" The typological essense is a complement element." - Aldo Rossi
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Intro: Allahmichelangelo Sketch
Earlier this year I was introduced to a property in New Jersey, in a vital corner lot of the city's downtown center. The property was in a conversation for redevelopment and perhaps a change of use to a mixed-use in order to reactivate its surplus and economic benefit. Although the conversation did not continue, I personally developed a proposal for my creative design experience. More importantly, this effort represents the potential and direction, Observed Objectives, would like to implement on any project. I was recently asked, what kind of architecture or design do you specialize in, and in reality, I don't think there is an actual specialization of aesthetic in interest. Actually, the intentions are and always will be to see a project for its environmental impact and potential influence in different matters of society, such as economics and experience and city design, from the initial time it is approved by city agencies. The goal is to understand the existing surrounding environment, in where the new project, building or experience will thrive showing what the architecture is or will bring new to the existing urban fabric and how it will be influential.
With that being said, Rossi, in his book the Architecture of the City, noted "One cannot make Architecture without studying the conditions of life in the city" and this specific site is an interesting one. Besides the fact that the property exists in a prominent business district downtown it is still relatively bounded by a mixture of social influences and economic markets. On one side a commercial corridor that is partly depleting living in low-maintenance classical structures but with very high potential, and on the other, a fancy economic district for large insurance companies, local agencies and bank corporations, as well as, the large Prudential entertainment center and the highly proclaimed Rutger's University . One can easily recognize the potential of this property and the site it belongs to. The existing building, partly vacated for it's high cost of rent and a ground floor commerical storefront hosted to Gamestop and other smaller business ventures had to be rethought. The property is calling for a use that makes a statement. The district's favorite restaurant and a critically acclaimed retail store of high fashion to change the environment is just one of the occupancies being proposed for the ground floor of the space. In the upper levels, a high-class hotel with a spa, and an indoor and outdoor pool for the incoming business visitors, athletes, educators and tourists.
In order to maintain the elegance of most of the great towers and buildings, and provide prestige and prominence to the development of this property, the facade of the building is such an important factor of this rennovation. Existing bland windows and a depleting facade was rethought with arches, decorations, a new freize, entablature, cornice, and swing windows with high-fashion decor as shown in the sketches below. Moreover, the facade speaks to the interior program, where glazing is responsive to public program such as storefronts, office space, gym and pool areas and smaller glazed windows to private hotel rooms. New balcony areas were added to the building's scheme at the highest levels of the penthouse suites which gave a greater elegance to the building's facade and to the interior heirarchy. Rossi, also stated, "The typological essence is a complement element ", this classical proposal, if you will, is a balance of Islamic or Roman Renaissance architecture.
Process Rennovation of a Classical Architecture