I’m on my way home and had a few minutes to post project number two of the semester. I enjoyed this project, mostly because we were dealing with a real world situation. The main idea was a performance oriented park on the intersection of Newbury St and Dartmouth St in Boston. This project will also be feeding into project number three which will involve placing a hostel on the same site.
Project 2 began with a site analysis. Our site was on the corner of Dartmouth and Newbury Street, a location busting with traffic both at the pedestrian and vehicular levels. Observations included but were not limited to direction of travel, intensity, points of congestion, site characteristics (architectural detailing, below grade entrances, bay windows, etc.).
Following the site analysis the class divided into different groups in an effort to document as much of the site as possible. There were teams for the model, digital model, elevations, photographs, etc. My group worked on panoramic images for this part of the project, as well as a sun study.
The next step in the project was to create three iterations of what may work within the site. The requirements of the project asked for a stage, a reflecting pool, seating area for the stage and some kind of incorporation of our first project. There is no doubt these “rules” changed throughout the project, but that is OK. I fought with the idea of connecting the different spaces on the site and bringing them together. At first I tried to establish this connection through the use of the reflecting pool and greenery. I experimented with different materials, ideas and concepts. One of my major goals was to connect Newbury Street to Dartmouth Street in an effort to avoid the congestion that there was on the street corner.
Jumping ahead to my final project, it covers all of my main goals. It allows people to move from Dartmouth to Newbury Street while avoiding the congested corner. The stage and seating area is given a closed air feeling due to the high walls surrounding them. The stage recesses into the hostel massing (which will be tackled in project 3) and this creates a unifying feeling between the two different programs. On the other side of the site is the connector between the two streets. It is a multiple grade platform. It can be accessed from either side of the site. The platform serves as a mezzanine level to either view the performance, or shop around at the newspaper/magazine kiosks. Below this platform there is space for a ground level venue space, which is accessible via the “tunnels”. The venue space can use the rear alley as a service entry. The venue as a whole works well with project one, which was a lounge and bus stop area. The last swath (the site is a conjunction of swaths: hostel, performance/seating, mezzanine level and approach to site) of the site is the access to the site from Dartmouth Street. If one doesn’t want to go up the steps, he/she can relax in the seating on the edge of the site, or walk through the tunnel into the performance and seating areas.