Thursday, November 5, 2015

Halfway done with Studio

By:Josh West

With November coming right around the corner, that just means finals are coming quick. With roughly only seven weeks left of school, there is plenty to do. With our site located in Baltimore, Maryland, we had a lot of challenges to fix with all of the surrounding neighborhoods and almost all of the vehicular traffic coming into Baltimore directly right next to our site. My group had to come together and really figure out why we wanted people to come to our new Westport site. One of the biggest challenges required for our site was nine thousand parking spaces. By solving this we created a three tiered condition on the south side of our site. Within these tiers is parking and above them are the live-work apartments and housing. This also helps with the strictly only pedestrian travel within these parts of the site. Each tier can roughly hold around 1500 cars. Even though this only covers about half of the parking, the rest of the parking will be located within the hotel and some of the office buildings on the north end of the site. That way the people that are only coming to our site to go to work can easily park within their own building and striate to their office.
            Another piece of our site we wanted to bring people into our site was the waterfront boardwalk. Here we wanted a pedestrian friendly atmosphere, where there is plenty to do. With an outdoor entertainment area and plenty of retail shops there is no reason why people should not enjoy it. Towards the north end of the site there is an abandoned railway. Here we plan to utilize it to our advantage. We are created a boardwalk feel that leads to a marina roughly four hundred feet off the site. This will also create a connection with the other side of the bay with our proposed personal rapid transit system that will help bring even more people into our site without having to bring their vehicles.

            For my portion of the site, I am designing a community center. Easy right? It has come to my conclusion that a simple building, like a community center, could be such a difficult task. With a central location within the site and a very strong edge of public vs. private situation, it is a must that this building brings the two together. A community center is made of multiple uses including recreation, health care, child care, learning spaces, larger multipurpose rooms and a cafeteria. These are the most important spaces with my program and the placement of these spaces is crucial. With the building placed right next to one of our parking tiers, it was hard to not make people feel like they are entering the back side of the building from either direction. To help this, I created a double atrium condition on the north and south side of the building so as people enter into the building they feel invited seeing everything the community center has to offer for them. 

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