All posts by Addie Rabold

ADAPTIVE REUSE IN DETROIT

PROPOSED PERIODICAL: CITY LAB

    On July 18, 2013, the city of Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. A city that once was bustling with citizens and a booming automotive industry has since suffered economic turmoil. Its people left after the success of the postwar years, a 63% decrease in population since 1950 (Hobbs and Stoop 2002). Most startling is the amount of unused, abandoned land. There are currently 78,000 structures accompanied by 66,000 lots currently sitting idle, falling to ruin in the city of Detroit. These abandoned sites become magnets for violent crimes, but through adaptive reuse they could see an alternative fate of bringing sustainability, cultural value, and economic development to Detroit. Rather than allowing old, industrial buildings to fall to ruin, the city of Detroit should incentivize private investors to revitalize these buildings to become sustainable and viable centers of activity through adaptive reuse.

    Detroit needs revitalizing through adaptive reuse. Adaptive reuse is the act of creating new built opportunities within existing built forms, often abandoned and in unceasing decay. Adaptive reuse can accommodate for the social, political and economic progress within a community. It is found most often that abandoned, industrial buildings are located in prime, dynamic spaces such as along a waterfront or in proximity to historic landmarks. It is a sustainable approach for architectural design, especially in cities such as Detroit.

    There are crucial steps to successfully implement adaptive reuse projects in Detroit. The first step is to evaluate existing conditions. Designers should thoroughly evaluate the existing fabric in order to make the most of the conditions and former structural, mechanical, electrical, architectural and landscape systems. The second step is to update systems to comply with current codes. Most issues with code compliance have to deal with energy standards, accessibility and fire regulations. The next step is to insert contextual program. The context must be highly considered in order to insert effective program. Industrial spaces are most effectively converted into to retail and community spaces.

Why is adaptive reuse the solution to Detroit?

An existing building has ecological, cultural, economic, and financial value. Instead of inevitably becoming a burden on a community, an industrial building can serve as a hub for urban life and create opportunities for natural urban development.

  1. Sustainability. Reusing the existing structure decreases the environmental damage resulting from transportation and production of materials.
  2. Improving cultural value and identity. Enhancing the identity of a culture maintains history and memory in place while providing new function for its survival. Bringing authenticity to a site also acknowledges the significance of an existing use and space.
  3. Embracing development of economy. Repurposing a building helps accommodate cultural changes because “Adaptive re-use projects speak to a wider cultural shift – from an industrial and manufacturing based economy to one centered around services, education and cultural life” (Harrison 2014).
  4. Net cost can be less than new construction. Consuming less energy and using fewer building materials, the net cost of an adaptive reuse project can be less than new construction (Thornton 2011). Although sometimes the initial cost of adaptive reuse is more, as the cost of energy continues to rise, new construction becomes a more expensive option when considering its life cycle.

    Other major cities have utilized adaptive reuse to capture these values that abandoned structures bring to urban life. Ghirardelli Square was the first successful example of adaptive reuse seen in the United States. In the 1960s, the existing factory buildings were 

www.ghirardellisq.com
Ghirardelli Square, circa early 1900s                            www.ghirardellisq.com

purchased by William Roth, who hired Lawrence Halprin, landscape architect, and Wurster, Bernardi & Emmons architectural firm to create a design to accommodate retail spaces, offices, restaurants and a movie theater (Sharpe 2012). This project preserved the history and authenticity of the site, prevented the demolition of a storied building, and developed a new economic center, serving as a strong example of values 2 and 3. 

Across the country, the Brewery in Milwaukee presents a strong case for values 1, 2 and 3 in a very extensive and ambitious project that plans for the adaptive reuse and “environmentally sensitive restoration” amongst the remains of the Pabst Brewing Company (Benfield 2011).

Courtesy Jeramey Jannene, licensed under Wikimedia Commons
The Brewery, 2011                                                  Courtesy Jeramey Jannene, licensed under Wikimedia Commons

The master plan of this project by Joseph Zilber includes residential lofts, a beer hall, office space, educational campuses, urban parks, senior living facilities, and medical campuses with more retail and luxury spaces to develop in the future. The success of this project relies on the cooperation between the developers, the city, and the LEED Neighborhood Development program. While this is a project under various stages of development, the existing structures that have been built have successfully brought community and life into a previously abandoned space.

    In Detroit, Michigan Central Station and Harbor Terminal offer great opportunity for adaptive reuse because of their size, space and location. Michigan Central Station is a critical structure for adaptive reuse. With a space large enough for a train on the ground floor and an 18 story tower with hotel and office space above, this is prime real estate sitting vacant. An approach like that of Ghirardelli Square would be ideal, so that the history of the site and building may be preserved, bringing back the heyday of Detroit with a new era of use, featuring offices, retail space, and residential living. This site would be an excellent opportunity for all four values. Reusing existing structure conserves materials and cost. The quality and ornateness of existing materials are so expensive in today’s market, that this saves a quantifiable amount of money and preserves the original beauty. The cultural improvement will be immediately evident through restoration with a visual link to the history of Detroit. The creation of new retail space allows the community to effortlessly embrace new economic development.

Photographer: Zach Fein
Michigan Central Station                                                                      Architects: Warren & Wetmore and Reed & Stem, 1913          Photographer: Zach Fein

    Another potential site is the Harbor Terminal building. This huge warehouse currently sits vacant, but is an ideal candidate for adaptive reuse that could be turned into a multi-functional building with the creation of new waterfront urban space along the Detroit River as well. If the remains of the Pabst Brewing Company can be given a new life, why not this warehouse? While this could potentially be a more costly proposition, values 1, 2, and 3 could still be achieved. Materials would be conserved as the existing shell of the warehouse space allows for program to be directly inserted inside. By developing a new waterfront space, a new community center would be created along with a new economic hub and destination for not only residents of Detroit, but tourists as well.

Zack Fein
Harbor Terminal Building, 1925                                   Photographer:Zack Fein

    The obstacle to implementing adaptive reuse in Detroit is the financial commitment needed to update systems and meet today’s code requirements. While preserving the history of a site is a very integral component of design, to private investors this does not always make adaptive reuse worth the financial obligations. Adaptive reuse can be a very financially involved and time intensive project. It is not always as simple as taking an old building and moving in new program. The mechanical and HVAC systems of these abandoned buildings are often out of date (if they even still function) and require extensive updates and installation of new modern systems. These systems are expensive to install for large buildings, and become even more expensive with the increase of sustainable measures (Donofrio 2012). Additionally, older buildings often do not meet today’s code and accessibility requirements. This may involve moving existing walls and structural elements in an attempt to make it compliant. While designers may love the opportunity to bring back the glory of an old architectural wonder, investors will often only see the dollars signs associated with doing such a task. For many investors it is cheaper to tear down a building and start from scratch. With all the necessary updates and adjustments that require extensive funds and construction, many say why bother with adaptive reuse?

    Although the initial costs may be greater, the adaptive reuse of an existing building is the answer to revitalizing Detroit. For private investors who don’t see the value of cultural and historic preservation, there is a monetary incentive in place. For a site like Michigan Central Station on the National Register of Historic Places, a 20% income tax credit is available. Meanwhile, Harbor Terminal Building, being built before 1936, is eligible for a 10% income tax credit (U.S. National Park Service 2010). This program offered by the Internal Revenue Service and National Park Service encourages private sector investment in adaptive reuse that allows the preservation of historic sites, while creating jobs and revitalizing communities. Private investors and the local government can both benefit from a system like this.

    Through the designer’s efforts to evaluate existing conditions, meet code compliance, and insert contextual program, adaptive reuse will offer an opportunity for Michigan Central Station and Harbor Terminal to revitalize the city of Detroit. Seeing the success of great urban works in cities such as Milwaukee and San Francisco, we believe adaptive reuse is the future for the success of revitalizing cities in our coming generation. We can take these old buildings, install updated systems, insert new program, and create a sustainable, viable space for the community. We believe that adaptive reuse could be just the change Detroit needs. While proposals have been made for sites such as Michigan Central Station, no actual renovation has begun. Through tax incentives, local government support, and community engagement, adaptive reuse can revitalize Detroit.

 

REFERENCES

Benfield, Kaid. “A Green Neighborhood Brewing in Milwaukee.” CityLab. The Atlantic, 22 Sept. 2011. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.

Binder, Melinda. “Adaptive Reuse and Sustainable Design: A Holistic Approach for Abandoned Industrial Buildings.” University of Cincinnati, 2003.

Hobbs, Frank and Stoops, Nicole. “Demographic Trends in the 20th Century; Census 2000 Special Reports” Decennial Census of Population, 1900 to 2000.  U.S. Census Bureau, Nov. 2002. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.

Donofrio, Gregory. “Preservation by Adaptation: Is it Sustainable?” Change Over Time 2.2 (2012): 106-31.

Harrison, Stuart. Adaptive Re-use. Adelaide: Office for Design and Architecture, 2014. Odasa.sa.gov.au. Web.

Sharpe, Sara E., “Revitalizing Cities: Adaptive Reuse of Historic Structures” (2012). Mid-America College Art Association Conference 2012 Digital Publications. Paper 18.

Spivak, Jeffrey. “Adaptive Use Is Reinventing Detroit.” Urban Land Magazine. The Magazine of the Urban Land Institute, 14 Sept. 2015. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.

Thornton, BJ. “The Greenest Building (Is The One That You Don’t Build!) Effective Techniques for Sustainable Adaptive Reuse/Renovation.” Journal of Green Building 6.1 (2011; 1901): 1-7.

U.S. National Park Service. “Tax Incentives—Technical Preservation Services, National Park Service.” National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, 2010. Web. 09 Dec. 2015.

Featured Image by Zach Fein http://zfein.com/photography/detroit/mcs/index.html

DD Peer Design Review: Lindsay Krause + Balance

The Project: The central theme of Lindsay’s project is balance. Perhaps the hardest part of the current project is designing a project that is able to balance the very different aspects of the program, the natural landscape of the park compared to the urban landscape of Brooklyn and the high-stress work  environment next to the relaxing residential space. Lindsay attempts to create this balance and harmony within her project by incorporating biophilic design with various outdoor retreats into her space to create a relaxing space for the firemen. Natural daylighting is provided with large curtain walls and skylights.  Through the use of a grid, Lindsay creates a union between indoor and outdoor spaces with various open and semi-open gardens.

The Critics: Ute Poerschke, Sandra Staub, and Malcolm Woolen           Being Lindsay’s current studio professor, Malcolm had very little to say, but from my personal experience in class, Malcolm looks at projects from the industrial order with heavy emphasis on code compliance and efficiency. However, it was interesting to hear Malcolm ask his colleagues to speak more to the inspired order in referring to the design of Lindsay’s facade and consistency of columns.

Ute’s critique of the project came from a more inspired order with some references to the industrial order in terms of structure. Ute spoke very highly of the project’s organization in that the grid does a good job of weaving volumes and surfaces. Ute’s main focus was then on using this grid as a solution to other areas of concern in Lindsay’s project, such as structure and façade design. Currently, Lindsay has her columns designed as an afterthought as structural “I” beams enclosed in concrete. However, Ute suggests using structure to better emphasize her concept by creating thinner columns with more directionality to enhance the weaving pattern. Another area of concern is the design of the façade in respect to the lack of a main entrance. Ute felt that the circulation and composition of spaces between the museum, fire station, and courtyards were very successful, but there was little done to emphasize the main entrance to give it proper attention.

Sandra’s critiques appeared to be coming from an inspired and domestic order, with a more conservative view on the creation of new green spaces. Sandra felt very strongly (despite Malcolm’s claims of biophilia) that the creation of internal gardens within a building beside a park was extremely redundant, if they’re featuring the same plants. Sandra suggested opening up the interior central garden and connecting it directly to the outdoors to serve as a bridge between the natural and built. If Lindsay plans to leave the interior garden, this should become a winter garden with an entirely different collection of plants and greenery.

Peer Critique: Lindsay displays very strong design thinking skills with in her project. Through the creation of her grid, Lindsay is able to solve most design issues within her project by using the grid as a guideline and series of rules to follow. Lindsay is extremely thorough in implementing her grid and the presence of the square into all aspects her design, so that even her façade is based on 3 to 1 ration of the square. The grid also provides an excellent ordering tool for the hierarchy of the project that allowed Lindsay to create a very elegant series of built spaces and exterior courtyards.  Her project’s concept is very clear through her work in that her building speaks both to the urban grid of Brooklyn and the natural landscaping of the park.

The overall organization of Lindsay’s projects and programmatic layout are also very well planned, so that adequate circulation space is provided. In order to prove the efficiency of the design for emergency response time, a diagram of the firefighter’s path to the apparatus bay would be extremely beneficial. The building also lacks a sense of destination or arrival, there is no real main entrance. While Lindsay mentioned the idea of providing an entrance on each side, I believe that one side should be emphasized to create a sense of arrival and decrease the confusion of users and guests to the fire station.

Lindsay’s boards were very light and delicate with drawings that seemed to match the elegance of the project she described and designed. Her drawings can be clearly and carefully read due to proper use of line weights and poche. Her plans and sections both did an excellent job of showing the structure and scale of her project. Throughout her plans,the size of the grid varies with out little explanation, which does lead to discrepancy over how strictly the grid defines the interior spaces. In addition, a perspective would also be helpful to getting a better understanding the three dimensional qualities of the space. The site plan could also use a little more detailing in that it is hard to tell the difference between various rectangles, are they paved? Are they grass? Are these ramps or gathering spaces? Are they all at the same level or differing levels?

Precedents from Dan Kiley and David Chipperfield are clearly seen in Lindsay’s project. These projects have clearly helped to define her overall aesthetic and site planning goals.

Rendering by David Chipperfield Architects Seoul, Korea
Amore Pacific Headquarters- Rendering by David Chipperfield Architects
Seoul, Korea

 

Landscape Architecture by Dan Kiley Dallas, Texas
Fountain Place- Landscape Architecture by Dan Kiley
Dallas, Texas

In observing Lindsay’s presentation and hearing the feedback of the reviewers, I have several ideas that may help her moving forward towards her final project. In terms of the presence of columns and how they define her façade, I feel that the columns should be uniform around, even if the east and west elevations don’t have the same bay width. A sense of greater uniformity and consistency will be created by doing so. In terms of a main entrance, I feel that the east façade and the layout of the exterior courtyards lends itself to becoming a main entrance for the project and has the greatest potential of attracting people from the street. The south entry is integral to the relationship with the park; however, this entrance could be seen as more of a private entrance for the firefighters to use to access the park. If Lindsay should chose to open up the central garden to the park, she is then able to create an entrance on both sides of the central garden into her fire station. Finally the maintenance elevation allows a unique opportunity for a more adventurous façade, perhaps a green wall that wraps the landscape up from the park and brings it up on to the roof of the fire station. This would serve to enhance the presence of biophilia within the project and create more of seamless blend from interior to exterior spaces.

Image: James Marvin PhelpsBalanced Rock

DD Project Statement

The Brooklyn Fire Station for Greenpoint neighborhood is located on a site that is surrounded by jarringly different conditions as the process of gentrification hits this once industrial zone. Positioned on the Bushwick Inlet Park, water lays to the South and West with the beautiful Manhattan skyline in the distance, while the North and East are surrounded by the remnants of those industrial times. The design of the fire station aims to create an efficient building with a public space enjoyable to both the community at large and the fire fighters. The fire station is created by the intersection of two different axises. The axis of the apparatus bay aligns with Franklin Street to respond to the surrounding urban grid, while the more private, residential axis aligns itself with 15th street. Creating a dialogue with the geometry of the residential axis is a large water feature that serves to create a gathering spot for the community and firefighters to enjoy. The circulation of the space is extremely important as response time is key in emergency situations like fire and rescue. The circulation of the space is maintained by the positioning of staircases accessible to both axises, to increase efficiency within the space and decrease response time. Sustainability is also an important aspect of the design with a focus on daylighting, natural ventilation, and superinsulation. This design aims to support the connection and interaction with the community through a fun and exciting public park space, while also creating a comfortable environment for those serving the community.

 

Canal Park- Washington D.C.

Photographer: Sahar Coston-Hardy
Architect: Olin Studios

ADAPTIVE REUSE IN DETROIT

PROPOSED PERIODICAL: CITY LAB

POST TITLE: Adaptive Reuse in Detroit

THESIS: Rather than allowing old, industrial buildings fall to ruin, the city of Detroit should revitalize these buildings to become sustainable and viable centers of activity through adaptive reuse.

I. INTRODUCTION

    On July 18, 2013, the city of Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. A city that once was bustling full of citizens and a booming automotive industry has since suffered economic turmoil. Its people left after the success of the postwar years, a 63% decrease in population since 1950 and a 26% decrease since 2000. The unemployment rate varies from 27.8% (2009) to 10% (2015). It has the largest violent crime rate seen in any city in the United States. Most startling is the amount of unused, abandoned land. There are currently 78,000 structures accompanied by 66,000 lots currently sitting idle, falling to ruin in the city of Detroit. These abandoned sites become magnets to violent crimes with 60% of reported arson cases happening here. Rather than allowing old, industrial buildings fall to ruin, the city of Detroit should revitalize these buildings to become sustainable and viable centers of activity through adaptive reuse.

II. Detroit is in need of revitalizing through adaptive reuse.

A. what adaptive reuse is

  • Adaptive reuse is the act of creating new built opportunities within existing built forms. It involves the repurposing of a structure that is usually abandoned and in unceasing decay. Adaptive reuse can accommodate for the social, political and economic progress within a community. It is found most often that these abandoned, industrial buildings are located in prime, dynamic spaces such as along a waterfront or in proximity to historic landmarks. It is a sustainable approach for architectural design, especially in cities such as Detroit.

B. why adaptive reuse is the solution

  1. sustainability – By reusing the existing structure we decrease the environmental pressure resulting from transportation and production of materials.
  2. improves cultural value and identity – A space revamped by adaptive reuse enhances the identity of a culture by maintaining history and memory in place while providing new function for its survival. It brings authenticity to a site by acknowledging the significance of an existing use and space.
  3. embraces development of economy – The repurposing of a building helps accommodate cultural changes because “Adaptive re-use projects speak to a wider cultural shift – from an industrial and manufacturing based economy to one centred around services, education and cultural life” (Harrison). 
  4. net cost can be less than new construction – The net cost of an adaptive reuse project can be less than new construction because it consumes less energy and uses fewer building materials. As the cost of energy continues to rise, new construction becomes a more expensive option when considering its life cycle.

An existing building has cultural, economic, and financial value. Instead of inevitably becoming a burden on a community, an industrial building can serve as a hub for urban life and create opportunities for natural urban development.

III. Other major cities have utilized adaptive reuse for abandoned structures to revitalize the city.

Adaptive reuse has proven successful in other industrial locations such as the Highline Park in New York City’s Meatpacking district, Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, and The Brewery in Milwaukee. The ability to bring life to these once booming industrial centers is key to bringing life to the city as a whole once more.

  1. San Francisco, Ghirardelli Square – Ghirardelli Square was the first successful example of adaptive reuse seen in the United States. In the 1960s, the existing factory buildings were purchased by William Roth, who hired Lawrence Halprin, landscape architect, and Wurster, Bernardi & Emmons, architectural firm, to create a design to accommodate retail spaces, offices, restaurants and a movie theater (Sharpe). This project preserved the history and original atmosphere of the site, preventing the demolition of a storied building and construction of a new modern apartment building. 

    www.ghirardellisq.com
    www.ghirardellisq.com
  2. New York City, High Line – High Line Park is a great example of adaptive reuse that takes an existing, abandoned railroad line and creates a beautiful landscape elevated from urban context of the city. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the High Line is an extremely successful example of adaptive reuse that both the community and tourists love and actively use. While the project was extremely expensive, the preservation of history and popularity amongst the city’s population made it a worthwhile investment. 

    Rendering by Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro/Courtesy the City of New York
    Rendering by Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro/Courtesy the City of New York
  3. Milwaukee, Brewery – The Brewery in Milwaukee is a very extensive and ambitious project that plans for the adaptive reuse and “environmentally sensitive restoration” of 26 structures on the National Register of Historic Places, a brownfield cleanup, and creation of low income housing amongst the remains of the Pabst Brewing Company (Benfield). The master plan of this project by Joseph Zilber includes residential lofts, a beer hall, office space, educational campuses, urban parks, senior living facilities, and medical campuses with more retail and luxury spaces to develop in the future. This success of this project relies on the cooperation between the developers and the city and the LEED Neighborhood Development program. 

    Courtesy Jeramey Jannene, licensed under Wikimedia Commons
    Courtesy Jeramey Jannene, licensed under Wikimedia Commons

IV. methods of adaptive reuse: how to revitalize a building

  1. Evaluate existing conditions- A great amount of effort should be dedicated to evaluating the existing fabric in order to make the most of the conditions. Designers look into the former structural, mechanical, electrical, architectural and landscape systems.
  2. Meet codes and install updated systems – To revitalize an existing structure, the design team must update systems to comply with current codes. Most issues with code compliance have to deal with energy standards, accessibility and fire regulations.
  3. Insert contextual program – The factor that determines the ultimate success of an adaptive reuse project is what will go inside it. The context must be highly considered in order to insert effective program. Industrial spaces are most effectively converted into to retail and community spaces.

V. Michigan Central Station, Harbor Terminal, and Hotel Eddystone offer great opportunity for adaptive reuse because of their size, space and location.

  1. Michigan Central Station – Michigan Central Station is a critical structure for adaptive reuse. With a space large enough for a train on the ground floor and an 18 story tower with hotel and office space above, this is prime real estate sitting vacant. An approach like that of Ghirardelli Square would be ideal, so that the history of the site and building may be preserved, bringing back the heyday of Detroit with a new era of use featuring offices, retail space, and residential living. 

    Photographer: Zach Fein
    Photographer: Zach Fein
  2. Harbor Terminal – Another site is the Harbor Terminal building. This huge warehouse currently sits vacant, but is an ideal candidate for adaptive reuse that could be turned into a multi-functional building with the creation of new waterfront urban space along the Detroit River as well. If the remain of the Pabst Brewing Company, can be given a new life, why not this warehouse? 

    Zack Fein
    Zack Fein
  3. Hotel Eddystone and Park Avenue Hotels – These hotels are other great locations for adaptive reuse. These abandoned hotels can serve as the catalyst for creating a new social center that also has a sustainable emphasis, by preventing the demolition of historic landmarks and reusing the existing structure. These hotels could be prime candidates for the LEED Neighborhood Development program. 

    www.architonic.com
    www.architonic.com

VII. the other side: why isn’t adaptive reuse happening?

  1. money required to update systems – While preserving the history of a site is a very integral component of design, too many this does not always make adaptive reuse the solution. Adaptive reuse can be a very financially involved and time intensive project. It is not always as simple as buy old building, move in new program. The mechanical and HVAC systems of these abandoned buildings are often out of date (if they even still function) and require extensive updates and installation of new modern systems. These systems are expensive to install for large buildings, and become even more expensive with the increase of sustainable measures.
  2. today’s code requirements – Older buildings often do not meet today’s code and accessibility requirements. This may involve moving existing walls and structural elements and changing floor plans in attempts to make it compliant with the rules of today.

While designers may love the opportunity to bring back the glory of an old architectural wonder, developers will often only see the dollars signs associated with doing such a  task. For many developers it is cheaper to tear down a building, and start from scratch.  With all the necessary updates and adjustments that require extensive funds and construction, many say why bother with adaptive reuse?

VIII. conclusion

Through the city’s efforts to evaluate existing conditions, meet code compliance, and insert contextual program, adaptive reuse will offer an opportunity for the Central Station, Harbor Terminal, and Hotel Eddystone in order to revitalize the city of Detroit. Seeing the success of great urban works in cities such as Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and New York City, we believe adaptive reuse is the future for the success of revitalizing cities in our coming generation. We can take these old buildings, install updated systems, insert new program, and create a sustainable, viable space for the community. We believe that adaptive reuse could be just the change Detroit needs. While proposals have been made for sites such as Michigan Central Station, no actual renovation has begun. Action is needed.

REFERENCES

  • Benfield, Kaid. “A Green Neighborhood Brewing in Milwaukee.” CityLab. The Atlantic, 22 Sept. 2011. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.
  • BINDER, MELINDA LORR. “ADAPTIVE REUSE AND SUSTAINABLE DESIGN: A HOLISTIC APPROACH FOR ABANDONED INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS.” University of Cincinnati / OhioLINK, 2003.
  • Donofrio, Gregory. “Preservation by Adaptation: Is it Sustainable?” Change Over Time 2.2 (2012): 106-31.
  • Harrison, Stuart. Adaptive Re-use. Adelaide: Office for Design and Architecture, 2014. Odasa.sa.gov.au. Web.
  • Green, Jessica M. “Adaptive Reuse in Post-Industrial Detroit: Testing the Viability of the Engine Works.” ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2008.
  • Hollander, Justin B., Niall Kirkwood, and Julia L. Gold. Principles of Brownfield Regeneration: Cleanup, Design, and Reuse of Derelict Land. Washington: Island Press, 2010.
  • Meltzer, Emily. “Adaptive Reuse of the Seaholm Power Plant: Uniting Historic Preservation and Sustainable Practices.” ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2011.
  • Ro, Sam. “11 Depressing Stats About Detroit.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 18 July 2013. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.
  • Sharpe, Sara E., “Revitalizing Cities: Adaptive Reuse of Historic Structures” (2012). Mid-America College Art Association Conference 2012 Digital Publications. Paper 18.
  • Spivak, Jeffrey. “Adaptive Use Is Reinventing Detroit.” Urban Land Magazine. The Magazine of the Urban Land Institute, 14 Sept. 2015. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.
  • Thornton, BJ. “THE GREENEST BUILDING (IS THE ONE THAT YOU DON’T BUILD!) Effective Techniques for Sustainable Adaptive Reuse/Renovation.” JOURNAL OF GREEN BUILDING 6.1 (2011; 1901): 1-7.

SCHEMATIC DESIGN REVIEW: JOHN SHINOGLE

Success in architecture is more than a beautiful building, but a building that can also makes sense contextually in the site as well. The struggle of the Bushwick Inlet Site is creating a project that responds to both the urban grid and the fluidity of the park. John’s project places itself within the geometries of the site by extending 15th Street back through the site as it historically once was. This extension creates a triangle of site between 15th Street, Quay Street, and Franklin Street. By placing the fire station on this triangular site and aligning his apparatus bays with 15th street, the optimal drive through apparatus bay is able to be created. Remaining on the apparatus bay level are more public areas of program and fire safety specific programmatic elements. On the upper floor with a view looking down into the apparatus bay, the residential spaces of the firefighters have been placed. The  Monitor Museum is placed beside the fire station on 15th street and Franklin Street with a public outdoor plaza completing the triangle. The geometries of John’s project in context with surrounding streets create a very interesting and contextual proposal.

 

Peer Critique

In reviewing John’s project based on the NAAB criteria, he had a very successful project. His project shows excellent design thinking and reasoning skills that are shown with great clarity in his drawings. His board becomes a very graphic element with bold colors that help to accentuate his main ideas. His models are beautifully crafted at two different scales to allow for a more detailed view of interior spaces, while also allowing the viewer to get an idea of the context of the project. His presentation was concise, but included all main points in order to give the juror’s sufficient background information to successfully review the project. John uses precedents for his bold move of the glass roof, but I feel that these precedents could be revisited. Further research into the precedent would allow John to give more consideration to the rational behind his glass roof. The hierarchy, circulation, and organization of the project are very thoughtfully considered. John’s use of historic maps allowed him to create a bold move in his project by re-extending 15th Street through the site. This extension also served a successful guideline for John in making the rest of his design decisions. The hierarchy in the layout of John’s project is also extremely successful with most consideration and importance given to the fire house on the main floor. The project reflects John’s view that the apparatus bay is the most important aspect of this project, however I think John does need to step back and re-evaluate the layout of his residential area. The circulation of the project is also well thought out, but it wouldn’t hurt to re-evaluate the current design to see if the response rate can be decreased in order to achieve maximum efficiency.

 

Critique of the Critique

The most actively involved critic during John’s review was Juan, who evaluated the project mostly on the inspired and industrial levels. John had an extremely successful, in that Juan went so far to call his project “remarkable.” Juan said that this remarkable simplicity, was a double-edged sword as less is more, or less could be bore. However, all critics agreed that the simplicity and the extension of the street, allowed John to create a new city block that responds extremely well to the surroundings. The multiplication of the corners on the neighborhood side makes great sense, however, it pointed out that the corners of the park side should not be identical as they are not responding to the same conditions. The structural integrity of the apparatus bay was also heavily critiqued as the columns are not consistently placed throughout the project. There is also a multidirectionality about the space, but John is choosing to emphasize only one direction, so that this requires greater emphasis. The glass roof of the apparatus bay that allows view in was seen by Juan as a great conceptual move as it creates a large island that attentively responds to the geometry of the site and fire station. However, the bedrooms looking upon this may not be ideal, as glass will become dirty extremely quickly, and the better view is across the inlet to the city skyline. Another critique of the project was the large height of the education and exhibition spaces that prevents better potential views for the upper floor bedrooms. In the critics eyes, there was a great need for further development in the surrounding site. The spaces between buildings are not large enough to welcome guests into the park. A sense of urbanism needs to be created between the buildings to welcome guests and offer an opportunity to “landscape the city.” Responding to the city and surrounding site, also needs to be addressed to the long façade on 15th Street. This is an opportunity for the directionality of the street and building to create a landscaping operation for the surrounding park as well.

At the schematic design level, it is not surprising the reviewers of the project were making comments based on the inspired order. It is still early enough in the project that larger design changes can be made without setting back the student to an extreme degree. The industrial order comments are also reasonable as this is the first time students are working with circulation, fire safety, and structural consideration in a studio project. The critics were all very excited by this project and offered a wide scope of comments for John to consider. The comments were polite, thoughtful, and unbiased, so that it was easy for John to respectfully answer their questions and address their concerns. I found it most interesting the the critics were so intrigued by this proposal that they continued to review the project after John walked away and the next board was being pinned up.

 

Suggestions for the Project

I would recommend you continue the columns throughout the length of the apparatus bay, but increase the width between columns and potentially consider adding additional support from trusses as well.

I would also recommend increasing the space between the Monitor Museum and Fire Station to create more pull into the park. Perhaps by revisiting the shape of the museum, you can create a larger plaza to the front of the project that assists in bringing more visitors into the park. You can always decrease the footprint of the museum by increasing the number of stories.

I also would be very wary of the back wall along 15th Street, since that is what is closest to park. Find an interesting way to make the landscape and architecture interact. This facade could be potentially all glass to allow park goers to see the Fire Station at work.

Bushwick Inlet Park Photo by John Shinogle