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Urban Design Projects - Fall 2011 Michael Dennis + Alistair McIntosh Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Urban Design Projects | Michael Dennis + Alistair McIntosh

This report summarizes the work produced in the Introductory Urban Design Studio during the fall semester, 2011 in the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The studio was taught by Michael Dennis and Alistair McIntosh. The eleven participants were students in the SMarchS Architecture and Urbanism post-professional degree program. The studio subject was the downtown area of Providence, Rhode Island. Like many American cities, the central area of Providence was devastated by “urban renewal,” and arterial strangulation during the post-World War II era. Despite many recent positive initiatives, however, downtown Providence still appears largely abandoned. It is therefore an ideal urban design study. Because the studio was introductory, there were two imperatives for the study: one pedagogical; the other practical. The pedagogical imperative was to sensitize the students to a new and unfamiliar art—that of town planning and urban design. Architectural training is the base for this, but it is not sufficient by itself. To the architectural base must be added urban, landscape, and ecological understanding. The practical imperative was to have each student explore ideas for the redevelopment of downtown Providence on several different levels: buildings, blocks, streets, neighborhoods, and town. Given the time frame, this would be a difficult task for a professional team, but the students did manage to produce a wide range of provocative projects illustrated in this report.

re-providence

MIT - Fall 2011


re-providence Urban Design Projects - Fall 2011 Michael Dennis + Alistair McIntosh Massachusetts Institute Of Technology


GRAPHIC DESIGN + PAGE LAYOUT BY: ADITYA BARVE ANDRES BERNAL ARISTODIMOS KOMNINOS RYAN KURLBAUM


PREFACE

MICHAEL DENNIS

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RE-PROVIDENCE ALISTAIR McINTOSH

INTRODUCTION

MICHAEL DENNIS

EXISTING IMAGES

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PROVIDENCE

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PROJECTS:

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RE-CONNECTING MENGLIN JIANG 27 SREOSHY BANERJEA 35 RYAN KURLBAUM 43

RE-STRUCTURING ARISTODIMOS KOMNINOS 55 MICHELA BARONE LUMAGA 67 KOBI RUTHENBERG 75

RE-OPENING ANDRES BERNAL 87 KRISTEN ZEIBER 97 CELINA BALDERAS GUZMAN 105

RE-CENTERING

ZHANG JIA 115 ADITYA BARVE 123

STUDIO MAP

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Aerial View of Waterfront and Waterplace Park

Aerial View of Bus Terminal and Kennedy Plaza


PREFACE

MICHAEL DENNIS

This report summarizes the work produced in the Introductory Urban Design Studio during the fall semester 2011 in the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The studio was taught by Michael Dennis and Alistair McIntosh. The eleven participants were students in the SMArchS Architecture and Urbanism postprofessional degree program. The studio subject was the downtown area of Providence, Rhode Island. Like many American cities, the central area of Providence was devastated by “urban renewal� and arterial strangulation during the post-World War II era. Despite many recent positive initiatives, however, downtown Providence still appears largely abandoned. It is therefore an ideal urban design study. Because the studio was introductory, there were two imperatives for the study: one pedagogical; the other practical. The pedagogical imperative was to sensitize the students to a new and unfamiliar art—that of town planning and urban design. Architectural training is the base for this, but it is not sufficient by itself. To the architectural base must be added urban, landscape, and ecological understanding. The practical imperative was to have each student explore ideas for the redevelopment of downtown Providence on several different levels: buildings, blocks, streets, neighborhoods, and town. Given the time frame, this would be a difficult task for a professional team, but the students did manage to produce a wide range of provocative projects illustrated in this report.

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Vacant Waterfront

Void from Highway Removal


RE- PROVIDENCE

ALISTAIR McINTOSH

The studio explored the role that landscape plays in the creation of a compact, humane urbanism. In contrast to some recent urban design that has used landscape as a “binding agent� in attempts to unify disaggregated archipelagoes of buildings, the Providence studio investigated how discrete landscape spaces are integrated into and contribute to a legible civic structure. The landscapes developed by the participants function in many, often multiple ways: as stages for the daily civic life of residents and visitors to the city, they contribute to sustainable environmental strategies for the 21st Century city and they also mediate between the built forms of the city and the surrounding regional landscape, especially the Providence River and Narragansett Bay. The idea that urban landscape mediates between a dense urban fabric and a surrounding, sustaining regional natural environmental context will be a primary role of landscape in the future city and will return urbanism to a more coherent relationship to the natural world. 11


Artist Rendering circa 1858

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Aerial View of Providence in 1926


INTRODUCTION

MICHAEL DENNIS

Aerial Plan - 2010

The purpose of this study was to explore urban design strategies for the reconstruction of downtown Providence. The recent removal of the section of I-195 provides an exceptional opportunity for the renovation of the historic urban core of the city. The reconstruction and reintegration of the heart of the city is crucial, as it currently appears derelict and abandoned. Providence is almost 400 years old; today’s urban disintegration happened within the last fifty years. Founded in 1636, Providence was one of the first cities in America to industrialize, and by 1900 it had a broad manufacturing base, good rail, sea, and road connections, and the population. The city proper was 175,597. By 1940 the population reached 253,504. The downtown had many fine buildings and streets, and the urban fabric of the downtown blended with its contiguous areas—the one exception being the railroad, which broke the connection between downtown and the Capitol. Beginning in the 1950s, however, a combination of flight to the suburbs, the demolition of much of the urban fabric, and the insertion of highways through the heart of the city resulted in the disintegration and near demise of the downtown.

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Aerial Plan - 1970’s

Plan of Providence in 1909

Plan of Providence in 1980


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Waterfire Providence - 2011

The good news is that many buildings and some urban fabric were spared. This “urban residue” has been reinforced by putting the railroad underground, reopening the Providence River, and developing various urban initiatives such as Waterfire. Most of these efforts have been concentrated around the Kennedy Plaza area, however, and the quality of the environment drops off precipitously south of Weybosset Street. The development of the Providence Place Mall may draw visitors from outlying areas, but it has also drained business from the downtown area. What downtown Providence needs most is density—density of built fabric. Built fabric defines the urban open space of the city, which is what promotes urban life and legibility. This requires urban building types—buildings that align on the streets, rather than isolated freestanding buildings. The downtown also needs an extended civic structure of legible public space: a civic structure of streets, plazas, and parks. It is also fundamental to have walkable mixed-use neighborhoods for vital, active environment. A basic question is: how big is downtown Providence? What is its “capacity”? Calculations indicate that downtown Providence could accommodate a population of at least 12,000 - 15,000 inhabitants—i.e., people actually living there—and make a better urban environment at the same time. Given that the population of the United

View Across Void Left by Highway Removal - 2011

States is projected to increase by about 110 million people by 2050, and given that compact urban life is more resource efficient on a per capita basis than suburban sprawl, this projected capacity of downtown Providence is far from unreasonable. Indeed, as outrageous as it seems, a major portion of the right bank of the city of Paris would fit within the area of downtown Providence. This area of Paris includes the Palais Royal, the Bourse, the Place Vendôme, and much of the high-end shopping. Despite the implausibility and inappropriateness of Paris in Providence, however, it provides a stunning image that might stimulate a fresh way of looking at the city. The most flexible and effective urban plans are not programmatically explicit; i.e., regarding building use. Rather, the best urban plans are long-range, form-based plans that allow for programmatic flexibility. All of the following projects were developed on that basis. They try to fill out the downtown (and sometimes the Capitol area), provide a more extended and elaborate open space structure, make connections to the surrounding areas, and provide walkable, mixeduse neighborhoods. Because they are longrange plans there are no economic models for implementation. This would need to be a separate study. Nevertheless, it is useful to leap-frog over the current condition and fantasize about what downtown Providence could be.


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Paris Collage into Providence


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EXISTING IMAGES

PROVIDENCE, RI

View Down Westminster Street 17

Void from Highway Removal

Bus Terminal


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EXISTING IMAGES

PROVIDENCE, RI

State Capitol 19

Chestnut Street

Elm Street


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Capitol Center

Waterplace Park


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Existing Plan Menglin Jiang

Sreoshy Banerjea

Ryan Kurlbaum

Aristodimos Komninos

Michela Barone Lumaga

Kobi Ruthenberg

Andres Bernal

Kristen Zeiber

Celina Balderas Guzman

Judy Zheng Jia

Aditya Barve


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From City to Building Menglin Jiang

A good city should seek to recover its collective memory. People who live in the city should feel the “past� of the city. According to the theory of Aldo Rossi, there are two types of city architecture, which can help the city restore its collective memory. The first is compound housing and the other one is the memorial of the city. Hence, during the process of

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urban renewal, these two kinds of building types can be extracted to change the function rather than demolish the existing fabric. This urban design strategy seeks to preserve and restore the urban memory by inserting a new urban sequence that re-constructs the urban core.


re-connecting Conceptual Model

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Site Potential

Aerial Perspective of Urban Design Intervention

Model of Proposed Plan


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Existing Plan


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Proposed Plan


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Proposed Civic Structure Sequence Design

Section of Highway Boulevard

Section of Traffic Plaza

Section of Memorial Park


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Highway Boulevard

Memorial Park


Typical Street Elevation

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Typical Street Section


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Typical Apartment Plans

Typical Apartment Interiors


City Interconnectivity Sreoshy Banerjea

This design proposal seeks to create a cohesive network of well-connected streets, green spaces, and urban public squares. The main strategy to revitalize Providence is to create a waterfront district. There is a proposed main boulevard that connects Downcity to the Jewelry District. Parallel to this vehicular access boulevard is a pedestrian street that allows residents to experience the new waterfront. Flanking both the main boulevard and the pedestrian street are public green spaces that open onto a large urban space. The existing

fabric is not drastically demolished; instead the new fabric forms around it. The new civic structure forms around existing landmarks and connects with the new waterfront area. The main plaza takes on the program of a cultural center that is a public private partnership between the City and the many .academic institutions in Providence

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Aerial View of Providence


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Urban Design Plan


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Existing Plan


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Proposed Plan


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Civic Structure

Neighborhood Plan


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Block Diagrams

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Apartment Building Axon

Apartment Building Details

Proposed Street Elevation


Aerial View of Open Space

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Plan of Open Space

Axonometric of Open Space

Approach to Open Space


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The Plaza


A Civic Re-Construction Ryan Kurlbaum

In 1938, Providence utilized its vibrant waterfront as a source of urban vitality and commerce. The following scheme seeks to re-activate the waterfront with a contemporary translation of the historical piers. With the pier structure back in place the city of Providence is woven together by three main elements: first, a new hierarchical street network highlighted by a tree-lined boulevard linking the Capitol building to the waterfront; second,

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a new civic structure of diverse open and green spaces that re-connects Downcity and the Jewelry District; and third, a major public open space and cultural building that becomes a terminus within the city. This urban design strategy is founded upon a revitalized waterfront and a vibrant civic structure full of architectural and development opportunities.

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Proposed

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Aerial Perspective at Waterfront


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Urban Design Plan


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Existing Plan


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Proposed Plan


Material Typologies

Reclaimed Cedar

Perforated Metal

Recycled Lumber

Polycarbonite

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Proposed Street Elevation


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Open Space

Proposed Axonometric

Proposed Street Section

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Open Space and Green Structure

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Open Space + Cultural Building Exploded Axon

Open Space + Cultural Building Plan

Open Space Site Section


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Open Space Axonometric

Process Models


Water Inlet and Street

Amphitheater Perspective

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Final Model


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Final Model


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The Wall Aristodimos Komninos

Providence contains several significant educational and cultural clusters (Brown University, RISD, Johnson & Wales). However, Downcity suffers from sparse urbanization, poorly connected neighborhoods segmented by vast parking areas, and underdeveloped land. Most representative is the unbuilt area where the highway used to cross between Financial District and Jewelry District, dividing the city. Given the inevitable population growth that our cities will experience over the next 25 years, this project aims to create a denser urban fabric by revitalizing the civic structure and strengthening its urban identity. Downcity Providence can be read as an island. Defined by the riverfront and a highway,

the Financial and Jewelry Districts are clearly detached from the surrounding areas: College Hill, Smith Hill, Federal Hill, South Providence and Fox Point. While the riverfront is currently seen as a great asset for the city, the highway undermines its continuity and connectivity with the rest of these neighborhoods. This proposal attempts to identify those venues that will bring about Downcity’s urban rebirth, and to develop strategies that could bring this vision into life. The study examines a spectrum of scales, from the city-wide strategies to neighborhood and block units. However, the main focus area is the highway, reconceived as a valuable and essential part of Providence’s overall civic structure.

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Aerial View Looking East


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City Hall

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Train Station

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Providence Place Mall

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Washington Square

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RISD

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Brown University

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Waterplace Park

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Johnson & Wales

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I-95

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Fox Point

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Infrastructure Pavilions

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Cathedral Square

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Jewelry Square

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Museum District

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Water Plaza

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Urban Design Masterplan


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Existing Fabric


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Proposed Fabric


URBAN PATCHES The main landmarks of the city, together with areas of potential development, outline a strategy consisting of specific development gestures that function as “urban patches.” These patches vary in scale and breadth, connecting disparate urban areas while creating balance along the city edge. In this way the scheme encourages homogeneous growth for the in-between areas. One patch transverses the city from East to West. This gesture connects Brown University,

RISD and Johnson & Wales while leading across the highway towards undeveloped land. The patch could trigger newly integrated campus development, bringing together the major educational resources of Providence. The second patch brings City Hall and the Industrial Zone into Downcity’s urban realm, redefining two major endpoints of the NorthSouth axis. The Industrial Zone will counterbalance the magnitude of City Hall by turning the whole area into the city’s Museum District.

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Aerial View Looking South


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Urban Development Strategy

Longitudinal Section Facing East


WATER PLAZA AND THE WALL. In terms of civic structure, the City Hall and the Providence Place Mall, together with the vast public space they share, are matched in scale by the new Water Plaza, located at the southernmost edge of the city in the current Industrial Zone. The Water Plaza will catalyze Downcity Providence with an urban space that will properly anchor its civic structure. Today, the site is disrupted by the highway crossing the river and deprives access to the city’s

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Central Axis and the Conclusive Public Space

The Water Plaza - Top View

southern edge. The Water Plaza features a monumental linear building which marks the edge of the city, while simultaneously framing a rectangular public space overlooking Providence River and Fox Point. Water Plaza, as a joint between the two main strategies, is the most important element of the proposal. The linear building is actually a small part of a greater urban structure that constitutes the second strategy of this study: the Wall.


linear zone along this edge to accommodate big programs - preferably programs requiring access to the highway. The densification of the city will result in limited vehicular access and parking; most of the circulation will be absorbed at the edge of the city, allowing the inner street network to function separately. This zoning features characteristics such as increased height and an interconnected linear network of commercial arcades at the ground floor.

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THE WALL The Wall is an exploration of how a city deals with its limits and edges. Specific boundaries are viewed as unwanted agents of segregation, but they can also be crucially decisive factors in urban design. As mentioned before, Downcity is surrounded by Interstate 95. This piece of infrastructure created a powerful boundary for the city, impacting both its connectivity and integrity along this edge. The solution proposed is a

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The Water Plaza - the Linear Building and an Overview of the Wall


This zoning will generate a homogenous and rigid urban element that will be read as the city’s new identity from the outside and a continuous urban façade from the inside, restructuring the dismantled urban landscape while protecting Downcity from the noise and aesthetics of the highway. The Wall is interrupted at intersections with major streets and the “patches” mentioned before, shaping gateways for the city. In this way, the Wall does not segregate the city from its surroundings, but formalizes and marks its welcoming points.

INFRASTRUCTURE PAVILIONS Supportive urban elements are the wide platforms bridging the two sides of the highway. “Infrastructure Pavilions,” built on those platforms, accommodate programs like big markets and farmer’s houses that are perceived as common ground between neighborhoods, while assisting in preventing heavy vehicular traffic from entering the city. Incoming goods will be concentrated in those pavilions before redistribution within city limits.

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Programmatic Analysis of the Wall


Conceptual Sketch of the Infrastructure Pavilion

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The Highway and the Bridging Platforms

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Urban Footprint of the Wall


THE BLOCK - THE NEIGHBORHOOD The function of the block is to knit together a cohesive street network. The North-South and East-West axes are contradictory: the former lacks the continuity and coherence of the latter. This block structure was designed as a means to reconstitute proper circulation by integrating irregular and discontinuous streets into a reorganized street network favoring pedestrian circulation. The second goal is to add density and program to the neighborhoods by following the new street design and utilizing the secondary street network. In other words, the proposal turns the blocks inside out by activating their interior domestic spaces

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as pieces of a chain connecting the block courtyards. This is achieved by introducing a core into the interior of a block, hosting small programs such as small retail stores, galleries, bars and even artists’ studios, in order to keep the pedestrian streets active. Moreover, since the courtyards of the blocks are occupied by the core uses described above, the public space dedicated to residents of the block is elevated and placed on the rooftop of those programs, allowing democratic access to every single building. This block structure favors the shaping of neighborhoods as autonomous communities, aware of their own unity while simultaneously taking part in a greater urban realm.


Conceptual Sketch of the Core Function

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HOUSING RETAIL GROUND CIRCULATION & PUBLIC SPACE

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Interior Perspective View of the Block Interior


Urban Deck Michela Barone Lumaga

Providence is currently a city without a center. The morphology and centrality of Capitol Hill makes this region a strategic space for urban development. The site consists of a teardrop-shaped territory separated from the rest of the city by the two main infrastructures that connect the town to its surroundings: I-95 and the train tracks. The hill is elevated on the west side approximately 30 feet from the river valley, and on the east side the highway gouges a linear trench along the north/ south axis. The project focuses on two main interventions: reconnecting the former circulation network in order to increase accessibility and traffic flow; and creating a panoramic promenade

facing the river which will develop public city life and improve the relationship with the natural environment. The linear design of the deck along the west side creates larger piers with leisure functions, affording an opportunity to revitalize an area otherwise disconnected from the city. A succession of piers and stairs and a steppedseating theater stretch over the new park, forming an environmental buffer between the old Providence and its new center. The new Providence train station is located at the lower level of the south deck’s extremity, vertically connecting the different layers of the city.

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Postcard From Providence


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Cross Section

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Proposed Masterplan


Existing Circulation

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Proposed Circulation

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Conceptual Sketches

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Proposed Capitol Hill


Elevated Promena

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Galleria

Staircase to

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Sunken Railway Station


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omenade

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Belvedere

Train Tracks

Open Air Theater

Exploded Diagram Concert Platform

case to Park

case to Railway Station


Sectional Studies

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Street Pattern Study

Volumetric Study


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Urban Block Matrix

Facade Study


Central Providence Development Strategy - Normalizing the City Core Kobi Ruthenberg

This project sets as its main objective the formation of the city center as a collective and generic construct. The proposal brings forth a possibility for normality in a society, not in order to promote conservatism or stability but rather for the purpose of enabling new forms of freedom through the

celebration of the ordinary. Anonymity of city form is sought to allow maximum programmatic flexibility and cultural exchange. The proposed design strategy is established through a definition of the three primary design principles :

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Existing Condition

First Phase Demolition and First Phase Construction

Proposed Plan After Two Phases Of Demolition and Construction

Aerial View - East


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Proposed Urban Design Plan


NORMALITY The city plays a key role in societies’ search for normality. The city’s form is a complex political construct that defines clearly what is within the norm (regular) and what is outside of it (irregular). This is not to say that as urban designers we are political agents; rather, that we should be mindful and critical of what the city we are designing promotes as a social construct .

CENTRALITY The city center is not a project of the past but a project for the future. Even with the sprawled condition of contemporary cities, their core is a vital element of organization which has great impact on the character and identity of societies. The core of a city is what the citizens collectively activate and is a symbol of its union. It gives identity to a place and plays a key role as a means of communication within a culture.

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Aerial View of the Current City Form - South


re-structuring Civic Structure - Existing

Civic Structure - Proposed

Aerial View of the Library Plaza - West

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East-West Section

North-South Section

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Aerial View of the Library Plaza - East

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Triangular Articulation of Civic Structure


Continuous folding line

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Block Type Study


in respect to the block type. Whether one chooses to use a ribbon slab block, solitary high-rises, attached buildings in perimeter blocks, or any other type, all can be designed into qualitative places in our cities. Problems arise when type is used as an ideological tool, in an exclusive inflexible manner and in isolation from society’s real requirements.

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TYPOLOGY By implementing a systematic use of block size and street section, the city is able to express the difference between its background and foreground or the normal and the exceptional. The regularity of the proposed urban fabric establishes a coherent local character and thus creates a platform that allows flexibility

Typical Floor Plans

Block Facade Study

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6 Phase Ideal City Design Sequence

1-Five Minutes Walk - 1200 Feet Radius

2-Outline of a Street Network - Hierarchy of Open Spaces

3-Zoning by Density and Typology


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Perspective Of The Library And The Plaza

4-Diversity of Blocks within Each Type

5-Subdivision of Blocks into Parcels

6-Definition of Buildings Heights First Stage: 50 to 80 Feet


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Establishing Providence’s Backbone Andres Bernal

It is not an overstatement to say that the current condition of downtown Providence is one of complete fragmentation. Its districts are physically divided by a highway, the remnants of a highway, and the river. In essence, Providence is an archipelago of districts that lack connectivity and active public spaces. This is a proposal to reconnect Downcity, the Jewelry District, and the Hospital Complex, as well as to strengthen existing East-West connections. The objective is to develop a spine from which Providence can be coherently organized. The spine capitalizes on Memorial Boulevard, which is the only existing connection between these districts that is currently

active. Memorial Boulevard gets reshaped to act as the main connector and the main organizer for the city’s civic structure. Two large public spaces are added at the intersection of the Jewelry District and Downcity, effectively extending the city’s public realm. The goal for these public spaces, a park and a plaza, is to counterbalance the existing public space around the State House in order to extend activity to other areas of the city. Beyond the spine, this project develops a series of smaller public spaces and boulevards that strengthen the EastWest connectors between Federal Hill and Smith Hill to College Hill.

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Aerial View


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Urban Design Plan


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Existing Fabric


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Proposed Fabric


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Connection at Metro Scale

20,000 People Mile/Sq

1,000 People Mile/Sq

Providence Jewelry District

Connections at Downcity Scale

30,000 People Mile/Sq

Philadelphia Queen Village

30,000 People Mile/Sq

Boston North End

New York Greenwich Village


Remain

Existing

Old

Demo

Phase 1

New

Phase 2 Phase 3

Buildings to be Demolished

Phasing

Old and New

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Block Types

Boulevard

Neighborhood

Esplanade


Open Space Plan

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Longitudinal Section

Views to the River


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Aerial View


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Street Elevation

Street Section

Typical Apartments


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Street Wall Facade


The Central Corridor Celina Balderas Guzman

Downtown Providence currently faces a separation between the active downtown area and the Jewelry District due to the vast area of vacant land leftover by the highway demolition. Moreover, while connectivity is good in the east-west direction, it is poor in the north-south direction within the downtown area. In order to resolve these issues and to reconcile conflicting street grids, a wide central avenue is proposed for the downtown as a new backbone of built form, active uses, and transportation corridor, in order to knit together the downtown once again. Within this avenue, a central public space for Providence can take place. As

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the downtown is a low-lying, flood-risk area which has seen major floods during its history, one idea for this public space is a storm water management park which can treat and retain water during storms. The storm water management system can be designed as an infrastructural park landscape. More than simply treating storm water, this park can accommodate a variety of urban programs: market space at Weybosset Street, green park space in the storm water management landscape, and neighborhood park programming at the southern end .


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Urban Design Plan


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Existing Urban Design Plan


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Proposed Urban Design Plan


Market Square

Open Lawn/ Event Space

Waterscape

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Neighborhood Park

Waterscape Section 1

Section at Lawn Event Space

Waterscape Section 2


Street Section

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Neighborhood Axonometric

Apartment Elevation

Apartment Section

Apartment Plan


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Infrastructure Park


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Re-thinking Waterfront Judy Zheng Jia

This design explores possible urban strategies which address spatial separation and fragmentation; large amounts of vacant space; an underused waterfront; a weak economy; high risk of climate change; and stormwater management. The urban design scheme aims to create a dense urban

fabric and a large functional wetland as a waterfront park. In between the two parts, a vibrant waterfront boulevard, along with a series of courtyard blocks opening towards the waterfront, help to strengthen the relationship of city and river .

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Urban Spatial Structure

Concept of Wetland Design

Vision of Providence Waterfront

Aerial View of Waterfront


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2025

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Proposed Waterfront in 2025


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Existing Urban Design Plan


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Proposed Urban Design Plan


Proposed Plan

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Water Flow in Constructed Wetland

Proposed Blocks

Cells of Constructed Wetland

Proposed Open Space


Exploded Axonometric: Constructed Wetland

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Constructed Wetland Section 119

Views Across Constructed Wetland


Aerial View of Wetland 120

Typical Boulevard Section

Aerial View of Boulevard


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Typical Apartment Section

Block Diagrams

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Typical Apartment Plans

Typical Apartment Elevation

Typical Apartment Street Elevation


Polycentric Providence Aditya Barve

This design approach probes the possibility of connecting Downcity and the Jewelery District by creating a strong central growth center in between the two. This formal approach, coupled with a hierarchy of open spaces and a vibrant riverfront, help to create a legible urban framework which accommodates various programmatic needs. The multi-functional central block with its “urban courtyard� gives identity to an entire

urban design scheme. The urban design also integrates existing buildings with the new, respecting the identity and history of the place. The overall concept can thus be repeated with differing programmatic and thematic identities, creating multiple growth centers which then can span across the existing I-95 to be linked with a strong public transport network.

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Urban Design Diagrams

Axonometric of Proposed Urban Design


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Proposed Urban Design Plan


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Existing Urban Design Plan


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Proposed Urban Design Plan


Waterfront Site Section

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Intervention Plan

Aerial View of Waterfront

Components


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Aerial View of Urban Intervention

Aerial View of Open Space


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Urban Axes

Urban Design Guidelines


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Typical Apartment Design Plans

Proposed Apartment Design


Street and Faรงade Alternatives

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Faรงade Adaptability

Proposed Urban Design Model


BOGOTA, COLOMBIA

ANDRES BERNAL

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA TEACHING ASSISTANT

MARIA ANTONIA BOTERO

132 STIRLING, SCOTLAND

ALISTAIR McINTOSH

MILAN, ITALY

MICHELA BARONE LUMAGA

PENNSYLVANIA, USA

KRISTEN ZEIBER

KANSAS, USA

RYAN KURLBAUM

TEXAS, USA

MICHAEL DENNIS

MONTERREY, MEXICO

CELINA BALDERAS GUZMAN


BEIJING, CHINA

JUDY ZIANG JIA

PUNE, INDIA

ADITYA BARVE

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL

KOBI RUTHENBERG

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SHANGHAI, CHINA

MENGLIN JIANG

KOLKATA, INDIA

SREOSHY BANERJEA

ATHENS, GREECE

ARISTODIMOS KOMNINOS


re-providence

Urban Design Projects - Fall 2011 Michael Dennis + Alistair McIntosh Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Urban Design Projects | Michael Dennis + Alistair McIntosh

This report summarizes the work produced in the Introductory Urban Design Studio during the fall semester, 2011 in the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The studio was taught by Michael Dennis and Alistair McIntosh. The eleven participants were students in the SMarchS Architecture and Urbanism post-professional degree program. The studio subject was the downtown area of Providence, Rhode Island. Like many American cities, the central area of Providence was devastated by “urban renewal,” and arterial strangulation during the post-World War II era. Despite many recent positive initiatives, however, downtown Providence still appears largely abandoned. It is therefore an ideal urban design study. Because the studio was introductory, there were two imperatives for the study: one pedagogical; the other practical. The pedagogical imperative was to sensitize the students to a new and unfamiliar art—that of town planning and urban design. Architectural training is the base for this, but it is not sufficient by itself. To the architectural base must be added urban, landscape, and ecological understanding. The practical imperative was to have each student explore ideas for the redevelopment of downtown Providence on several different levels: buildings, blocks, streets, neighborhoods, and town. Given the time frame, this would be a difficult task for a professional team, but the students did manage to produce a wide range of provocative projects illustrated in this report.

re-providence

MIT - Fall 2011


Re-Providence