout Bed

Wedge Anchor Bolt

Pre-Cast Concrete Drain

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LINEAR- TROUGH DETAIL LINEAR- TROUGH DETAIL

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Basin Welding Detail

Frame exploded axon 12th Street Alley 102


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Cistern Design Detail

The Cisterns main chamber is designed to be filled up to a capacity of 80% before allowing any water to leave the cistern. Once the cistern is filled to 80% capacity an overflow pipe takes the water and redirects it into the trough elements. So as not to allow freezing during the colder months there is a drip valve at the bottom of the cistern that allows water to slowly be removed from the system into a bed of gravel that leads to the drain. During times of lower amounts of rainfall there is a wheel on the exterior that can be rotated to move water into the troughs. The wheel on the exterior connects to a reciprocating piston pump on the interior which mimics the experience that occurs during larger amounts of rain. The ability for user interaction with the system creates a unique personal experience with the system of water management and becomes a teaching point for users to understand the possible beauty that can occur through the use of design elements as a utilitarian water management system.

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The cisterns are the first design elements in the water management system that slow down the process of rain water collecting in the drywells at the ends of the alley. The cisterns gather water from the once disconnected downspouts of the surrounding buildings to make sure that the water flows directly into the system itself. Before entering the main chamber of the cistern, the water goes through a “first flush diverter” which collects the initial water running from the roofs containing a large of number of contaminants. The first flush diverter takes the contaminated water and dissipates it slowly into a bed of gravel which then leads the filtered water directly into the drain. Once the first flush diverter fills up it closes and allows the water runoff to empty directly into the main chamber of the cisterns.

Air Break Chamber

First Flush Diverter

2’6” Piston Wheel

First Flush Chamber

Cistern Stand

First Flush Drain 12th Street Alley 104


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FREQUENCY DIAGRAM

System of Urban Furniture The idea of having a system of urban furniture in the West Bottoms was part of the preliminary conversations since the beginning of the project. The intention of having a system of urban furniture allows the furniture elements to function not only on the specific sites but throughout the West Bottoms. The furniture functions within the alley as a movable framing device that can be used as space defining elements throughout the alley. The furniture layouts within the alley has been utilized to frame specific views of vertical elements that exemplify the spatial quality. HISTORICAL ELEMENT AND FRAMING POINT

STOP AND GO DIAGRAM P2.1

IMPORTANT MOMENT

Activity intensity graph

CIRCULATION

Activity Mapping

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NITURE 1’-6”

” ’-2

1

3”

0’-

0” 3”

0’-

8”

1’-

4’-

1’-6”

0”

1’-6”

-3”

0’

3”

0’-

2”

1’-

8”

1’-

0’-

6” 0’-

6”

0’-

6” 0’-

6”

0’-

11”

0’-

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6” 0’-

6”

0’-

6”

0’-

11”

1”

1”

6”

0’-

1’-6”

8”

1’-

1’-6”

0’- Mortise and Tenon Joint 11” 0’1”

Mortise and Tenon Joint

0’-

8”

1’-

0’-

0’-

11”

1’-6”

8”

1’-

0’-

1” Tenon Joint Mortise and

Cut Out Handles

Aluminium T Channel

Cut Out Handles Aluminium T Channel

Mortise and Tenon Joint

t Out Handles Adjustable Glides 107 Placekeeping Investigations

Mortise and Tenon Joint Aluminium T Channel

Urban Furniture planes

Urban Furniture assembly


Urban Furniture Assembly A crucial design intention for the furniture was the ability for it to be easily assembled as well as inexpensively constructed. The use of a concrete form work plywood that has a phenolic film on the exterior allowed minimal sealing to be done for the furniture to be utilized for exterior purposes. The furniture was completely constructed with a CNC machine and each piece connects to the other through interlocking joints which allow ease of assembly as well provide strength in construction. The system of furniture was designed with the intention of being able to be moved with ease and as such it was a necessity for it to be adaptable to different situations. Each piece of furniture can behave either as a bench or as a bar height table depending on the preference of the user. The furniture also can act as a singular unit or behave as paired unit with multiple sets of configurations.

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Image Caption/ Description 12th Street Alley 108


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Conclusion

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The infrastructure needs for water management in 12th street alley interplayed with the concept of “Creative Peacekeeping” providing the foundation to explore technical aspects of water management as a design tool that has dual functionality: solves required infrastructural problem and building on the site’s found qualities it reinforces and amplifies the sense of place. The design intent to translate utility into poetics reinforces the need to maintain the found spontaneity and loose connection between the elements on the site. Infrastructure design to make the alleyway a working public space also reinforces the understanding of the nature of the West Bottoms where man and machine exist simultaneously. Therefore, water management design for 12th street alleyway provides an infrastructural solution to the site through the ordering of its elements and builds its elements on the found experiential quality of the site.

12th Street Alley 110