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ACTIVATE

re

by

A Terminal Project Presented to the Faculty of The College of Architecture at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree Master of Architecture Major: Architecture Under the Supervision of Lindsey Ellsworth-Bahe Lincoln, Nebraska May, 2011

[ 1 ] 03

Kelly Hiskey


ACTIVATE

re

[Question]

How can communities be incorporated onto the site of a closed military base?

[Signifcance]

The Government owns billions of square feet of unused property across the United States. In fact, the United States Government owns over 50% of the land in the Western half of the country.1 Military facilities occupy the largest area of federal land, aside form parks and forests.2 Many of these military sites are being left to their own demise. In fact, 27% of the nation’s military installations have been closed by the Department of Defense, via the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) initiative, leaving millions of square feet of land and structures to crumble.3 Vacant property, while unoccupied, is still owned by some entity. When the federal government leaves a piece of property vacant, taxpayers continue to pay for its existence. Military facilities consume the largest costs and area of federal land, and are closing at an exponential rate. The closure of military bases can cause a shift in the population and the economy of an area. If a base is left to its own demise it will remain an unnecessary burden on the community. If there is a void in the economy surrounding a military base it can become impossible for the community to develop the site.

[Goals]

Conceptually, designers need to understand the relationship between the closure of military bases and the regional economy so that their designs will reACTIVATE the surrounding community, rather than create a financial hardship. It is the goal of this thesis to show that through a thorough understanding and appropriate selection of program, communities can continue to experience economic growth even after a base has shut down.

[Design]

I chose former Marine Corps Air Station Tustin, located in Tustin, California [40 miles south of Los Angeles] as the canvas for my exploration. Situated on a 1,000 acre site are two massive blimp hangars, each one has a 300,000 square foot base and 17-storey height. I chose this site for its prominent void [physical, economic, and social] within a highly developed and growing community. It is not the intent of this project to produce a zoning plan for this site, but rather, provide a physical connection onto and through the site.


page chapter topic

why [ 1 ] 009 research [ 2 ] 015 analysis [ 3 ] 027 process [ 4 ] 079 phase 01

081

phase 02

089

phase 03

093

[ 1 ] 07

design [ 5 ] 099 further investigation [ 6 ] 127 bibliography [ 7 ] 133


[ 1 ] 09

why [ 1 ] 009


percentage of federally owned property source: General Services Administration

air force area of military land source: GSA

army navy

y m

interior tennessee valley authority

t

a

r

corps of engineers

i

l

i

cost of federal land source: GSA

location of military bases source: department of defense


This project developed from a broad interest in the potential embedded within unused government property. I wanted to explore a sector of government property which was costing us, taxpayers, the largest amount of money. After filtering through various news articles, books, journals, etc. my focus began to narrow. It quickly became apparent that Military land was not only costing the most, it was also taking up some of the largest areas of land. [top] Over the United

75% of the states in the Western half of States is owned by the federal government.

[ 1 ] 011

[bottom] Military land costs the government the most to maintain, and of that military land, the Air Force, Army, and Navy occupy the largest areas.


1988

1991


1995

2005

percentage of military base closures

source: department of defense_BRAC

[ 1 ] 013

1993


[ 1 ] 015

research [ 2 ] 015


My initial readings focused on “the problem�, being why military land becomes unused. Three points: politics, economics, and distinctions, began to emerge from my research. Furthermore, it was the way in which these ideas began to weave together in my mind that sparked my need to make a relationship between these void spaces and the communities that surround, but never experience, them. I found that military base closures are deeply emerged in political and economic debates. Military bases, no matter to what degree they are used, provide federal funding to the communities in which they are located. This funding often goes to the support and development of infrastructure, education, etc. Therefore, communities tend to hold on tightly to the bases within their jurisdiction. Military bases provide communities with more than just federal funding, they also bring people and jobs to the area. Once a base is closed and those jobs are cut, a certain portion of the community is displaced, and that sum of money is no longer going into that particular community. Again, communities fear the potential economic hardship that military base closure may cause, so they keep a tight grasp on their base.

[ 2 ] 017

Distinction refers to the physical and symbolic boundary between military and civilian life surrounding military bases. Physically, military bases can only be accessed by military personnel; and once on base, every aspect of one’s daily life is carried out within the gated property. This boundary goes beyond the chain link fence. In general, military personnel hold themselves to a different moral level. They are trained to conduct themselves with a high degree of integrity, often times thought to be a higher level than civilians. It is these distinctions that reduce the degree to which military and civilian life are able to weave within a community.


[ 2 ] 019


“The

problem

c l a s h n at i o n a l and local


lies

in

the

between interest interest.�

[ 2 ] 021

politics

- David Sorenson [shutting down the cold war; the politics of military base closure]


“Bases become more facilities for military

generated dollars in s p e n d i n g t he c o m m u nities.�


millions of jobs and money f or - David Sorenson [shutting down the cold war; the politics of military base closure]

[ 2 ] 023

supporting They

economics

than just missions.


“military

tradition

the military specialized the military


what does is so that only can do it.� - David Sorenson [shutting down the cold war; the politics of military base closure]

[ 2 ] 025

that

distinctions

holds


[ 1 ] 027

analysis [ 3 ] 027


After reading various books and articles about the politics, economics, and distinctions related to military bases and their closure, it became important for me to address the affects of these issues on the surrounding communities. In order to address the concerns of communities related to military base closure, I set up a series of points that one [designers] should analyze when approaching base reuse. The four points I set up for analysis include: site, people, context, and economics. It is essential that an in-depth understanding of these points is established at the onset of a project such as this.


[ 3 ] 029

s i t e p e o p l e c o n t e x t economics


s i t e

[ 3 ] 031

p e o p l e c o n t e x t economics


orange

santa ana

costa mesa

north tustin

unincorporated area

tustin

irvine

[ 3 ] 033

newport beach


[ 3 ] 035


world war I

spanish-american war

civil war

mexican war


[ 3 ] 037

war on terror

gulf war

vietnam war

korean war

world war II


[ 3 ] 039

I made a trip to Tustin, California during the Fall [2010] semester. It was instantly apparent that the former Marine Corps Air Station Tustin was an icon within the community. No matter where I was in the city, I could see at least a portion of one of the massive blimp hangars. While I always had a visual connection to the base, the site was clearly a void within the community. Major roads, fences, a ditch, and several “no trespassing� signs made it clear that civilian access was not allowed.


s

i

t

e

people

[ 3 ] 041

c o n t e x t economics


25-34

25-34

45-54

45-54

owner occupied owner occupied

renter occupied renter occupied

35-44 35-44

age

age

housing

white

white

asian

asian

hispanic

education educa

housing

hispanic 300,000 -300,000 499,999- 499,999

500,000 500,000 - 999,999 - 999,999 1,000,000 +1,000,000 +

race

race value of ownervalue of owneroccupied housing occupied housing

job industry job ind

englishenglish spanish

spanish

asian + pacific asian islander + pacific islander languages languages

less than less 20% than 20% 20 - 24.9%

20 - 24.9%

more than more 35% than 35%

language spoken language at spoken at home home

born in born in california california born in other born state in other state

foreign born foreign born

place of birth place of birth

percentage percentage of house- of household income hold [ownerincome [owneroccupied] occupied]

income

inco

less than 20% less than 20%

20 - 24.9%20 - 24.9%

more than more 35% than 35%

percentage percentage of house- of household income hold renterincome renteroccupied] occupied]

poverty level poverty


ccupied

high school graduate

some college, no degree

cupied

bachelor’s degree

education

the people of tustin... trade

499,999

professional + buisness services

0 - 999,999

manufacturing leisure + hospitality government

are between the ages of

18

44

and

are ethnically, racially, and linguistically

diverse own their own home [35% of their income goes to mortgage payment]

job industry

20% 35,000 - 49,999

an 35%

50,000 - 74,999 75,000 - 99,999

100,000-149,999

well educated in technology

are

make

between

$999,999

with an interest

$500,000

and

yearly

income percentage of families living in poverty

cars/transportation

are

an

essential part of their daily lives

%

%

an 35%

[ 3 ] 043

poverty level


[ 3 ] 045

The second thing I noticed about the city of Tustin is the community is highly dependent on personal transportation [cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, etc]. Even some of the seemingly minor streets were at least five lanes wide. The speed limit on nearly every street was at least 45mph. Furthermore, the community seems to not only be dependent on cars, but they seem to have a passion/interest in cars. The city has a large automobile retail district, a car museum, and an abundance of vehicle repair and customization shops.


automobiles


[ 3 ] 047


s i t e p e o p l e

context

[ 3 ] 049

economics


green space / open space private

public

nta Ana

local bus los angeles bus metrolink [train]

d ow n

commercial + residential

e

public transportation

wn irvin to

n tust ow

in

downt

downtown

Sa

[ 3 ] 051

major roadway connections


01

06

11

02

07

12

03

08

13

04

09

14

01 02 05 04

03 07

10 09 08 06 11

15

12

13 14

05

10

15

01

06

11

02

07

12

03

08

13

04

09

14

adaptation potential criteria: historical significance structural integrity architectural merit 00 criteria 01 criteria

[ 3 ] 053

02 criteria 03 criteria 05

10

15


120’

1000’

37’

It was difficult for me to grasp the scale of these structures until I was there, standing next to a 17-storey blimp hangar. Each of the hangars is apporximately three football fields long, and one football field wide. The ground floor has an area of approximately 300,000 square feet. What’s even more spectacular is the fact that the trusses are wood [Oregon Douglas Fir]. These are two of the largest wooden structures, and two of the largest unobstructed spaces in the World. Being able to go inside one of the hangars was a breathtaking experience. They are absolutely amazing structures. Materials:

2,719,000 board feet of lumber 79 tons of bolts and washers 30 tons of ring connectors 33 tons of structural steel [traditional

160’

1,600

poured concrete piles [65-feet deep] 20’

235’

[ 3 ] 055

construction would have used 4,000 tons]


s i t e p e o p l e c o n t e x t

[ 3 ] 057

economics


natural resources, construction and utilities

manufacturing

trade

transportation and warehousing software publishers information

financial activities

scientific research and development computer systems design

professional and business services management, scientific and technical consulting education, health and social services social assistance leisure and hospitatlity

government and advovacy

-50%

-25%

0%

25%

50%

75%

100%

united states projected job growth [ 2010-2018 ]


natural resources, construction and utilities

manufacturing

trade

transportation and warehousing

information

financial activities

professional and business services

education, health and social services

leisure and hospitatlity

government and advovacy

-25%

0%

25%

50%

75%

100%

orange county job growth [ 1990-2010 ]

[ 3 ] 059

-50%


natural resources, construction and utilities

manufacturing auto dealers + grocery stores + wholesale trade + retail trade

trade

transportation and warehousing

information securities, commodoties, and other investments financial activities scientific research and development + computer systems design + management, scientific and technical consulting professional and business services

education, health and social services health care + educational services + social assistance

leisure and hospitatlity

government and advovacy

-50%

-25%

0%

25%

50%

retail trade wholesale trade auto dealers grocery stores

75%

100%


auto

trade

retail wholesale

[ 3 ] 061

grocery


natural resources, construction and utilities

manufacturing auto dealers + grocery stores + wholesale trade + retail trade

trade

transportation and warehousing

information securities, commodoties, and other investments financial activities scientific research and development + computer systems design + management, scientific and technical consulting professional and business services

education, health and social services health care + educational services + social assistance

leisure and hospitatlity

government and advovacy

-50%

-25%

0%

25%

50%

health care educational services social services

75%

100%


[ 3 ] 063

health care


elementary middle

education

high population


[ 3 ] 065

social services


natural resources, construction and utilities

manufacturing auto dealers + grocery stores + wholesale trade + retail trade

trade

transportation and warehousing

information securities, commodoties, and other investments financial activities scientific research and development + computer systems design + management, scientific and technical consulting professional and business services

education, health and social services health care + educational services + social assistance

leisure and hospitatlity

government and advovacy

-50%

-25%

0%

25%

50%

securities, commodoties, and other inveestments insurance banking

75%

100%


banking investments

[ 3 ] 067

financial services

insurance


natural resources, construction and utilities

manufacturing auto dealers + grocery stores + wholesale trade + retail trade

trade

transportation and warehousing

information securities, commodoties, and other investments financial activities scientific research and development + computer systems design + management, scientific and technical consulting professional and business services

education, health and social services health care + educational services + social assistance

leisure and hospitatlity

government and advovacy

-50%

-25%

0%

25%

scientific research and development computer systems design management, scientific and technical consulting

50%

75%

100%


[ 3 ] 069

p r o f e s+s i o n a l business services


laser/electo-optics lab rapid prototyping wi-fi cafe

administration

[ 3 ] 070

classrooms


[ 3 ] 071

Discussions with community members, the Better Business Bureau, and the Mayor while on my site visit revealed that a large portion of the population in the city has an interest in the development of technology. In fact, a technology school, Advanced Technology and Education Park, established itself along the perimeter of former Marine Corps Air Station Tustin just three years ago. In that time, the school’s enrollment has more than tripled in size. Based on these observations, an expansion of the school could be a successful program for a portion of the former base.


After reading various books and articles about the politics, economics, and distinctions related to military bases and their closure, it became important for me to address the affects of these issues on the surrounding communities. In order to address the concerns of communities related to military base closure, I set up a series of points that one [designers] should analyze when approaching base reuse. The four points I set up for analysis include: site, people, context, and economics. It is essential that an in-depth understanding of these points is established at the onset of a project such as this. These four points formulated my program.


s i t e p e o p l e c o n t e x t economics [ 3 ] 073

program


[ 3 ] 075


After thorough analysis of the site, people, context, and economics I chose to expand the nearby technology school onto a portion of the former military base. This expansion will focus on the design and fabrication of future transportation technology. More specifically, I see the school focusing on the development of future flying machines. This would weave together the communities interest in transportation and the history of the site.

[ 3 ] 077

Spaces to include [learning]: typical classrooms, lecture halls, auditorium, studios, gallery, crit space, small scale fabrication, library, computer labs, research labs, and testing facilities [campus]: book store, restaurants, administration offices, faculty offices [community]: recreation fields, gardens, bike trails, commercial space, and retail space.


[ 1 ] 079

process [ 4 ] 079


palimpsest

(ˈpælɪmpˌsɛst)

—n 1. a manuscript on which two or more successive texts have been written, each one being erased to make room for the next.

palimpsest. Dictionary.com. Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. http://dictionary. reference.com/browse/palimpsest (accessed: December 09, 2010).

While the definition of palimpsest refers specifically to the layering of texts, I have applied the same concept as a way of developing an architectural design.

[why]

I explored this design process for several reasons. Perhaps most literally, the layering of information refers to the layers of history present on my site, former Marine Corps Air Station Tustin, located in Tustin, California. Even more so, I am utilizing this method because with each layer that I add I am forced to make a decision based on the previous layer. What portion of the previous layer is worth keeping and redrawing on the present layer, and which portions should be forgotten? Furthermore, the “permanent” nature of the manual process requires a great deal of thought early on. I was constantly trying to think several steps ahead

[how]

XXL

This initial phase focused on the scale. I looked at bringing the surrounding street grid through the site, as a way to not only break down the scale of the former base, but also as a way to weave the community onto the site.

[ 4 ] 081

[design]

phase 01

I began the semester with 4 2’x4’ MDF boards. Timelines were printed and glued to each board to not only create a graphic base, but a key foundation of information. After that, each board is composed of a layer of drawing, either pen or graphite, and a layer of gesso. A lot of experimentation went into figuring out how to utilize various techniques and mediums. In fact, I used a scrap piece of MDF as a testing board.


[ 4 ] 083


[process]

4

[process]

9

[process] [process]

11 10

[process]

13

war on terror

gulf war

vietnam war

korean war

world war ii

world war i

s pa n i s h - a m e r i c a n wa r

civil war

mexican war

war of 1812

revolutionary war


6

[process]

15

[process]

[ 4 ] 085

14

[process]


Making connections through the use of existing, historic paths on the site. criticism: not enough focus on the hangar

criticism: what about the rest of the site? Are these connections strong enough?

[ 4 ] 087

Making connections based on axis created through the hangar.


L

Phase 02 focused on the arge scale. After looking at the XXL scale, I knew that I needed to start zooming in. However, once I started zooming into this scale it became difficult for me to maintain the connections to the surrounding community. In terms of design, my idea, at this point, was to create a second structural system, separate from that which is already existing on the site. The point of this was to allow the program to adapt for future use. Also, this second structure was set up in such a way as to break down the scale of the existing space both physically and visually. However, the architecture could become pieces that exist in multiple spaces. Pieces could slide, shift, and transform for various uses, taking on the idea of movement in an architectural and tectonic sense. Criticism: Why not make better use of the existing structure? Pieces could be suspended in various ways from what is already available on the site.

[ 4 ] 089

phase o2

Now what happens to the rest of my site? What about the rest of the military base? The connections are focused too much on what is within and directly adjacent to the hangar.


[ 4 ] 091


XL L

Phase 03 focused on the and arge scales. At this point I needed to take a step back and remember that the goal of my project was to make connections to the community through this former military base. I started determing a conceptual site plan based on the CONTEXT of the surrounding community. The design intent for the hangar was to keep any new addition very clean, simple, and linear so as to maintain an appreciation of the historical structure. Criticism: Again, scale was an issue. I did not maintain my XXL scale connections as well as I should have. Some of the historic paths that I was proposing to maintain on the site weren’t making strong enough connections beyond the boundary of my site.

[ 4 ] 093

phase 03

In terms of architecture, the design did not allow enough of an experience. While, it was not distracting from the existing structure, it also did not give inhabitors the opportunity to appreciate the expanse and beauty of this structure.


sch oo l

offfacul ice ty s administration

restaurants retail commercial

faculty meeting + collaboration + research

parking

Site plan with general programming

ing t hous studen

display

+ orage tion st recrea rentals

criticism: stronger connection should be made between the two hangars. Should create a moment when one can see both hangars.

criticism: ignoring the axis of the hangar.

[ 4 ] 095

View across site, looking at hangar.


[ 4 ] 097


[ 1 ] 099

design [ 5 ] 099


connection through grid [streets]

connection through program


[ 5 ] 101

connection through movement


surrounding city [context]

site development

[ 5 ] 103

former military base proposed growth


school

stu den th ous ing

ail ret

administration

ts ran

tau res

p

g n i k ar

faculty offices

display

recreation storage + rentals

commercial

fabrication


commercial cores; proposing a connection through my site

commercial

residential areas; proposing a connection through my site residential

school

[ 5 ] 105

existing school; proposing a connection to my site


[ 5 ] 107

@ 15’ The connection between paths.


[ 5 ] 109

@ 15’ The walls which support the vertical circulation provide framed views which visually break down the expanse of the hangar.


[ 5 ] 111

@ 15’ Looking at the studio spaces. Garage type doors would allow a variation in view, light, and spatial quality.


[ 5 ] 113

@ 45’ Path which goes by, rather than through the trusses. This spatial condition draws attention to the form and expanse of the existing structure.


[ 5 ] 115

floor plan @ 0’


[ 5 ] 117

floor plan @ 15’


[ 5 ] 119

floor plan @ 45’


[ 5 ] 121

floor plan @ 80’


[ 5 ] 123

section


studio space cantilever off of the existing structure.

[ 5 ] 125

Protrusion through hangar


Final Review: Lindsey Ellsworth-Bahe, Sarah Thomas, Janghwan Cheon, David Karle, Tim Hemsath, Peter Olshavsky, Brian Kelly, and guest juror John McMorrough. Criticism: Was the choice of a military base located within a community too easy? Could it have been more challenging to figure out how to reuse a site in which a community is not nearby? While I agree that a less urban choice could have been interesting, I developed a very strong interest in the relationship between these bases and their community from the readings that I did early on. Are you addressing the vastness of the site and the hangar enough? Visually the space within the hangar is beginning to be broken down, but is it enough? I will admit that I struggled with the scale throughout this project. Not because I didn’t grasp the vastness, but because I was trying to find a delicate balance between occupying enough space and not overpowering the space. Futhermore, I was constantly shifting between scales and asking myself if my design was supporting my goal. I appreciate this comment, and given more time would have liked to address the site condition in more detail. Potentially providing a unique landscape opportunity on the site. I would propose a portion of the site be used as a tree farm, something that the city is known for historically. This may be two separate projects...either architecture [the hangar] or urban design [my site].

[ 6 ] 129

The connection between my site and the hangar could have been stronger, but I feel that my project would have been weaker to one extent and stronger to the other if I would have narrowed my focus more. I would have been able to get into the finer details, however, I think that I would have lost focus of the overall goal of my project.


[ 1 ] 0131


Accordino, John, and Gary Johnson. “Addressing the Vacant and Abandoned Property Problem.” Journal of Urban Affairs 22, no. 3 (2000): 301-316. Brice, Martin. Stronghold : a history of military architecture. London: Batsford, 1984.Evinger, William. Directory of U.S. military bases worldwide. 3rd ed. Phoenix AZ: Oryx Press, 1998. Blundell Jones, Peter, and Teresa Hoskyns. “City/democracy: retrieving citizenship.” In Architecture and participation, 117-123. London ;:New York: Spon Press, 2005. Department of Defense, Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commision, United States Government; available from http://www.brac.gov/, Internet, accessed 23 August 2010. Goren, Lilly. The politics of military base closings : not in my district. New York: P. Lang, 2003. Directory of U.S. military bases worldwide. 3rd ed. Phoenix AZ: Oryx Press, 1998 General Services Administration. “FRPP Summary Report Library.” http://www.gsa. gov/portal/content/102880 Hirst, Paul. Space and Power: politics, war, and architecture. Cambridge; Malden MA: Polity, 2005. Huyssen, Andreas. “Nostalgia for Ruins.” Grey Room, no. 23 (Spring 2006): 6-21. Mallory, Keith. Architecture of aggression a history of military architecture in North West Europe, 1900-1945. London: Architectural Press, 1973. Robert, Philippe. Adaptations : new uses for old buildings. New York NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 1991 David Sorensen, Shutting Down the Cold War: The Politics of Military Base Closure, 1st ed. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998). Stephens, Suzanne. “Presenting the Past.” Architectural Record 193, no. 3 (March 2005): 119-121.

[ 7 ] 0133

Vagts, Alfred. A History of Militarism. Toronto, Canada: Collier-Macmillan, 1967

Kelly Hiskey | M.Arch Thesis  
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