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Urbanizing The Context Of The Area, l
"Where space was considered permanent, it now feels transitory – on its way to becoming. The words and ideas of architecture, once the official language of space, no longer seem capable of describing this proliferation of new conditions. But even as its utility is questioned in the real world, architectural language survives, its repertoire of concepts and metaphors resurrected to create clarity and definition in new, unfamiliar domains..." Mr. Rem Koolhaas in a note on WIRED, June 2003
THE EMPHASIS: in healthy living is living healthy, in living good is good living, in retrospect one must live in a great place to place the seeds for a fruitition of a great life. It all starts within your cultural environment. For architects, designers and planners, there must be a production, creation of stimulating and evoking habitable spaces that synthesize all human emotion, interactivity, and desires to fulfill the quality demands of healthy living and a great life.
We see these notions of 'creating a cultural environment' studied and realized in high consumer areas like Rodeo Drive in Beverely Hills, or 5th Avenue in New York. In where, the desigers of these avenues and streetfronts have the consumer's intuition and psychoanalysis' at high consideration in order to design areas that attract high amounts of consumers and maximize the capabilities of financial revenue.
That same ambition, designers use to evoke these luxurious and high quality consumer areas, should be used to improve our struggling neighborhoods. As America grows in population, so is urbanization and to battle struggling environments in poverty, I feel residences that account for more people in more quality and sustainble ways are the answer. To design spaces and residential areas that not only are aesthetically pleasing and financially reimbursing but that also contribute to our society by bringing peace and well being, through unity, activity and understanding of each other's roles as citizens.
Introducing mixed use environments can serve as an influence for standards of living in any area. Instead of setting social classes in seperated neighborhoods we shall create residences that are inviting to all people no matter what race or financial class. A space or buiilding that becomes a trademark of the kind of neighborhood we seek to design. A setting that not only serves for residential purposes but also for the community. In where the site, the neighborhood and all of its amentities and potential become crucial to the community's success.
Mixed Use buildings are imperative in the growth of any urban neighborhood or creating a "cultural environment". They attract all kinds of people, depending on the housing quality, and they also contribute to the commerce and interactivity of the neighborhood. They hold the space for living and for whatever else is neccessary in the site. In this project, the site is on Atlantic Ave. by the Van Wyck Expressway in Queens, where the neighborhood is primarily a private residence composed of 2-family detached housing, except on the Avenues where its currently composed of commerical and business factories.
The work area is a great site of about 12,000 sq ft., along side of a 6-car lane avenue road with private residences next door and a commerical factory across the street. The proposal was to design the maximum amount of quality apartments with a commerical first floor. The Commercial area would become either a supermarket, a gym or food/ retail area. This would be beneficial for the area being that it is majorily residential and factory orientated. In a simple and efficient design scheme, the proposal touched base on the surrounding context of the area, how the building should interact with its site and zoning limits, as well as the architectural language in its aesthetics that identified the mixed use amenities of a residential versus commercial setting.
This design scheme, if you will, is a relatively simple example of a mixed use trademark in an urban neighborhood that starts a cultural environment of quality modern apartments with parking and a commercial area in an overlooked busy avenue with great potential. Spatious 2-bedroom apartments, each with their own balcony, are apart of the program which allow for an outdoor view for the apartment owners. The design uses geometrical shapes for an easy construction to detail each floor aesthetically and programatically. The use of glass allows for a lit building in the dark and represents the public living areas, again representing a trademark for an overlooked and quiet neighborhood.