I’ve been meaning to post some architectural design work on here for a while now, so this is at least a start. Now in my fifth and final year of architecture school I’m currently working on my “thesis” project — “thesis” is in quotations because it is a little different from what it is in other professions. It is basically an idea/understanding that arises through our investigations on a particular architectural subject matter. Mine, so far, is about the intentional manipulation of light and perception through boundary (more on that some other time).
The medium of investigation is the design of a building in downtown Montgomery, a once thriving city devastated, like so many, by the advent of the car. With the car came glorified suburbia, and out went people. As pedestrians disappeared so did storefronts… empty buildings were torn down for parking lots/garages, and streets were widened to speed traffic. This left the urban fabric in shambles and pretty unsuitable for pedestrian use.
You can see in this figure ground map of downtown how sparse the street frontage is– pretty much all the blank space (other than the streets of course) is parking. I color coded the heights of buildings to show the lack of density: the lightest shade represents 1 and 2 story buildings while darker is taller. Thankfully, now that people are beginning to realize these flaws and the beauty of good urbanism, the city is working hard to revitalize through proper planning.
In small groups we researched the city and their overarching planning proposals to make our own proposals to revitalize specific portions of the urban fabric. Out of these proposals came our individual building projects that we are working on for the rest of the year.
Mine (represented by the small orange dot on the map) is basically an observation tower that serves as a terminus for a major street and the backdrop of a new public park/plaza a classmate and I are designing across from the baseball stadium. Above are just a couple little images from earlier this semester.