By: Andy Cunningham
Well here we are folks almost done with the year. Only have about 3-4 weeks left and for me they can’t go by fast enough. Even as the semester is starting to get a little better for me, and my projects are finally starting to come together, it’s getting to that point where a bunch of classes have things due, and I can’t wait for it all to be done.
Today I’m going to write about making sure you do more in site analysis than just finding weather patterns, and the contours of the site. While the information from those searches can be extremely useful in the design. Looking into the surrounding areas history can be just as big of a help in design as sun locations and wind directions. By looking into the community and getting a sense of its history can really help you decide on a program for a projects as well as where the building is located and orientated. The area surrounding my thesis has gone through some dramatic changes over the last few decades. Before the united center was built, the area was mainly project housing and after reading about the area, just a few years after being built the buildings began to fall apart, elevators wouldn’t work, and overall the buildings weren’t maintained and the entire area began to resemble the broken buildings. There was a lot of crime going on and parents were scared for their children and after a while the abandonment rate rose, and the buildings were eventually destroyed. Chicago did try to reinvent the area by creating mixed housing areas that had government housing residents as well as some middle class residents in hope that they would interact and it would help people be motivated to get jobs, and improving the area as a whole. The problem was that they had people living next to each other, but didn’t give them a place where people could interact other than walking to and from their cars. I read an article that criticized the efforts that the city made, and called for a place for entertainment where these people from the community could come together and play sports or have a bite to eat. This was my main goal after reading up on the history of the area. The near west side used to have a lot of different neighborhoods, but were partially or completely destroyed after UIC, the highways, and the United Center were constructed, and the area has never really recovered. My goal for this project was to create a place for the community to come together and interact, as well as a way to create jobs and bring businesses into the area to help revitalize it.