"The Adventure beyond this safe and sound territory has been presented as fraught with challenging difficulties, especially in the area of termperament. Before attempting such a venture the investor should feel sure of himself and his advisors - particularly as to whether they have a clear concept of the differences between investment and speculation and between market price and underlying value". - The Intelligent Investor, Benjamin Graham
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Architectural Context, Typologies, and Environmental Synergies
Identifying The Networks of Architectural Environments and Development
Aside from the classical architectural façade that was presented in the last post, in this one there is a culmination of drawings and diagrams that depict a narrative of the environmental and economical context surrounding the proposal of this new building. When designing, I think, a premier goal is to always look from the inside out and have an understanding of the influence the building will propose in its environment. In order to do so, we must understand the existing communities, architectural typologies and existing social economies. Perhaps, this is not the job of an architect, but rather the developer, in this case we are playing both in interest of finding the potential of this renovation. On the collage shown to the right is a drawing presenting the different typologies and, respectfully, the environmental synergies they create upon themselves. From NeoClassical Architecture of high regard hosting the most respected insurance companies, to the modern curtain wall architectures, defining educational and institutional programs. Each architecture makes a statement and dignifies its purpose. For example, Gothic Revival architecture for the Presbyterian Church, shows the great impact the community has in understanding it's religious history in this architecture. The depleting colonial townhouses with the modern commercial ground floor storefronts says a lot about the social economy of the area, in where we question the cost of living, rent and the disparities in communities within small distances.
It is here where we begin to argue and question whether it is the architecture, in terms of its typological history, or the program, in terms of its use, that creates the environment. To me , it is both. Consider walking the different areas of New York, Little Italy, the Lower Eastside or Soho and what there architectures embrace and how does one feel. Consider walking in other major cities such as Amsterdam and Rome, or how about Madrid or Sao Paulo, very different in culture, architecture, economies and programs but yet very well enticing in their own regards. In this case, the subject is the renovation of this building and how it will have an impactful influence in its area not only for its investors but for the environment it will create. It's existing setting, is a prominent one, being in the Central District, with great potentials in transit hubs and tourist attractions like The Prudential Center, the Performing Arts Center and the Newark Museum. Still, this building calls to be an influence in an area that is right in the middle of the social and economical disparities of Newark. According to the Census research, the median income of households to the west of the building lot is $23,000, while the median income of households to the east of the building lot is $48,000. That is a differential of almost double, so the question is, can the proposed renovation for a hotel become an activist in the disparity of socio-economics by infiltrating space with tourists, visitors and consumers that will bring a new culture and economy to the area.
The building, AllahMichelangelo, is to propose a 16-Story mixed-use classical architecture composed of high-fashion retail and a cultural restaurant on the ground floor, executive meeting rooms, a gym and a luxurious spa on the second and third floors, and a high-class hotel, respectively, in the upper levels. Hence, while defining the environmental synergies and the social economies of the area, there was some research developed on the economical markets of the programs that will be introduced through this structure. In the diagrams below, there is some research of what the economical markets of hotels, restaurants, gym/spas and fashionable retail are. This also allows a glimpse of the economical benefit as compared to its neighboring businesses that the building will bring upon it's own self-sufficiency.