With the near completion of the streetcar connecting the Over the Rhine and Downtown areas of Cincinnati, increased attention has arisen regarding strengthening the link between the Uptown and Downtown areas of the city. Uptown Cincinnati houses the University of Cincinnati and University Hospital. Falling between Uptown and Downtown, Over the Rhine is believed to be the largest, most intact historic urban district in the United States. Finally, Downtown Cincinnati offers many social and cultural attractions along the river.
The focus of the project is two-fold: First, create a hub to facilitate a stronger link between Uptown and Downtown. Second, introduce a housing element to support various demographics- specifically, create a link between housing for the aging and University Hospital.
The site anchors the intersection of four Uptown neighborhoods: Clifton Heights, Coryville, Mount Auburn, and Fairview. This also marks the intersection of the campus and city grid systems.
Being a transit hub, there is an inherent need to facilitate the movement and gathering of a large amount of people. The addition of a housing element adds a need for control. Along with existing Metro transit, the hub will serve as a connection to the new streetcar line via a proposed uptown connection streetcar line. Beyond public transit options, the hub will house city bike share stations, Zipcar parking, and Campus Shuttle Service.
The Uptown Central Gateway offers a creative solution inspired by the convergence of: neighborhoods, regions, grids, and demographics. The two towers offer housing for both students and the aging. The Northern tower, closer to campus, contains housing for students of the university and young professionals. The Southern tower, located away from campus, contains housing for the aging. The knuckle or convergence point at which they meet contains space for activities and collaboration between the demographics. This space also contains an atrium and a spiral staircase providing transit level access. The transit level contains support space for the various modes of transportation but also activity space for the public and residents. The main attraction space serves as a 'Velocipedary' or a space to construct and test bikes. Above the Velocipedary is a riding track with recreation space. Dividing the housing and transit levels is a plinth and public green space, expanding the park across the street.
The facade of the building consists of undulating panels, going from more chaotic to more uniform at the convergence point. There are three panel types. Panel type one makes up Northern facades of the two towers and are tinted glass. Panel type two is on the Southern faces of the two towers and is perforated metal panels. Panel type three is the convergence of the first two panels and is located, appropriately, where panel types one and two meet. In essence, the waste material from the perforated metal panels is floated in resin to make the composite panel.
The Uptown Central Gateway thus serves as a utility to connect the Uptown and Downtown areas, their residents, and the resources each contains.
Uptown Central Gateway
Burke Lakefront Center
[Integrated Design Competition- Third Place Entry]
[In Collaboration with Isaac Ocasio]
The Cleveland Lakefront continues to draw visitors with several attractions such as Brown's Stadium, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Great Lakes Science Center. The charge for this project was to create a program to house a prime tenant and facilitate activity to strengthen the lake-front presence, all-the-while minimizing the buildings environmental impact by implementing passive building systems.
The program called for office space, public space, and an 'X-factor.' The chosen tenant for the prime office space was a technology company whose interest in sustainability and well-being was augmented by their developments in hardware and software. This translated into the definition of the building's X-factor program and use of public space.
Initially, the X-factor program was to be located on floors two and three, but the height restriction imposed by the flight path forced an adapted response. The X-factor program was moved from the building proper to the shoreline, taking advantage of the docked U.S.S. Cod submarine, creating the greenhouse structure. There are three components to the X-factor: 1) A queuing area for tours of the U.S.S. Cod. 2) An 'Active Arcade' (Video game arcade that implements games that require physical activity). 3) A Winter Garden.
Pedestrian activity from adjacent attractions is welcomed by a large public plaza. The visitors can seek visit the Winter Garden to visit the U.S.S. Cod and engage the Active Arcade or enter the building and be drawn in with the second floor terrace. Green elements in the latter stages of the living machine are put on show both on the terrace and in the Winter Garden.
Along with the Living Machine, this projects implements solar hot water, double skin ventilation, shading elements, wind harvesting, and solar power systems. A requirement of the competition was to calculate the carbon footprint of the building along with structural and plumbing calculations.
The resultant architecture is a crowd drawing intervention that is conscious of its own sustainability and the sustainability of its inhabitants.
Columbus Visitor Center
Columbus, Indiana has a rich architectural legacy. There are several notable modern buildings and an existing visitors center that facilitates city tours. The goal for this project was to design a new visitor center that feeds off of the architectural history of Columbus. The dedication of the J. Irwin Miller Architecture Center pays respect to Irwin Miller: a patron of modern architecture, American industrialist, and former CEO of the local Cummins, Inc from 1934 until 1977.
Early in the design process, several transverse section sketches were made to investigate program adjacency and spatial character. The program called for: primary and secondary gallery space, city tour staging with organizational rooms, and a visitor center.
To draw visitors in to the building, a "Vertical Visitor Center" creates an interesting ascension condition. Each node stops at a moment that gives the visitor a view of the city towards the majority of its architectural legacy sites. Close adjacency to gallery space along the ascension path encourage exploration to other design exhibits. The climax of the ascension is an observation platform at a height that gives the viewer an uninterrupted view of the city.
Serving as a new visitor center for Columbus, the J. Irwin Miller Architecture Center overlaps the visiting sequence with the exhibition experience, thereby exposing visitors to both curation and the architectural legacy of Columbus.