BY JEREMY CLOW
The first semester of graduate school at Southern Illinois University Carbondale proved to be very time consuming and exhausting but worth the while coming into this second semester. The start of this graduate architecture program began over the summer, long days and long hours proved worthy by the end of the semester. The work, research, and ideals acquired over the term made for an elaborate and interesting project as well as additional outlooks in terms of focus and design. Semester one included one class entirely based on a single project. The summer semester being a short one provided a rapid style of coursework with deadlines every week. The studio ran fluidly week to week increasing the quality of work across the board in the blink of an eye. The second part of this four part graduate program came faster than we could imagine. The short break was over and the coursework came flowing. The four classes this semester tie together in many ways. Each class provides information and fundamentals for the next. Starting with the studio where the main project is introduced. Each student receives a variety of criteria and partners to focus on specific portions of the large scale project. The particular categories for me include a new development on a rural site. The site is untouched with two single residences and vast amounts of farm land, containing over two hundred total acres. This particular site was divided into categories involving multiple disciplines, for this I will be focusing on social concepts, interactions, and problems within the site, rural community, and outside world. The master plan with my fellow partners Stephen and Pat will primarily focus on these social issues. Each person is required to produce a design of a specific type of structure as well. The program for my structure includes a hotel encompassing three hundred rooms, banquet halls, conference center, casino, retail space, and parking accommodations. This space will be at the quality of a five star establishment providing a luxurious getaway and entertainment attraction for the surrounding areas as well as fellow tenants of the development. Multiple case study and research requirements have also been established. Specific locations, Habitat 67 and Penn Station, were the basis of my focus. I provided research on ideals and concepts regarding the program, and location of these sites to determine their use and functionality. Habitat 67 created for a large influx of population for a set event now provides housing in the same establishment. The unique design and durable construction set this concept aside from the rest. Most functions produced to accommodate during a World’s Fair, Olympic Games, or other worldly event are long forgotten and dilapidated after the conclusion of the event. Penn Station, a major station for the Baltimore, MD area was the original union station. It is the hub of transportation by rail to and from other parts of the nation as well as through the city via light rail and MARC transportation. These specific topics as well as the many others studied by fellow classmates shine light on some pieces of the puzzle that can be very problematic in today’s society. Each piece created from the beginning of the society to the current day provides their own functionality some working and some not. When designing a new development all is in control and these past events can provide the basis and research for an optimal design. What works? This is the question that decides it all. History provides us with necessary information to provide an educated design on what will work for a new development. Each piece from transportation to location plays a vital role for this master plan design.