Sunday, November 3, 2013


By Alan Kirkwood

Well today is the day of midterm review presentations. So much stress has built up leading into this day due to computer issues, finances, lack of sleep, and just having a deadline. There are two sets of groups, one with its site in Grand Rapids, Mi and the other in Chicago, Il. We are unsure of what order the groups are presenting in which is why you need to be prepared for anything. I have been here at the architecture building everyday for the last five with two very long days. My main objective was to have finished everything by Tuesday morning since fortunately we were on break from school the last few days as well and give myself a day to rest prior to presenting. Unfortunately that DID NOT happen, therefore leaving me anxiously looking forward to tonight, sure to be coma. I am looking forward to presenting though because we have a special guest critique coming in from Chicago hear the different groups.
My group’s presentations went very well I would say. John started by presenting our overall master plan as well as how we arrived at it. Our overall concept was “one region, one future”, a part of the 2009 Burnham plan in which we implicated its components throughout our designs. A major aspect of our master plan was a two block park space with hills that services the surrounding community. Then we moved to my particular portion of the project. I chose to do two residential buildings that consist of commercial ground level with 3 floors of units above. The west façade, which faces the united center and Malcolm x college will be a more regular flat façade with commercial spaces geared towards those buildings. The east façade of the building faces the park and will be tiered up and set back in order to mimic the slopes of the adjacent park. Each of the roofs on this side of the building will have different functions for resident use including a food growing garden, an outdoor reading space, an outdoor community social space, as well as a pool. I am trying to design my building to the amenities and specs of the residential company, AMLI. This company provides short term living for its tenants starting at 3 month leases. I felt that this would be a prime location for a building like this because it services the different major player of the community commercial wise, but also the lease types could be used for visiting doctors, hospital residents, visiting students and seasonal interns signed on with the Bulls or Blackhawks. The east side of the building between the building and park is to become a bit of a promenade with store and restaurant facades to one side and a park to the other while being lined with trees, seating, planters and water features at different points. This is to create a peaceful walking experience within a busy, car dominated area. This space also provides easy access to the CTA pink line train and a bus line directly to the south.

This is a simple overview of my project. You can go to to see their buildings and amenities to get somewhat of an idea as to what I’m aiming towards.

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