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Lack of Place: Urban Wastelands as Catalytic Opportunities for Urban Growth and Social Interaction

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Title:
Lack of Place: Urban Wastelands as Catalytic Opportunities for Urban Growth and Social Interaction
Creator:
Savignon, Ivy
Place of Publication:
[Gainesville, Fla.]
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University of Florida
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English

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Subjects / Keywords:
Architectural design ( jstor )
Architectural education ( jstor )
Cities ( jstor )
City halls ( jstor )
Ivy ( jstor )
Social interaction ( jstor )
Subways ( jstor )
Theater ( jstor )
Urban design ( jstor )
Wastelands ( jstor )
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Undergraduate Honors Thesis, Architecture

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Abstract:
Cities experience cycles and are constantly evolving. Whether it be cultural, physical, or ideological, these changes occur fluidly and sometimes quickly. This inevitably leads to the continuous transformation of the built environment and how it is used. Looking to several case studies, there is a growing trend of temporary community-driven programs and architecture. The results of these projects have been extremely effective in reflecting the ideologies and desires of the surrounding context. Consequently this prevents gentrification from occurring, while allowing for experimentation in materials and programs. In allowing the community to participate in the built environment through building workshops, local meetings, and social media; a stronger sense of place is created and the dynamics of a city are more in sync with each other. ( en )

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University of Florida
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Copyright [thesis author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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Lack of Place Urban Wastelands as Catalytic Opportunities for Urban Growth and Social I nteraction Iv y Savignon University Of Florida 2016 An Undergraduate Honors Thesis Presented to the School of Architecture and the Honors Program at the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Design in Architect ure with High Honors

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1 (c) 2016 Ivy Savignon

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2 Acknowledgements I would like to acknowledge my Design 7 partner, Andrew Morrell for his skills, dedicatio n and colla boration throughout my entire senior s emester. Bradley Walters my thesis advisor, for his consistent attention and me ntorship Nancy Clar k my D esign 7 professor for her patience and guidance throughout the design process Thank you all

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3 Table of Contents Abstract 4 Introduction 5 Experimental Architecture 6 Finding Unused Space 7 Executing Temporary Programs 10 Permanence of Temporary Space 14 Community Driven Pop ups 15 Conclusion 19 Works Cited 21 Image Credit 22

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4 Abstract of Undergraduate Honors Thesis Presented to the School of Architecture and the Honors Program at the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Design in Architecture with High or Highest Honors Lack of Place : Urban Wastelands as Catalytic Opportunities for Urban Growth and Social I nteraction B y Ivy Savignon April 2016 Bradley Walt ers Department Honors Coordinater: M a rk M c G lothlin Major: Architecture Cities experience cycles and are constantly evolving. Whether it be cultural, physical, or ideological, these changes occur fluidly and sometimes quickly. This inevitably leads to the continuous transformation of the built environment and how it is used. L ooking to several case studies, there is a growing trend of temporary community driven programs and architecture. The results of these projects have been extremely effective in reflecting the ideologies and desires of the surrounding context. Consequently this prevents gentrification from occurring, while allowing for experimentation in materials and programs. In allowing the community to participate in the built environment through building workshops, local meetings, and social media; a stronger sense of p lace is created and the dynamics of a city are more in sync with each other.

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5 Introduction In Junk Space subsystem only, without a superstructure, orphaned particles in search for a framework or 1 Due to political, economic, and technological trends, cities sometimes face underutilized lots, abandoned buildings, or brownfields ; resulting in urban wastelands All of which decreases the value and well being of an area. Koolh aas claims that instead 2 The unbuilt left over spaces of a city affect the population just as much as the built. 3 How do we begin to these voids in the city fabric? Specifically with the final goal of urban intensification closely linked with the neighborhood as opposed to urban redevelopment of the neighborhood. Due to the evolving nature of neighborhoods and their respective cities, it is logical allow for flexible programs that change with their contexts. Temporary spaces and programs are an unused resource in solving urban problems. According t o Andrea Kahn, Urban Design Professor at Columbia University, 4 They are limited in time, but they are a good indicator of a neighborhood sometimes allowing money to flow in to the area. There is a growing trend in the United 1 Koolhaas, Rem. 2002. "Junkspace". October 100: 175 190. 2 IB ID 3 Carrero, R., G. Malvarez, and F. Navas. 2009. "Negative Impacts Of Abandoned Urbanisation Projects In The Spanish Coast And Its Regulation In The Law" 4 Kahn, Andrea. 2015. "Building Community". Archit. Design 85 (3): 72 77.

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6 State ups however European cities have long executed temporary community gardens, open theatres, sculpture gardens, and sport venues. Paris for example organizes a beach on the boardwalk of the Seine River ever y summer. Temporary spaces attrac t a heterogeneous crowd as well as an endless variety of mixed uses: educational, residential, production, commerce, and leisure. To well execute these programs, we must think about how architecture functions in and operates upon its cultural surroundings 5 Experimental Architecture Due to the temporal essence of pop up architecture, there is more design freedom and opportunities for experimentation. One notable Sydney, Australia. It is a pop up bar built from recy cled or recyclable materials, and designed to produce no waste. Its insulation is made deep fryers oil through a Bio Pro diesel generator. 6 The faa de is made of plants and the entire project is a testimony to sustainability and public consciousness. It is proof that we can build with zero waste as an attainable goal. 5 Kahn, Andrea. 2015. "Building Community". Archit. Design 85 (3): 72 77. 6 "Greenhouse By Joost, Sydney | Arup | A Global Firm Of Consulting Engineers, Designers, Planners And Project Managers" Figure 1 Strawberry plotted pants facade

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7 OMA has developed the Prada Transformer, a temporary structure that can be picked u p by a crane and rotated to account for a variety of events. The most weather or to pro tect large machinery that will remain idle for extended periods of time. It was the first time this fiber mesh had been used in a purely architectural manner. 7 Finding Unused Space The term unused space should be used fairly loosely. Many abandoned lots and buildings are in fact being used, however it is illegal under formal terms. In Design by Use Brandes gives examples of examples of people transforming everyday objects in to som ething needed at that time. A plastic bag as an umbrella for example. 8 People do this to space as well. The greatest example being the squatter movement in the eighties. Interboro architects in New York created a project basis is t hat while a development pro ject stalls for any reason, a temporary meantime creating a more interesting presence in the 7 Walker, Connor. 2014. "5 Years Later, A Look Back On OMA's Prada Transformer". Archdaily 8 Brandes, Uta, Sonja Stich, and Miriam Wender. 2009. Design By Use Figure 2 Lent Space in 33 Flat Bush Av.

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8 city. The space served as an event space, public space, and tree nursery. When the park finally closed, the tre es were relocated to surrounding areas and planted permanently. Transforming unused space was the basis for Culture Hub: Repurposing Abandoned Subway Stations In Design 7 in 2015, under the guidance of Professor Nancy Clark, my partner Andrew Morrell a nd I located 4 abandoned subway systems in each borough of New York City. Figure 3 Map of chosen abandoned stations

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9 These venues have long been abandoned because of less traffic or due to changes in carts lengths where the stations could no longer support the system. We analyzed surrounding neighborhoods, their interests, demographics, and amenities. In the borough of M anhattan we selected the station below City Hall for its tiled domes. This prime piece of real estate would have been impossible without huge sums of money, yet because we are choosing a wasted space, we are able to serve the underserved in a viable locati on. The location in the Brooklyn borough is located next to the Factory District, an old industrial area converted in to an art district. The abandoned subway in Queens is located on Roosevelt Avenue in a transportation hub. Lastly, the Bronx station locat ion in Pelham Park is a fairly residential area. Figure 4. Bronx: Pelham Park Station Figure 4 Manhattan: City Hall Sation Figure 7 Queens Roosevelt Av. Figure 6. City Hall Manhattan Station Figure 5. Brooklyn Station

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10 Executing Temporary Programs The charm of temporary spaces is that in a society with less space and so pressed for venues, we can begin to create programs in spaces that no one else is using. Temporary projects such as our own in Manhattan choose a site based on accessibility, locatio n, and proximity to services. Architect and Professor Helka Lissa Hentila claims that cities are putting an emphasis on urban intensification strategies. Yet she emphasizes that it is usually the intensification of the built form rather that the intensific ation in activity. A space is only as successful as the traffic that flows through it. There are several different typologies of temporary spaces and ways in which we can inhabit them 9 A stand in configuration is temporary, and will have no lasting impr essions on a site. An impulse type will spur economic flow and incite future development. Another example of a typology is coexistence where a temporary space will be on the same lot as an established occupant. Consolidation is where a temporary program merges with its permanent counterpart. Finally, parasitic typology is where the program will live with the permanent, but as a separate entity. In this case, one is All these provide endless possibilities for mixed us es. Stan d I n Impulse Consolidation 9 003

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11 Coexistence Parasitic Figure 8 T ypolog y configurations In Culture Hub we created an informal infrastructure to house temporary programs such as pop up galleries, eateries, boutiques, and more. In the City Hall site, our project stood as a stand in. However seeing that that space will never turn in to a building, the project could possibly fall under the typology of consolidation where the program establishes itself at that location and becomes permanent. Here we focused on accessibility and the presence the underground could have above ground. With a large sweeping wall coming from the plaza in to the space, it is easier to notice and be pulled through to the space below. The skylights were placed to bring natural light to the program. We imagine this would be a viable option for pop up galleries or meetings organized by those who work in the business area. Espe cially as a place to visit on a lunch break or walking home after the day has ended. Figure 9 City Hall Operational Diagram

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12 We had chosen four total abandoned subway sites for our last project. All have different configurations and possible uses based on context. In Brooklyn, the pop up space was not a stand in but instead a coexistence typology. Its leisurely identity mixed with the rushed transit of the working subways creates a nice dynamic that invite people to explore the space. By employing strategic tactics we hoped to encourage occupation rather than control it. By providing light and adaptable conditions, specifically movable floors, we can ensure easier cultural expressio n for the occupants. In creating the possibility to change between broken levels or an expansive floor area, the space could be used for a variety of programs such as fashion, theatre, and even instal lations. The biggest issue in creating a network of viable temporary spaces is accessibility. I f there is an accessible path, that space is much more likely to be used. As mentioned previously, Figure 10 Operational Diagram of Brooklyn Station

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13 we brought light down to the subway and made extrusions above ground to inform citizens of the space below. Figure 11. Brooklyn Render Figure 12. Culture Shop Bronx Render

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14 Permanence of temporary spaces Dan Hill, an executive director at Future Cities Catapult argues that too often pop up projects are used as a retail tool or as the beginnings of a gentrification process. He laments that there is never any real systematic change that come out of these temporary structures. However the pop up restaurant event Ravintolapaiva in Helsinki, Finland is one exception 10 In 2011, citizens agreed that there would be a day where street food would be sold. Whether it be from a park, street corner, or apartment window, selling food without a license was illegal. However the government did not interfe re for fear of a riot. Here we have the people demanding control of what a street should be. The permanent in to a set educates people on how to run a restaurant, fill out city forms, locate organic food sources, and obtain funding. Through this process, a temporary pop up eve nt changed the dynamics of a city and the way it permanently interacts. This presents an opportunity for architecture to respond to these changing conditions. We can begin to think about the relationship of the streets to the street food vendors, and begin to think about temporary structures that could be erected for the events. In analyzing my own studio project, I believe that it would need to interact more directly with citizens through social media. In this way events could be held in reflection of th e desires of the neighborhood. The Brooklyn location was located next to the Factory District a new artist design district. This is an opportunity to make social ties 10 Hill, Dan. 2015. "A Sketchbook For The City To Come: The Pop Up As R&D"

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15 with artists and use our space as studios or to showcase their work. Similar to the prog ram called No Longer Empty in New York City where temporary art exhibitions and programming is brought to vacant store fronts, the vibrant diversity of participants creates an educational and creative hub. Store owners also understand that this program an d its traffic can improve the chances of finding a tenant. The No Longer Empty organizations also creates educational programs for teens to learn how to curate their own exhibitions. 11 Community Driven Pop ups The most important aspect to a well executed pop up or temporary program is its reflection of the character of its context. Too often large companies take over without any cultural sensitivity and citizens feel helpless in controlling their environment. Alternative solutions have been created such as Popularise: Build your City, which is a 12 The platform invites the public to sug gest business they would like to see in vacant storefronts and offer feedback on current projects. Builder can also post updates and photos of projects. Another notable project is called People Make Parks is a platform that explains the process of city pla process has proven that when people participate in the making of the park, they are more likely to care for it as well. 11 "Spontaneousinterventions | Design Actions For The Common Good". 2016. 12 IBID

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16 Community through Infrastructure: Essex Crossing[s] was mine and Andrews second design project in D7 2015 also critiqued by Professor Nancy Clark. We critiqued the current plans to redevelop Essex Crossing a nd offered our own addendum or alternative. Currently the Master Plan redevelopment is led by Sharples, Holden, and Pasquarelli (SHoP). The plan includes 10 lots beings used for a variety of different programs such as a school, a cinema, a few roof top gar dens, and many residential building. Andrew and I researched in depth about the history of the neighborhood of Essex and its current amenities. The area is one of the only areas left in Manhattan that still contains a sense of place and originality. It res ides near China Town and Little Italy and the property values a couple theatres that had options to rent. We also discovered a day out of the year dedicated to the arts and theatre Our intervention is to introduce a series of tem porary spaces rooted in theater throughout the master plan. Throughout a string of three blocks, we inserted a theatre into each building in the existing proposal. neigh Figure 5 3 Series of theatre spaces along the Market Line

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17 One space is a black box theatre, for theatre and smaller performances. The next space is a rehearsal studio which could be converted to an informal performanc e space. In the last block we decided to overtake the proposal by offering our own residential tower with a formal theatre space at the base. The architecture rein forces the character of the neighborhood and may even revitalize it by reminding the inhabit ants of their roots. More importantly, we are providing ample opportunity for artistic involvement and participation. The theatre is elevated creating a public plaza below the volume. This plaza space is then physically and visually connected proposed West 8 Park plan across the street. The overhead condition created by the theatre along with a sitting stair encourages people to relax and sit in the space. It offers an alternative to the outside park as well. The goal is to allow anyone to use these spaces and to share a stronger connection to the eccentric neighborhood.

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18 Figure 14. Theatre Proposal Render Figure 15. Floor Plan

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19 Conclusion W astelands or underutilized sites are an inevitable process in a dynamic city. The problems they bring such as reducing happiness values in the area, increased crime rate, and increased fire hazards are pressing issues. Eventually wastelands reduces property values in the area, and stagnates investing It is natural for cities to redevelop these under utilized sites. Temporary spaces seem to be a viable option to spur activity in a city. How effectively this translates to growth is entirely unique to the project and their policies. Instead of walking in a busy city and seeing a system of abandoned or un derutilized lots, citizens can liven up their commute by visiting useful temporary spaces along the way. Temporary spaces take proprietary roles away from the government and capitalists, and turn them over to the people who actually use that neighborhood. Temporary tenants bring dynamisms and refreshes the image of the area. Their business can incite a greater mass of people to flow through bringing more business to the entire area in general. The biggest advantage is that the areas become safer as these t emporary sites would deter vandalism or crime. The goal in designing a temporary space is to allow the character of the many future tenants to show through. The design needs to be minimal with a strong emphasis on accessibility. Government entities should begin to research and adopt temporary spaces as a solution to many urban problems. G overnment redevelopment plans r arely fully reflect the desires of the people. However, allowing the community to decide for itself what it needs ensures a more successful a nd lively environment. The change of scale temporary spaces brings to a big downtown area for example, diversifies the consumers and allows smaller companies to also participate. It

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20 would surely attract a variety of demographics as well as bringing differe nt uses to the area. Temporary spaces are also a good solution to determining what businesses could thrive in that area. In a sense, trial and error is a quicker and more effective solution than constructing a mega building to find out later that citizens hate it. When spaces are designed to orient development, the ultimate goal is to explore future possibilities for the area. Since abandoned lots are a natural part of a city cycle, a laissez faire approach would make more sense. Society should use this in evitable process to their advantage, while enrichening the area. More open spaces to occupy leads to more creativity and exploration. Our cities should not be stagnant and the people should be the leaders.

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21 Works Cited 1. Brandes, Uta, Sonja Stich, and Miriam Wender. 2009. Design By Use 2. Carrero, R., G. Malvarez, and F. Navas. 2009. "Negative Impacts Of Abandoned Urbanisation Projects In The Spanish Coast And Its Regulation In The Law". Journal Of Coasta l Research 1120 24. 3. Castle, Helen, Leon Van Schaik, and Fleur Watson. 2015. Pavilions, Pop Ups And Parasols London: Wiley Academy. 4. "Greenhouse By Joost, Sydney | Arup | A Global Firm Of Consulting Engineers, Designers, Planners And Project Managers". 2016. Arup.Com http://www.arup.com/projects/greenhouse_by_joost_sydney. 5. Helka Liisa, Hentil. 2003. "Central Micro Peripheries: Tempora ry Uses Of Central Residual Spaces As Urban Development Catalysts". 6. Hill, Dan. 2015. "A Sketchbook For The City To Come: The Pop Up As R&D". Archit. Design 85 (3): 32 39. doi:10.1002/ad.1898. 7. Kahn, Andrea. 2015. "Building Community". Archit. Design 85 (3): 72 77. doi:10.1002/ad.1903. 8. Koolhaas, Rem. 2002. "Junkspace". October 100: 175 190. 9. Espoo: Teknillinen korkeakoulu. 10. "Spontaneousinterventions | Design Actions For The Common Good". 2016. Spontaneousinterventions.Org http://Spontaneousinterventions.org. 11. Trancik, Roger. 1986. Finding Lost Space New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. 12. Walker, Connor. 2014. "5 Years Later, A Loo k Back On OMA's Prada Transformer". Archdaily http://www.archdaily.com/500362/5 years later a look back Image Credits on oma s prada transformer

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22 Image Credits Figure 1: htt p://thedesignfiles.net/2011/02/greenhouse by joost in sydney/ Figure 2: http://www.interboropartners.net/2012/lent space/ Figure 3: Map of Stations by Ivy Savignon and Andrew Morrell Figure 4: Bronx Abandoned Station from www.nycsubway.org: Abandoned an d Disused Stations Figure 5: Brooklyn Abandoned Station from www.nycsubway.org: Abandoned and Disused Stations Figure 6: Manhattan Abandoned Station from www.nycsubway.org: Abandoned and Disused Stations Figure 7:Queens Abandoned Station from www.nycsubway.org: Abandoned and Disused Stations Figure 8: Helka Liisa, Hentil. 2003. "Central Micro Peripheries: Temporary Uses Of Central Residual Spaces a s Urban Development Catalysts". Figure 9 : City Hall Operational Diagram by Ivy Savignon and A ndrew Morrell Figure 10 : Brooklyn Operational Diagram by Ivy Savignon and Andrew Morrell Figure 11 : Brooklyn Render by Ivy Savignon and Andrew Morrell Figure 12: Bronx Render by Ivy Savignon and Andrew Morrell Figure 13: Section by Ivy Savignon and An drew Morrell by Ivy Savignon and Andrew Morrell Figure 14: Render of Proposed Theatre and Residential by Ivy Savignon and Andrew Morrell Figure 15: Floor Plan of proposal by Ivy Savignon and Andrew Morrell


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