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Latent SHELLS

Community Arts Center for Delmar Boulevard Design Thinking Spring 2012

Reid Caudill


“Here is what we have to offer you in its most elaborate form -- confusion guided by a clear sense of purpose.� --Gordon Matta-Clark

Washington University in St. Louis Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design Design Thinking Research Spring 2012 Instructor: Derek Hoeferlin TA: Ashley Hoolihan


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Contents

3-6 Premise 7-22 Conceptual Framework 23-46 Program 47-70 Localization ( site ) 71-78 Precedent Analysis 79-80 Bibliography 81-82 Sourse Citations

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Grizzly Bear trapped in a “safe release� container

This powerful bear awaiting its release demonstrates the idea of a latent shell. The metal tube simultaneously acts as a container of past aggression and the opportunity for improvement.

(1)

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Latent SHELLS In thinking about the City of Saint Louis as a labyrinthine territory, we need to somehow grasp that which defines its latent character. Discerning the city-fabric becomes an internalization of the past in order to guide future maturation. The collection and synthesis of territory and its memory will unearth its rich anthropology. Spatially understanding Saint Louis becomes about the transforming of its latency, as well as our a priori sense of occupation and public interaction. The haptic realm of our experience intrinsically ties us to our memory of place. Using the stratified ground and the conceptual ideas of form work will generate a curious study for a new spatial concept within the city.

(2)

The process of making is used as a generator for defining program. The idea of a community arts center located near a junction between growth and misuse in the city, fills a niche previously unaproached and capable of promoting new urban life.

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Latency

- present or capable of emerging -or- developing but not now visible, obvious, active, or sympathetic

The idea of a latent shell comes from the image of brick buildings commonly seen in northern Saint Louis. The peeling back of building layers to reveal the past as well as rampant land vacancy, expresses the potential for a spatial investigation and reintroduction / reinterpretation of the city’s memory.

(4)

Latent shell of old brick row house reveals a richness of brick usage.

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(3)

Saint Louis during the street car era.


(5)

The form work which creates the foundation of a building has an inherent latency which is expressed when pealed away to reveal the solid.

(6)

The destructive forces of brick wrangling in Saint Louis produces an eerie exposure of the building shell.

Vacant blocks scattered throughout Saint Louis simultaneously show the past and the future city fabric.

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Conceptual Framework Understanding the spatial latency within Saint Louis is an investigation of the stratified layers of past present and future. Exploring this through physical means intrinsically ties the spatial research to the rawness and memory of the place they represent. Saint Louis underwent many growing pains during the industrial revolution causing expansion westward; followed by decline as a response to poor city planning. This decline harbored the spatial latency for which this interest is focused. Exposing the rawness of the city’s past life reveals an industrious and culture-full community closely tied to the Mississippi River, brickmaking, and steel manufacturing. (7)

07

(8)

This giant ant colony in Argentina shows how living organisms have an understanding of space and communal growth inherently programs into their existence. Industrial city’s grew in a similar way to this due to a common organizational strategy focused on rings of growth.

The powerful image of buffalo being stampeded off of a cliff by Native Canadians represents the speed and effectiveness of Saint Louis’s decline.


1 St. Louis as an organized city, grows around its central location on the Mississippi River and its richness of culture.

2

The City divorces from the county, causing a dramatic urban expansion as well as decline of the downtown and many poor neighborhoods.

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Conceptual Modeling

Drawing the location of cultural space in relationship to field and movement.

Beginning to understand the city as a series of expansions and organized connections. The act of physically carving space out of a mass helps expose the stratification of ground and building.

Watercolor and Pencil

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Hydrocal cast into foam using a carving technique

The casting process and its inherent latency acts as a generator for testing the city fabric and its attractors in relationship to culture. The regularity of the grid, juxtaposed with the raw quality of the deeper section, shows the connections between occupational density and spaces devoted to vehicular traffic.

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Conceptual Modeling

The combination of city fabric and existing vertical building space produces a working joint which grounds and connects. The Latent Shells mediate above and below with movement and materiality. The idea of material latency is closely tied to the heavy use of brick in Saint Louis. The clay deposits with which the bricks were made connects upwards to form the Latent Shells.

Conceptual plan of city area exploring the relationship between object Latent Shell and surface

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Understanding, in section, the relationship of ground strata to object(s)


Stratification

-arranging in layers, the formation of layers (strata)

in which objects are found

Drawing of the sectional relationship of latent space to the city fabric

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Building Form

Surface Level

Latent Shells

Investigation of the stratification of Latent Shell to surface. The model focuses on ideas of overlap, shear, penetration, and bridge.

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Model using hydrocal, wire, and resin impregnated fiberglass

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Brick in Saint Louis

The heavy use of brick masonry in Saint Louis is a testament to both the quality of clay deposits within the city and the immense labor force which grew up around the trade. The brick buildings here are among the highest in detail, experimentation in pattern, and richness in color. The memory tied to brick relates strongly to the Cheltenham community where most of the Irish and Italian immigrants made a living on clay mining and brick manufacturing. While moving around the city, it is hard to comprehend just how much brick was produced and used from small houses to mansions, to the very streets themselves. Today however, the latent value of abandoned brick buildings has been discovered by brick rustlers.

-Clay Mining Process

-Brick Manufacturing

-Construction of Brick City

-Brick Rustling

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Vacant lots are a scar on the urban landscape, but also hold the potential for new development.

Crumbling facades and missing walls mark the destruction caused by brick rustling.

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Brick Life Cycle

1

2

5

6 The richness and diversity of color is a product of the Pennsylvanian clay found in the Mississippi Rivers upland areas.

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St. Louis is transformed through its wealth of natural resources, central location in the country, and progressive urban growth.


The mining of rich clay deposits in the Cheltenham / Dogtown area north of the River Des Peres.

Strong Communities develop around the brick works. Great pride is taken in masonry and the creation of a brick city.

3

4

7

8 St. Louis becomes well known for its brick vernacular defined by elaborate terra cotta work and creative pattern making.

As the city declined, a latent potential in its abandoned buildings reminds us of the beauty and strong regional connection we see in St. Louis brick.

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ST Louis Metropolitan Area

Missouri River

West Alton, MO

Laclede Gas Well

Pensylvannian Clay

ST Charles County Mississippi River

+100 ft

Meramac River

Eureka

+200 ft

Highway 141

ST Louis County

Jct. Highway 66 & Byp. 66

Clay Deposits in Saint Louis

The Cheltenham Clay deposit is unlike any east of the Mississippi in regards to it purity. The firing clay is found under layers of sandstone and pockets of coal. The clay ranges in thickness between 2.5 to 12 feet. Geologically the clay is commonly found in proximity to sandstone and which is regularly separated from the firing clay by coal deposits.

0 Sea Level

-100 ft

-200 ft

1958

Missouri Geological Survey

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Clayton

Forest Park Dogtown Cheltenham

er D Riv

Maplewood

es Pe res

The Hill

Tower Grove Park

Penssyvanian Firing Clay Mississippian Clay Clay Works Soil Section

The firing clay business began in Saint Louis in 1844 when James Green, a contractor and furnace builder, opened a clay mine in the River Des Peres area. Firing clay is a more pure form of clay used in the manufacturing of refractory bricks, metalworking equipment, and sewer pipes.

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Clay Deposits in Saint Louis

Dogtown and The Hill were two communities that thrived off of the clay mining and brick manufacturing of the Cheltenham clay deposits. They are sections of Saint Louis constructed by the very brick layers and factory workers who lived there. Row houses as far as the eye can see are a testament to their hard work and creative use of brick.

(10) (9)

Saint Patrick’s day parade in Dogtown, a predominantly Irish neighborhood.

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Brick being fired in a beehive kiln in Dogtown.


River Des Peres

Location of Brick Works

Map showing brickworks operations as well as clay mine locations in relationship to Forest Park and the River Des Peres.

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Program :

Casting The Latent SHELL

The intention of designing a new space for the community of Saint Louis comes with many questions. Whether the need exists, is the first and foremost question to address. With an understanding of the city’s latency in reference to culture; a suitable program surrounding the making of art, fulfills existing needs. A new focus on the arts has the potential to draw talent and expertise, but also to reach into surrounding areas with community programs and visual stimulus. This new space can become a place for positive gathering and interaction with the stratified past and present of the city. The idea that art and its physicality can produce a socioeconomic impact in a community is well tested and is deeply seeded in Saint Louis’s past. In addition to being a response to social latency, a program based on physical process relates directly to the brick manufacturing process which was so influential in Saint Louis’s growth and identity.

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Social latency within the population causes many of the negative issues seen in the city’s most used spaces. Defining a space where culture replaces stagnation will improve the community dynamic.

(11)

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Designing Program from Process

By understanding the pre-existing program of brick manufacturing in Saint Louis a new program can emerge which responds to latent potential both culturally and physically. The transition of raw material to finished product through a process of shaping, molding, and curing reveals the latency of the ground and our ability as human to control our surroundings.

Brick Manufacturing Process

1

3

2 Clay crushing

5

Wetting dry materials

6 Scrapping of edges

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4

8

7 Clay in mold boxes

Resulting extruded brick section

Extruder

Dumping mold boxes

Reel cutter slices clay

(12)


The procuring of clay, mixing, shaping, cutting, stacking, and curing the bricks is historically a very haptic craft requiring great precision and care. The idea of a raw material from the earth being manipulated into such a simple object, then aggregated to produce architecture and the city, is a direct use of latent energy.

9 9 Raw bricks placed in kiln to cure

The beehive kiln used to cure the brick

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Designing Program from Process

Fusing a new spatial conception into the city territory requires close attention to existing usage but also forward thinking in regards to urban experience, civic involvement, economic opportunity, and residential options. A combination of these elements creates an effective attractor for positive growth and new experiences of space.

The mold contains the programmatic objects, held in place by a perimeter wall.

Preparation of the wax for pouring

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The process of pouring a liquid reveals the latent potential of not only the mold, but the material itself. Irregularity become the beauty of the object.


As the wax is layered upon the program, the stratification can be seen through varying opacity.

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Detail (revealed through light) shows the depth of the materials and how they respond to each other through heat.

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Programmatic Strategy

Chipboard and India Ink Cast into Paraffin Wax

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Urban

Space for public interaction with the site and with the culture of the program

Creative / Civic

Studios, shops, and classrooms which all connect with each other and the urban space

Exhibition

Personal experience between the art and the viewer while maintaining the gallery’s transparency

Residential

Vertical inhabitation providing connections to the public, city, and spaces for work.

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Programmatic Element : Urban

Urban space within the expanding Saint Louis area is in need of cultural connections. By tying the movement between spaces to a richness in experience, the public areas becomes engaging to the senses and the surrounding areas. The urban space ties into the process based program of art through its material nature and time sensitive operations.

Gramazio & Kohler Pike Loop Rick Kirby Vertical Face

Urban

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Space for public interaction with the site and with the culture of the program

Alterto Giacometti A Man Crossing the Area


Total Dedicated sq. ft : 15,000

Sculpture Landscape : 4,500 sq ft

Fire Garden : 800 sq ft

Transitional space dictates the vertical and horizontal movement through the stratified program

Open flame that responds to the furnace operation of the foundry spaces.

Performance Space : 4,000 sq ft

diller scofodio + renfro Lincoln Restaurant Roof

Salto AB Tartu Kesklinna School Extension

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Programmatic Element : Creative / Civic

Artistic endeavors bring out the creative side of individuals but also the community around it. By designing around the process of teaching / producing sculpture and its supporting processes, a civic program can root itself into the local culture. Promoting a cross communication between the work of the artists and the public life of the street enforces a sense of community ownership.

Studio Spaces for local and visiting artists

Creative / Civic

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Studios, shops, and classrooms which all connect with each other and the urban space


Total Dedicated sq. ft : 38,000 Artist Studios : 16,000 sq ft

Storage : 2,000 sq ft Outdoor Shop : 2,000 sq ft

Fabrication / Foundry : 11,000 sq ft

Facilities for metalwork, woodwork, and the moldmaking / casting of metal sculpture

Classrooms : 6,000 sq ft

Community classroom spaces

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Programmatic Element : Exhibition

Urban space within the expanding Saint Louis area is in need of cultural connections. By tying the movement between spaces to a richness in experience, the public areas becomes engaging to the senses and the surrounding areas. The urban space ties into the process based program of art through its material nature and time sensitive operations.

Exhibition of people dinning

Exhibition

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Personal experience between the art and the viewer while maintaining the gallery’s transparency


Storage : 2,000 sq ft

Total Dedicated sq. ft : 11,000

Gallery Space : 6,000 sq ft

Street Display : 800 sq ft

Cafe : 2,000 sq ft

Display facing the street creates interaction generates initial interest in the use of the site.

Gallery Space for visiting and resident artists.

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Programmatic Element : Residential

Locating residential spaces within the larger programmatic solution will provide the artists as well as other local residents the opportunity to live amidst exchange. The connection between the exterior and cross connections around a vertical common space will provide views and promote community.

Studio and loft style apartments

Residential

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Vertical inhabitation providing connections to the public, city, and spaces for work.


Total Dedicated sq. ft : 32,000

Common Space : 3,000 sq ft

Apartments : 25,000 sq ft

Vertical Space which connects the apartments, as well as providing a place for gathering

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Metal Casting Process

The Lost-wax process is a traditional method of producing molds for metal sculpture. The process involves a skilled dialogue between object and form work in order to replicate in metallic form. The process of layering, burning, and pouring is a combination of precise science and creative direction resulting in the discovery of latent potential.

Wax Burnout

Sculpture

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Mold making

Wax

Ceramic Mold

Casting

Finishing


Sculptor preparing molten bronze

“Biological Contemplates� Bronze and Stainless Steel Ross Caudill

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Metal Casting Process

1

2 Mold making around clay positive

3 Separating Clay from plaster mold

8

7

43

With the new mold to the correct thickness, the wax positive is burned out in a flash fire de-waxing kiln

With plaster negative cleaned, paint initial wax layers into mold

9 Investment mold is fired additionally to reduce moisture levels and maintain temperature for metal pour

The mold is placed in a sand pit in preparation for pour


4

5 With mold re-secured, fill remainder of mold with wax

6 Removed wax is now dipped repeatedly in plaster / Silica layers (drying between layers)

A thickened investment mold is formed around the wax, eventually forming the negative for the metal

(13)

10

12

11 Metal is melted in a crucible in a furnace

Metal is carefully poured into the mold, then allowed to cool

Mold is broken open to reveal metal positive

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Precedent Analysis

Asheville, North Carolina The River Arts District consists of galleries, working artist studios, businesses, apartments, a brewery, restaurants, music venues, and performing arts venues. This converted industrial area, has become an incubator for both economic and cultural growth.

Converted factories and warehouses act as hosts for studio spaces, galleries, and restaurants.

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Modern loft style apartments provide a close affordable housing option for artists.


(14)

Map of converted industrial area into art district

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Localization (Site) Understanding the spatial latency within Saint Louis is an investigation of the stratified layers of past present and future. Exploring this through physical means intrinsically ties the spatial research to the rawness and memory of the place they represent. Saint Louis underwent many growing pains during the industrial revolution causing expansion westward; followed by decline as a response to poor city planning. This decline harbored the spatial latency for which this interest is focused. Exposing the rawness of the city’s past life reveals an industrious and culture-full community closely tied to the Mississippi River, brickmaking, and steel manufacturing.

47


? Social latency within the population causes many of the negative issues seen in the city’s most used spaces. Defining a space where culture replaces stagnation will improve the community dynamic.

48


Existing Program of Interest : In and Around St. Louis A study of where existing art centers within Saint Louis city and county is a beginning point for choosing a site. The existing art centers generally focus on commercial interests or strict community involvement. The goal for my site selection is to find a medium density street with existing restaurants and businesses capable of supporting urban public space as well as art sales. The positive impact of a art complex is that it can influence the community surrounding it profoundly.

Foundry Arts Center

St Charles

Third Degree Glass Factory

Delmar Corridor

Luminary Center for the Arts

Tower Grove

St. Louis Sculpture Factory Maplewood Area

Community Arts & Media Project

Cherokee Streets Area

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Potential Site Selection

Two choices for site seem to pervade through research. The Delmar Loop area near University City and the Cherokee Street area are both surrounded with changing neighborhoods, both have some previous success with art movements, and both contain other popular business and culture to support the spatial proposal.

Option 1

Cherokee Street and Jefferson Avenue University City

Option 2

Delmar Boulevard and North Skinker Boulevard Saint Louis City

Proposed Site

Existing Art Foundations In and Around St. Louis

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Cherokee Street Site Analysis

The exciting growth of Cherokee street surrounding the arts and vintage products reflects its potential need for improved public space, as well as an increased use of vacant space. The rich brick buildings of the neighborhood also provide a unique fabric in need of acknowledgement. In recent years an influx of artists and community events celebrating the heritage of the area have proven the positive influence of creative program.

(15) Parade featuring local artists and musicians

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Cherokee Street


Jefferson Avenue

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Cherokee Street Site Analysis

Direct connection to Cherokee Center and Benton Park.

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Residential block mostly constructed with local red brick. Loosely spaced, with gaps where buildings were removed.


Open lots to each side of the low existing mid-century modern commercial building provide a unique sense of latent space.

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Open space across Jefferson Ave. provides the opportunity to splice into the Cherokee Street fabric

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Abandoned Lemp Beer Manufacturing Plant

Historic Cherokee Street Brick Buildings define Cherokee Street

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By studying the sectional quality of the street and its buildings, an understanding of the organization attitude of program and urban space can be tested

Section collage of Cherokee Street Coffee Wash, newspaper

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Delmar Boulevard Site Analysis

The Delmar Loop area and its success has been attributed to the growth of local business and the community ownership that results. A focus on music backed by Blueberry Hill and The Pageant has made Delmar Boulevard a heavily utilized cultural center for Saint Louis. The success of the area is leading to expansion towards the east; which brings up questions of urban planning at a larger scale. The introduction of a cultural program which is able to exchange urban space as well as improve the surrounding neighborhoods will promote further growth, and help to solve current overuse issues.

(16)

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Delmar Boulevard


North Skinker Boulevard

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Delmar Boulevard Site Analysis

Exploration of street edge

Confusion between public space and private space leads to social issues

Corner of Skinker Blvd. and Delmar Blvd. is as a barrier to pedestrian movement and further densification. Connecting the two sides of Skinker would create a continuous street life.

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Crowds gathering around music icon Chuck Berry


Delmar continues towards MetroLink station, Great Rivers Greenways headquarters, and more commercial venues.

Key space along Skinker acts as a mediation between the activity of the Loop and the religious / residential zones.

Connection across Skinker is currently an additional barrier to street expansion.

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Existing brick facade building, mostly unused. Currently creates a spatial barrier to the continuation of Delmar.

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Open space across Delmar Ave. provides opportunity to splice into the street fabric.

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The complexities of the site provide the opportunity to place built space into the existing empty lots, as well as reorganize the way people move across Skinker Blvd. The existing AT&T building provides a host for a parasitic adaptation which creates a connective tissue with the creative/ civic program, exhibition spaces, and the public gathering spaces.

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Section collage of Delmar Boulevard Coffee Wash, newspaper

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Site square footages AT&T Lot w/out built :

31,000

AT&T Building (footprint) : 16,000

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AT&T (floors 2-3) :

32,000

Church’s Chicken Lot :

15,000

Cross Delmar Lot :

9,500

Total w/ building :

103,500

Total w/ out :

71,500


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Precedent Analysis : Gordon Matta Clark Gordon Matta Clark was an architect turned artist who believed in “Anarchitecture.” With a theoretical backing from the deconstructionist and the situationists he pushed the notion of reusing existing elements to create a new building ensemble. His series of “Building Cuts” expose the raw nature of buildings and their latent potential as objects forming space.

(17) “Bingo” - Gordon Matta Clark

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“Conical Intersect” Gordon Matta Clark


(18) “Building Cuts” - Gordon Matta Clark

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Precedent Analysis : Caixaforum:

Madrid

The Caixaforum in Madrid by Herzog & De Mueron demonstrates a successful way of carving into existing structure in order to parasitically attach new program. The ambiguity of ground as well as material use, tells a story of past and present use of latency.

Cross section shows the relationship to ground and envelope

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Ground plan showing programed structural columns

(19) View out from the parking garage

Carved space into the existing building is respective of the existing structural logic

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Precedent Analysis : Tate Modern:

London

This adaptive reuse project by Herzog & De Mueron utilizes an existing turbine factory to create an new form of urban indoor public space. The projections of space through the masonry facade of the factory expose the new program to the river while creating spaces ideal for display and circulation.

Large public ramp addresses the scale of the old turbine factory

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Existing masonry details


(20) The masonry structure remains solid while glass volumes puncture and site on top

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Potential Strategy

Creating public space that punctures the existing AT&T building will draw people through a choreographed sequence of exhibition, workshop, and cafe space along Delmar Blvd.

Street view of current structure and a possible approach for carving space

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Bibliography

Samuel Cupples House, “Brick by Brick: building ST. Louis and the nation.” Saint Louis University: ST. Louis, 2004. Richard Rome, “Fine Art Casting: an illustrated guide to mould making and lost wax processes.” Robert Hale: London, 2003 “The Making Process.” . Glen-Gery Corporation, n.d. Web. 10 Mar 2012. <http://www.glengery brick.com/about/manufacturing/making.html>. Louighlin Caroline, Anderson Catherine. “MAP OF DOGTOWN MINES AND BRICK FACTORIES IN 1905.” . Webster.edu, n.d. Web. 17 Feb 2012. <http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/dog town/maps/park-mines-01.html>.

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Source Citations

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

http://www.stunningslovakia.com/projectbear.html http://www.huntkso.com/amazing/bearrelease.php http://www.stltoday.com http://stayinginstl.com www.cast-in-place.net/ www.google.com/maps/stlouis National Geographic http://www.artcat.com/exhibits/6212 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clayton/Tamm,_St._Louis Samuel Cupples House, “Brick by Brick: building ST. Louis and the nation.” Saint Louis University: St. Louis, 2004. 11 Elliott Erwitt’s “Pasadena, California, 1963

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12 http://www.glengerybrick.com/about/manufacturing/making.html 13 Richard Rome, “Fine Art Casting: an illustrated guide to mould making and the lost wax processes.”Robert Hale: London, 2003 14 http://www.romanticasheville.com 15 http://cherokeestreetnews.org/ 16 http://stlenergized.blogspot.com/2012/01/ice-carnival-scenes-fromdelmar-loop.html 17 http://www.web-crap.com/conical-intersect/ 18 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Matta-Clark 19 www.arcspace.com/architects/herzog_meuron/caixa/caixa.html 20 whitemouse.ru/photo/london/lm_tm_history.wmb


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Design Thinking Proposal  

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