dinsdag 3 april 2012


3     North Crown Heights and Prospect Heights are currently subject to gentrification which is a process of urban renewal due to the influx of middle-class into disadvantaged neighborhoods, often displacing poorer residents.
4     It is possible to map gentrification with parameters like ownership rate, monthly gross rent,
5     number of recent in movers and the vacancy rate.
6     We can summarize these parameters with the spatial gentrification index where we can see a shift from west to east.
7    This west-to-east movement is the result of the spill-over effect in Park Slope in the west and the presence of historic districts in the east, which are know to be very attractive to first-wave gentrifiers. According to newspapers and blogs we can say that Franklin Avenue is the current border of this gentrification wave.
8     SITE
9     My site is located between Franklin Avenue and the historic districts at a leftover of the intersection of two different orientated grids. It is fair to say that this place and its surroundings will change vastly in the next couple of years because of the gentrification.
11   The name of this leftover is Grant Square.
13   Although it doesn't like it today, Grant Square was once an important place in Brooklyn. Not due to the formalistic intersection of 2 long roads but because of the importance of these roads.
16   Neighborhoods like Crown Heights are still very community oriented because of their extensive unofficial economy as a result of their quite disadvantaged situation. First wave gentrifiers are known for there involvence in art so simply said, the area's focus will change in the couple of years from community to art, to the degree that gentrification increases.
17   I want to design a building that can act like a mirror for its surroundings: it has no exclusive program. It must be able to carry programs like leisure, a library and a community center today and programs like micro-conventrion center, exhibition center and creative industry center tomorrow. And everything in between tonight... These programs are just examples of possible occupations.
18   Which architectural language is able to satisfy these extreme flexible needs? The combination of Adolf Loos' Raumplan and Le Corbusier's Plan Libre offers me the possibility of very flexible functional places and very expressive spaces. The Raumplan can be the Plan Libre's expressive circulation, for example when the building is a big library.
19   Two additional staircase and elevator shafts create the possibility to divide the bulding also vertically. A couple of Plan Libre floors can be linked with a large Raumplan space, for example architecture offices around their lobby.
20   The combination of two styles of architecture and two staircases is able to adapt to many programs. One can say that the building is pure architecture, ready to meet any program.
22   Grant Square is formed by one busy road and one quiet one.
23   I redirect the quiet road in order to create a square. The yellow is the building's site.
24  The building's volume is the result of its neighbors. Its depth as well as its height are aligned with them.
27  This building is nowadays an elderly home but it was once the home of a very important Republican club, known as the Union League Club. They are also the ones who build the General Grant statue. The building used to have a small tower.
28  I propose to rebuild this or a modern small tower in order to regive the building and the square its historic importance appearance. I follow by giving my building a modern equivalent.
29  The Raumplan and Plan Libre in the 3D volumetry.
30  Grant Square and the volume
31  Ground floor
32  I lay a 6 feet grid (the largest office standard grid) on the building site and square.
33  The below ground level.
34  The placement of the staircases in the darkest part of the volume, the center.
35  The Raumplan spaces, entirely accessible with the left staircase.
36  The Plan Libre floors around both staircases ànd the Raumplan.
37  This is an impression of the facade, due to a lack of time it's quite ugly but it's about the idea of the Raumplan vs the open plan in the facade, together with the square.
38  The square consists of three L-shaped surfaces, dividing the square into different places. Grass, trees and benches fill some of the squares of the grid between the L's. Two existing bus stops are replaced.
39  The L-shaped surfaces accentuate the square's neighbor's entrances. The L-shape surface returns inside the Raumplan spaces of my building.
40  We begin our walk through the building in the lobby.The brounish area south of the lobby area are shops, ateliers or other more public functions.
41  A double-heigh space welcomes you and guides you to the first floor but we go right, to the underground level.
42  The gray area is a double heigh big room, also free accessible with a ramp next to the building. The brownish area serves as technical space, storage, ...
43  A big window seperates the lobby and the big room.
44  We now follow the ramp to the first floor...
45  ..where we enter the cube.
46  The left image shows a small library on moment t1: the open plan space is linked with the cube which serves as a reading room.  The cube is closed from the next Raumplan space. The right image shows moment t3 where the entire Raumplan space serves as one long exhibition space.
47  The curved stair is based on SANAA's big curved stair in the Kunstlinie in Almere. The vertical rise in the cube supports the spatial experience of the space.
48  The next Raumplan room is the auditorium. you can see that all the Raumplan spaces are accessible from the left stair case, and that the open plan spaces are connectable to the Raumplan. For example, the right open plan space can be the auditorium's changing room in case of a theatre etc.
50  The auditorium is located on the north side of the building in order to give the open plan under the auditorium more sunlight and create an extra spatial experience in this quite dark part of the building by heading towards the bright light while climbing the auditorium and therefore experience the increasinlgy lower ceiling.
51  The auditorium's steps are quite deep, like OMA's Kunsthal in Amsterdam, able to adapt to various programs.
52  We continue the walk through the Raumplan space. The 26 m long small hallway focuses on the open square while feeling compressed by the relatively low ceiling.
54  The last roof is a big cuboid, mostly surrounded by windows, giving a great view of the building's surroundings. The open plan area can serve, for example as a kitchen if the cuboid houses a bar.
55  The room is connected with the roof terrace.
56  Two different potential programs: a bar on t1 and the last part of the exhibition on t2.
57  The entire project as a last impression.

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