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RenĂŠ Josef Biberstein MUD, BURPl. Urban Designer / Planner 2012 Portfolio


rene.biberstein@utoronto.ca 647.989.7363

Competitions

Float Your Boat! Walkable Cities Incubator Factory

graduate work

Thesis: Six Nations City The End of the City Visualizing Zoning Bylaws with Grasshopper Holding Court Kensington Bicycle Condominiums Make/Place Cities that Could Never Be?

undergraduate work

Thesis: Is There a Golden Mean? St. Anne’s Place Applying the Human Scale Caçadores Square Danforth Boulevard

professional work

Indigenous Centre Model Bloorcourt Village Urban Design Strategy Crystal Beach Pattern Book Metrolinx Mapping


Competitions

FLOAT YOUR BOAT! Why Phil

adelphia

et Over (a

nd Under

) the I-95

Corridor

34TH

“DELAWAR

E BLVD”

MARKET

BROAD

OREGON

Possible Further Extension

OR

RID

OR

6C

I-7

Should G

Proposed Extension

Interchanges Terminus Points Broad St. Subway Market/Frankford Subway Tram Lines

Float Your Boat! Submission to Ed Bacon Student Design Competition, Philadelphia 2011 Awarded First Prize

Float Your Boat! promises a new waterfront for all: industry, commerce, visitors, pleasure boaters, and above all, ordinary citizens. In Center City, I-95 is buried entirely to seamlessly link the city to the water. To the south, it remains raised, but an innovative array of building designs and parks link the two sides of the highway. In the process, Float Your Boat! partially merges Front Street and Columbus Boulevard into a single thoroughfare, named “Delaware Boulevard.” With an integrated light rail line and ample pedestrian realm, Delaware Boulevard creates a new north-south spine for multiple modes of north-south movement. At the same time, a waterfront promenade for pedestrians and bicycles allows citizens to experience the river in a car-free environment. (Car access to the water is mostly provided by east-west streets). The highway itself continues to hold as much traffic as before, but with a reduced number of exit/entry points, thereby freeing up more room for buildings, open space and people.


The design centres on an epic set of ‘Odessa’ steps extending Market Street to the river’s edge.

The project divides the waterfront and highway into segments, treating each as separate extensions of the city.


Competitions

Walkable cities

Walkable Cities Poster Submission to Toronto Society of Architects “Walkable Cities� Poster Competition 2010


Incubator Factory This project proposed that an abandoned factory site in South Philadelphia be repurposed as a space to incubate new manufacturing businesses, as well as a museum and park dedicated to the city’s industrial heritage.

Submission to Ed Bacon Student Design Competition, Philadelphia 2009 Awarded Honourable Mention


spine

graduate work

Six Nations City Master of Urban Design Thesis Work 2011-2012 Advisor: Adrian Blackwell

In its substance, this project is a new town development on the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation, near Brantford, Ontario. Rapid population growth has forced the band council to engage in large-scale, centrally-planned urbanization for the first time. However, far from conventional platting, this alternate design for the development attempts to deal with the wider issues of reconciling nature and suburban growth, as well as generating urban form for a rural population. It draws on the form and functions of the landscape, as well as the urban traditions of the Six Nations. The former include the positions of topography, water, farmland and forest, while the latter is the historically evolving form of the Iroquoian town.


part 4: a view inside

the town edge

The project has implications not only for the Grand River territory, but also for the potential future urbanization of other aboriginal communities and the way in which all urban dwellers in southern Ontario deal with the history and substance of the land we inhabit. part 4: a view inside

between town nodes

4: a view inside

view of six nations City

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graduate work Townhouses Reveal Slopes

part 4: a view inside layering of town elements Elements of Community Design existing + forest

spine

ring

CroWn + raYs

Cross streets

park belt

trail netWork

farMland penetrating toWn

buildings


shuttle bus and Commuter bus network

low frequency service to tyendinaga, akwesasne, kanasetake, kanawake

local bus network

Interior and Exterior Transport Network

MCMaster universitY

haMilton

go transit hamilton street railway

six nations CitY

35 minutes to hamilton terminal 35 minutes to McMaster university

haMilton airport

low frequency service to upstate new York six nations communities

internal shuttle bus loop

ohsWeken

Caledonia

part 3: the city in the country in t

gative urban deployment

15 minutes to brantford

Urban Areas Conform to Landscape Grain

Central terMinal

15 minutes to Caledonia 30 minutes to hamilton airport

internal shuttle bus loop

10 minutes to ohsweken

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graduate work Historic Evolution of Iroquoian Urbanism longhouse toWn

‘shorthouse’ toWn

Quasi-longhouse Cabins

dispersed neighbourhood

ConteMporarY linear dispersed neighbourhood

?

part 2: historic + site research

Westernized brant village

Archeological Record “southWold”

“garoga”

Population: 800

den

sit Y

(Funk, 2003) 1400

1800

(Funk, 2003) 1400

“nodWell”

“kloCk”

1800

Population: 800

6 (Ellis, Ferris, 1990) 1400

Cahiagué

1400

1800

Population: 5000

1800

(Funk, 2003) 1400

1800

“MaCpherson”

(Heidenreich, 1971)

1400

1800

(Ellis, Ferris, 1990)


Screenshots of Grasshopper Model

Maximum Buildouts Without and With Minimum Lot Widths

Conceptual Flowchart of Model

Grasshopper, a programming application associated with the Rhino rendering software, has achieved popularity as a way for architects to experiment with parametric design. I wondered–could it also be turned to the decidedly less glamourous task of visualizing the maximum build-outs permitted in zoning bylaws? As a summer Independent Study programme, I was able to parametrically render the outcomes of Toronto’s zoning bylaws, including heights, setbacks, Floor Area Ratio (FAR) and angular planes.

Visualizing Zoning Bylaws with Grasshopper Master of Urban Design Independent Study Course 2011 Advisor: Tom Bessai


graduate work

Blurring the Edge

Master

Green / RenĂŠ Biberstein RenĂŠMatrix Biberstein Kamyar Khozeimeh

Mi Turbic Mina T bi Linear Farm p Farm LotsLots Strip

The End of the City Master of Urban Design Studio Work 2011 Instructors: Mark Sterling + Paul Hess

Somewhere the city must end. But how? This group studio project aimed to develop a transition between the Markham suburbs, just outside of Toronto, and the adjacent farmland. Referencing the linear form of the farm lots, a grid was generated in which various landscape types could be accommodated in a patchwork cycle. A trail circuit further sought to programmatically connect dormitory, commercial, recreational and agricultural areas.


Demonstration Block: Proposed

Green Matrix / René Biberstein

Plan Detail

Design Grid Overlay Concept Concept

Green Matrix / René Biberstein

Landscape Zones

p Farm Lots Strip

Green Matrix / René Bib


graduate work

Holding Court Master of Urban Design Studio Work 2011 Instructor: Andrea Kahn

RESIDENTIAL

RESIDENTIAL

RESIDENTIAL

RESIDENTIAL

This project aimed to repair Lawrence Heights, a poorly aging 1960’s housing project in suburban Toronto. Rather than tearing much of it down (as is currently proposed), Holding Court suggested that the community’s ubiquitous parking courts be converted into landscaped spaces. Additional streets and more intensive mixed-use infill was proposed in underutilized spaces outside of the courts.


graduate work

Shadow Studies

Kensington Bicycle Condominiums Master of Urban Design Studio Work 2011 Instructors: Rob Wright + Ivan Saleff

Infilling a parking lot in Toronto’s densely built Kensington Market provided an opportunity for a mixed-use building with two retail facades. Designed especially for cyclists (it provided extensive bicycle parking, but no car parking). An internal courtyard offered shared open space for residents.


Nassau Street Faรงade

Courtyard


graduate work

intensification and identity

Toronto

‘Europe’

Toronto + ‘Europe’?

This project repurposed a number of emptied factories in Toronto as creative industrydriven light manufacturing sites grouped around a new transit hub.

Make + Place Master of Urban Design Studio Work 2010 Instructor: Carol Moukheiber

More playfully, it also proposed that housing be Toronto? constructed on their roofs, to seamlessly stretch the residential city over the industrial one.

‘Hong Kong’

Toronto + ‘Hong Kong’?

Toronto Naturally Intensified?


C C

Employment-Education Convergence C C C

UC C

C

C C

U

C

C C

C

*

U U C U $ Employment Lands

C C

U

U

University Campus

C

College Campus

$

Financial District Office Cluster Airport

U


graduate work

This graduate studio class permitted a number of wild graphic experiments regarding alternate urban forms.

Neo-Classical City

Post-Apocalyptic Primitive City

Cities that Could Never Be? Master of Urban Design Studio Work 2010 Instructor: Adrian Phiffer


Ornithopolis

Office Commercial Cultural

Hotel

Velopolis

Residential

Low-Rise Mixed

Parking

EMS Station

Retail Commercial


undergraduate work

The late nineteenth century German architect Hermann Maertens developed what planning theorist Hans Blumenfeld later described as the “only” scientific theory of ideal street width (Blumenfeld, 1971, pg. 217). Motivated by finding the ideal distance to view architecture, Maertens made two main assertions that have obvious implications for ratio. First, he noted that the maximum distance an object can be perceived is 3,450 times its size, meaning that human 4. Analysis

facial features (specifically the nasal bone) can be clearly perceived at no more than 22 m. On 4.1 Overall Outcomes 4.1.1 Renderings this basis, Maertens recommended a “human scale” of street, no more than 22 m wide (see Fig. When comparing the rendered streetscapes, participants in the experiment showed a

strong preferenceonly for ratios clearly of 2 and 1 (50%be and 46% respectively ranked their first 1). Furthermore, he argued that facial expressions could perceived atthese 15asm, which choices) (see Fig. 7). They were most likely to dislike the ratio of 4 (with 62.5% placing it in

fifth,scale” or last, place). The ratio of 3 was fairly unpopular, being ranked fourth (second last) by he recommended as an alternate “intimate human (see Fig. 2). 50% of participants.

Percentage of Participants

Fig. 7 Dispersal of Results in Ranking Rendered Scenes

ow be 1.2.

100%

4 Ratio

90%

3 Ratio

80%

2 Ratio

70%

1 Ratio

68

60%

0.5 Ratio

50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 1st Choice

2nd Choice

3rd Choice

4th Choice

5th Choice

Preference Rank

Is There a Golden Mean?

The ratio of 0.5 was unpopular, but produced the greatest disunity, with equal numbers of

Why do we love the scale of some spaces and hate

Bachelor of Urban + Regional Planning Thesis Work

others? Is there a thing aseach). a universal participants placing it in third and fifthsuch (last) places (37.5% Participantscomfort may have

2007 68

zone? My undergraduate thesis was an academic paper summarizing the22history of inquiry into the ideal height to width ratio,1:500 as wellscale. as theImage results of by original research I conducted through a series of psychological experiments.

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author.

Maertens second assertion was that the human eye was limited by a 27 degree field of


Working with Habitat for Humanity Toronto, this project envisioned a site plan and massing for converting the disused St. Anne’s Parish Hall into a subsidized condominiums.

St. Anne’s Place Bachelor of Urban + Regional Planning Studio Work 2008


undergraduate work

Naismith’s Rule Bachelor of Urban + Regional Planning Studio Work 2007

This small project mapped ‘Naismith’s Rule,’ a formula for calculating the time required to hike a certain distance. The circular shapes on the model show how far a hiker, moving in a straight line, could travel in any given direction in a specific time, given the topography.


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BLOOR GO STATION

DUNDAS WEST SUBWAY STATION

r

Bloo

. St. W

*

BISHOP MOROCCOTHOMAS MERTON SECONDARY SCHOOL

Caçadores Square

s St.

dore

Caça

ie ch

Rit Av.

. a Av

manc

Sala

Herman Av.

Du

valles Av.

Ronces

nd

as

St.

This project proposed a small mixed-use development on the site of a derelict shopping mall in Toronto’s west end. It included filling in the blanks in a broken streetwall, and adding a new residential community centred around a square.

W.

Arterial Streets Collector Streets Local Streets Lanes

*

RONCESVALLES AVENUE SHOPPING

ad Caç

s ore

are u q S

*

Parks Other Destinations Entances/Exits to Development

Caçadores Square Bachelor of Urban + Regional Planning Studio Work 2008


undergraduate work

Danforth Boulevard Bachelor of Urban + Regional Planning Studio Work 2009 This project imagined Toronto’s Danforth Avenue transformed into a European-style boulevard, featuring perimeter-block buildings, much wider sidewalks and a promenade overlooking the Dan Valley.


professional work

Indigenous Centre Model Located in the striking boreal forest of the Canadian Shield, Lakehead University’s campus has been the subject of numerous design proposals, often wild and occasionally downright campy. In 2012, the University decided to curate an exhibition of these historic designs. I was contracted to build a 1:150 scale model of the unrealized 1970’s “Indigenous Centre”–a cluster of giant tepee-like cones. The model was constructed using plaster, paper, and an array of decorative elements humourously borrowed from model railway construction.

Contract for Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario 2012


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professional work

DE SI GN

3

STR ATE G Y

3

* *

31

3

Ossington Avenue

P

5

1 3

P

P

*

*

4

V I L L A G E

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opment Framework Plan.

UR BAN

Concord Avenue

Development Concept Framework

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*

Ossington Subway Station

*

Northumberland Avenue

3

3

Ossington Baptist Church

*

Existing Condition

*

1

2

3

P

*

1

*

*

3

3

Carling Avenue

Rendition of Scenario 1

Roxton Road

*

3.5 SPECIAL SITES Irene Avenue Parkette

Irene Avenue

Bloor Street West

*

sites will requireSite special built form guidelines because of their unique 1 CertainDover Square Existing Condition Plan conditions. Four such sites have been identified. Three of these are located justDemonstration The Dover Square ApartmentofComplex built influence in the 1960’s in theand“towerbeyond the boundaries the BIA,was but may the quality character of in-the-park” style. Although its buildings are much taller for thanredevelopment. the rest of the the area. Each site presents a significant opportunity neighbourhood, the site remains significantly underutilized at the ground level. Its ownersThe havelocations sought to theare siteindicated for someon time, a proposalFramework has been the of intensify these sites the and Development Plan. subject of an Ontario Municipal Board hearing.

Development Concept Framework 3

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Shaw Street

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5

1

2

1 3

3

*

1

Demonstration Plan

e

gu lar Pl an

e

Pl

lar

gu

e

An

lan rP

ula

Maximum Height

e

an

Pl

An

g An

lar

gu

An

Christie Pits Park

4

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*

Existing

Dover Square Site

The Dover Square Apartment Complex was built in the 1960’s in the “towerin-the-park” style. Although its buildings are much taller than the rest of the neighbourhood, the site remains significantly underutilized at the ground level. Its owners have sought to intensify the site for some time, and a proposal has been the Maximum Height subject of an Ontario Municipal Board hearing. an

Legend

Crawford Street

AUGUST 2010

Consistent setbacks. Maintain and better frame the central courtyard/quad. Access through a series of continuous mid-block connections to be retained or created. Open a north south connection through the building and to Bloor Street. Mass height internally within the block, subject to angular planes originating from a property line on the opposite side of the street.

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3

4

*

*

4. 5.

4

3

1

The following guidelines should apply to any future development on this site: 1. 2. 3.

The following guidelines should apply to any future development on this site: Consistent setbacks. Maintain and better frame the central courtyard/quad. Setback Setback Access through a series of continuous mid-block connections to be retained or created. Bloor Street Neighbourhood Neighbourhood North Side Property South Side Property 4. Open a north south connection through theRight-of-Way building and to Bloor Street. Lane 5. Mass height internally within the block, subject to angular planes originating 45-degree angular planes currently originate 13 m above the front property line, and 10 m above a 7.5 m setback from the adjacent property at the rear. Total height from a property line on the opposite side of the street. is capped at 16 m.

9.5 m

45°

m

lan rP gu la

lar

An

gu

e

An

Pl an

When height bonusing is being considered, angu ‘absolute maximum’ height. Because lot depth do not back on to Protected Neighbourhood are from 3 to 12 storeys. Only the Dover Square a reasonably accommodate a new building over 1 Recommendations

Greater heights can and should be consi exchange for public benefits. The Dev appropriate height of these buildings. Buildings over 20 m in height, located on demonstrate no incremental shadow impa shoulder seasons (March 21 and Septemb

lar

gu

Neighbourhood

10.5 m

16 m

10.5 m

7.5 m

Setback

16 m

An

e

an

Pl

• This Urban Design Strategy provided a planning analysis and public realm improvement plan for the Bloorcourt Business Improvement Area in Toronto’s west end. 20 m 30 m

North Side Property

40 m

Bloor Street Right-of-Way

South Side Property

Soft Sites

7.5 m Setback 6m

Lane

‘Soft sites’ are immediate opportunities for include: Neighbourhood

Potential height bonusing could vary depending on lot depth, with the deeper lots permitting taller buildings. The few lots where rear angular planes are not required

He

S T R Awould T Eenable G Ygreater height potential. The existence of rear lanes contributes to height, because angular planes may start further back.

Urb

D E S IGN

Angular planes currently exist in the Zoning Byl into them. They (as illustrated at left) are app residential areas and open spaces, as well as to In Bloorcourt, approximately 90 per cent of the planes. Rear 45 degree angular planes begin at adjacent property line. Front 45 degree angula property line.

Potential Bonus

Each front angular plane would originate 16 m above the front property line, while each rear plane would originate 10.5 m above a 7.5 m setback.

U RB A N

The Role of Angular Planes

• m

m

Potential Bonus

°m lar 45 Pl an e

gu

45°

10

e

An

3m

Proposed

45°

Height Potential 3-5 Storeys (10.5 - 16.5 m) 5-7 Storeys (16.5 - 22.5 m) 7-9 Storeys (22.5 - 28.5 m) 9-12 Storeys (28.5 - 37.5 m) 12+ Storeys (37.5 m+)

Montrose Avenue

V I L L A G E

Gateways (Major and Minor) Prominent Visual Sites Fine-Grained Retail Frontage

Special Sites

Soft Sites Heritage Listed/Designated Buildings Properties of Interest Public Buildings and Places of Worship Public Open Spaces Protected Low-Rise Neighbourhood Off-Street Public Parking

Urban Design Elements

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P

The Planning Partnership

1. 2. 3.

AUGUST 2010

The Bickford Centre

Bob Abate Recreation Centre

Bloorcourt Village Urban Design Strategy

2010

BL O O R C O U R T

* St. John’s Church

es because of their unique ee of these are located just the quality and character of or redevelopment.

• • •

Parking lots that front on Bloor Street One-storey buildings Other significantly underutilized sites

Recommendations


The traditional building typologies of Crystal Beach, a nineteenth century resort town on Lake Erie, were analyzed and categorized in this pattern book. The book is to be used as a tool for controlling new development in the community.

Crystal Beach Pattern Book The Planning Partnership 2008


professional work

Metrolinx Mapping The Planning Partnership 2006

While working at The Planning Partnership, I undertook the difficult graphic design exercise of communicating the complexities of Metrolinx’s regional transit plan for the Greater Toronto Area. The result of a series of maps indicting future priorities for higher order transit, and their interface with urban growth goals.

Portfolio 2012, compressed  

My portfolio 2012, compressed size

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