By: Kayla Fuller
This semester our studio is designing a transit village for the New Haven Community of the Near West District of Chicago, Illinois. Currently the site is comprised of parking lots for the United Center and Rush Hospital, there is very little activity in the evenings and they have a high crime rate. Our first approach in developing our master plan was to analyze the immigration patterns of the area, the most prominent are the African American, Greek, Italian, Caucasian and Hispanic cultures. Although the area is very diverse, our site is an empty corridor in a very influential area. The United Center is a major attraction for sports enthusiasts, inviting hundreds of thousands of fans during the year. While there is plenty of parking for guest, the Pink Line provides public transportation to the area but does not have a nearby stop. My group is proposing a multi-functioning transit center that would potentially reduce vehicular traffic and increase transportation opportunities. The transition that the visitors experience as they enter the site is extremely influential in my design. I am currently experimenting with different interactive and responsive building facades that intrigue the guest.
The hotel is a portion of an entertainment plaza that provides fans and guest an area to safely enjoy their experience, this would potentially reduce crime and other incidents from occurring. The most influential element of my design is the building’s response to the pink line. Currently I am researching techniques to reduce vibration and noise emitted from the train as well as different media façade materials. The east façade of the hotel runs parallel with the pink line, creating this canvas that provides an important interaction point between the two. After researching different companies and materials, I have decided to use GKD MediaMesh fabric for the exterior.
The mesh allows those inside the building to have little obstruction of view while creating an enticing interactive screen on the exterior. The mesh is made from recycled materials, it is constructed from stainless steel metal fabric with qualities of transparency, flexibility and security while preserving its communicative capabilities.
MediaMesh is a non-structural material that allows it to be integrated into new and old construction. Due to the flexibility of the material, it allows it to be easily integrated into a design. The major consideration right now is the effects of the façade on the neighborhood. I have no intention of causing an interference with the neighborhood by creating an eyesore or disturbance to the community. I hope to use this technology in combination with acoustical buffering used for the train to invite people to the area and provide a unique experience for all.