Saturday, November 5, 2011

Warped Interior Boulevard?

sooo.. here is my project. it is a "very interesting project"

This semester, I'm working on a team of three, and while we were assigned the site, we get to choose the program. Above is a model I built for our first review.. it just gets the massing idea across.. platforms (that are now called Decks) that accommodate parking and car program -- drive-in theater, auto shows, and a high class Porsche dealer -- with retail volumes hanging off the side..
Here is an excerpt from the few pages of bs we submitted with our initial proposal.

Summary: The current Whole Foods Parking annex is strategically located on the edge of several conditions – the edge of work, play, and home. This space is meant to be a transition – transition from work to home, home to play, work to play, etc. as well as a transportation transition. Bordered by 6th St., 5th St. and Shoal Creek, our site is an under-utilized transportation hub. The proposed program for the site involves integrating the 3 main modes of transport in Austin – the vehicle, the bicycle, and the pedestrian. By intertwining select retail, open space, and public and private parking into one site, we seek to create a new urban environment. Condensing and folding the urban street and storefront in on itself, the project succeeds in producing a new definition of urban density – the Urban Car Park.

The Urban car park creates a node of transition between the automobile, bicycle, and pedestrian. Stacking program vertically, the project promotes interaction between the users of the designed parking space, retail, event space, bicycle facilities and green space. The project is essentially a warped interior boulevard of ramps and parking space, creating an urban sponge of accessibility and program.

The project will integrate seamlessly with the surrounding context – it provides small-scale retail to counter the larger stores on Lamar, parking for shoppers, an open public space for the nearby residents, and a bicycle storage and shower facility for those commuting to work.

One of the latest models.. we spent 2 weeks developing the ground site and courtyards.. so they are staying put while we develop what the heck happens above ground.

We had our first formal critique (with outside professors) a week and a half ago, and we were torn apart. Project was called a vertical suburban strip mall and a glorified garage. but we took a few days off, rallied, and are changing the way we talk about and describe the project.. "Parking Platforms" and "Garage" have been eliminated from our vocabulary, and we are pressing on! Next review is on Wednesday... hopefully it will go a lot better. We'll be better prepared to present the project, i think.

sooo... this project is nothing like what I want to do with my life.. and just when I was getting discouraged, I got an email about a lunch session with Katie Swenson -- who is pretty much who I want to be as far as architecture goes.. here is her bio from the email:
"Katie Swenson, a national leader in sustainable design for low-income communities, recently named an emerging leader by the Design Futures Council, and to Steelcase’s prestigious Green Giant list. She is the Vice President of National Design Initiatives at \Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. She is also the Director of the Rose Architectural Fellowship and Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute."

The Rose Fellowship is AWESOME, and something I have had in my "opportunities for the future" list for years... you have to have a professional degree, so I definitely plan to apply once I'm done at UT. Anyway, I'll be meeting her on Thursday, so I've got to come up with some great questions and become her best friend. advice? AHHHH so excited!