Not only are disciplinary intersections needed to address the widening separation between civil engineering, landscape architecture, and architecture within the contemporary urban sprawl but a serious engagement into the architecture of the undesirable is needed. Gas stations, large-scale box stores, fast food, strip malls, and poorly design apartments, continue to liter the horizontal urban landscape, yet few of these types of buildings have had serious, if any, design-research engagement.
The studio allows students to specialize in the comprehensive exploration and conjectural thesis of a specific building type for the duration of a semester. Though multiple programs are addressed, the pursuit of genotypic ëprototypesí (as opposed to specific phenotypes) binds the collective aim of the studio. The first half of the studio focused on the production of a book which documented the normative variables and ëparametricí range of different building types.
Box-store urbanism implies the re-location and re-conception of the large scale retail typically found in suburban box stores. The large retail volumes are immediately challenged by the urban fabricís need for reduced lot sizes, mixed use programs, and active street edges. Through intense urban negotiations and parametric modelling the project explores alternative configurations and various types of organizational strategies.
Air Rights Architecture investigates two formerly forgotten aspects of architecture, the roof and the sky, to reconfigure historical notions that: architecture must primarily touch the ground and large buildings traditionally have flat roofs. The project is situated in a prototypical Midwest urban site with endless opportunities to accommodate changing density patterns.
Architectural design creating effective and appropriate relationships with manmade/natural environments. Selection/critique of site; the analysis and documentation of contextual conditions; and the incorporation of structure, material, and their expressions into design.
Waterfront revitalization projects have become a cliché of post-industrial re-urbanization as cities around the world transform formerly industrialized waterfronts into public parks, promenades, commercial and residential developments, and other people-friendly environments. Areas that were once the ugly backsides of cities have become aestheticized public edges. Surrounding SF investigated this phenomenon and proposed alternative responses using the Port of San Francisco as a case study.