Thursday, October 16, 2014

Re Think Mixed Use - Preliminary Thesis Abstract

By Kyle Fountain

High rise planned developments are multiplying throughout major cities in expanding popular urban neighborhoods.  Although vertical density and mixed use structures are import for urban growth, the mixed use tower and podium paradigm is pushing the existing social, cultural, and economic character further away from new wealthier gentrifying regions. 
By rethinking what a mixed use building is, we can retain these urban neighborhoods existing culture, social classes, and local economy.  A building which can evolve and adapt with an areas growth will supplement the region’s character.  Proposing a multifunctional high rise which is built of cross laminated timber and has the potential to expand vertically as a neighborhood grows by virtue of modular installation will innovate this typology environmentally by utilizing renewable building materials, socially by incorporating mixed income housing, and regionally by decreasing the building’s development footprint and supporting the local economic conditions.
This proposal will shed new light on the common assumptions with gentrification.  Neighborhoods which become gentrified as we witness today are pushing lower social classes further away from urban downtowns, toward the edges of cities.  In the current mixed use model, social classes move from these areas for more reasons than lack of finances.  Mixed income housing results in social isolation due to differing interests and values between tenants.  If the building’s programmatic amenities and retail components are geared toward similar interests, the result will be a surge in social interactions from differing social backgrounds. 

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