Thursday, December 17, 2009

Final Boards

the Town and Gown project was always changing for me throughout the semester, and here are my final boards..

the site I spent the most detail on and I enjoyed working on was the Taco Bell site across the Pioneer Building (I called this my "New and Transportation" project)

the other two sites were the Taco John's location which was my "Infill" project

and the Union Storage site which was my "Renovation" project

each site is explained in the boards on how they incorporated my proposals for the "Should/Shall" lists for future developement in Fargo Downtown

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fargo's Future..

Potential Design Guidelines

· Each site should have a zone of at least 30% green space

· Parking lots hall have illuminated sidewalks

· Each parking space shall be owned

· Set aside truck parking areas

· Shall offer parking lot buffer requirements

· Should offer a parking time limit plan for street parking and perhaps no parking near residential units

· Any lots vacant after demolition shall be paved and landscaped to ensure a dust-free surface

· Landscape buffers may be installed or preserved along lot lines adjacent to any zoned property

· Provide bus stop/wind shelter

· Allow the sense of time to show through for existing architecture while designing with a conscious mind for the future

· Each building shall maintain an understanding of past traditions of building self-sustaining architecture and try to incorporate a few concepts of sustainable architecture and topophilia in each space to encourage a healthy spirit in each place being built

· Determine the material palette for each building according to surrounding context

· Determine the scale for each building according to surrounding context

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Update on World Flavors Site Model...

here is a little update on how the model is coming may change here and there, but I just wanted to let you know how the building form is coming along and how I am dealing with the parking situations..

I will continue to work on developing this site along with the other sites..

the image above displays a skywalk connecting my site to Matt's site...we are still developing our programs in our buildings, and maybe this might be a cool connection for students to use between each project

above is an image that shows the green space I am still developing for the students to socialize...

the last image shows how where I am so far in this process, I am developing a parking garage next to my buildings...and am still working out a few circulation issues throughout the project..

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hulsing and Associates Firm

Here is the block containing the Lightbenders office and the current business of Taco John's. I feel this would be a good location for a design-build firm such as Hulsing and Associates. Aspiring students just still in school for architecture or just getting their degrees would be good candidates here. Also, this building is near a residential neighborhood, so making it a mixed-use building for apartments on the second floor I thought would be a good idea.

First Floor:
Front part "Design":
-design offices
-studios (for interns)
-conference room
-display room
-break room/kitchen
Back part "Build":
-construction company
-SHP Engineering

Second Floor:
-mixed-use apartments
-single-unit and multi-unit
-low income and middle income



World Flavors

This site where the old Taco Bell used to be would be a great site for a food court/general education building. The location near the business and architecture schools makes the spaces within it more usable to the students as well. A heated bus stop will be put on the corner of 2nd Ave N and 10th St, just across this site to help students get from their dorms on campus to their classes downtown - especially in the winter.

First Floor:
-Pita restaurant (Pita Pit) - w/drive thru
-Thai restaurant
-Chicken restaurant (KFC) - w/drive thru
-Pizza/Mexican restaurant (Pizza Hut/Qdoba) - Qdoba w/drive thru
-Coffee place (Starbucks) - w/drive thru
-middle eating area blending all restaurants
-internet cafe/lounge area

Second Floor:
-general education classrooms (12)

angle of drive-thru entries

Music Social

The Union Storage Building has a lot of great space around it that could be used as a concert space for artists passing through the F/M area. It is also sort of a split building that offers different uses and potential for socializing or parking.

First Floor:
The Box Space:
-Indoor Stage
The Social/Learning Space:
-coffee shop

Second Floor:
The Social/Learning Space:
-music classrooms
-recording studios

The Box Space:
The Social/Learning Space:

-stage for outdoor concerts

The Sites

Here is a summary of the sites that I have chosen for my Fall semester project.
  1. 10th St and 4th Ave N : Near site of current Taco John's restaurant and Lightbenders office. I am making this my "Infill" project. I believe it would be a good site for design-build firm that would give opportunities to the architecture students at NDSU. The firm I chose was the one that gave me an opportunity to intern for them my third year - Hulsing and Associates.
  2. 10th St and 2nd Ave N: Site of the former Taco Bell. I chose to make this my "New" site. I would like to see an food court that has international restaurants in it. I am thinking of calling it "World Flavors".
  3. NP Ave and 10th St: Current site of Union Storage Building. I am doing a "Restoration" project on this building. The plan here is to make this building into a Musical Social space that would allow people of all ages to come and either record music, learn how to play instruments, or go to concerts.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Proposals for Project Farrago: Renovation

R – And for my restoration project, I was thinking of restoring the Union Storage Building into a Musical Meet Market. A place where younger people are able to socialize, listen and buy music, and even go to concerts. I chose to do this space because I felt there was a need for more social spaces to hang out in the Downtown area during the daytime.

Proposals for Project Farrago: New

N – Where the old Taco Bell fast food place used to be there is some great area for maybe a chain of restaurants (similar to the 12th Ave chain of food places to eat. I was thinking these restaurants could probably be more aimed to the ethnic backgrounds because of the diverse neighborhood in this area.

Proposals for Project Farrago: Infill

I – There is a neighborhood around current Taco John’s property and with the possibility of that restaurant leaving there is the spaces around it that has the potential of a good “infill” project. Maybe a Mixed Housing Project or Design Build firm, or a Student Union?. . .I need to research the context of the site a little more.

Proposals for Project Farrago: Transportation

T – I live on campus and ride the either 13 or 33 bus every day to class downtown campus. I also own a bike and think it would be a great idea if there could be some kind of a bike path or walking path for students that connected the two campuses. As far as circulation between the two downtown campuses I believe that should be addressed as well as there are many students that migrate between Klai Hall and Renaissance Hall. Especially in Fargo’s winters, perhaps the MAT bus station could work out a route between the two campuses.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Power of Design Thought

"Ruminations" - Grandmother's Inspiration

Last week on Wednesday I attended a talk by Marvin Malecha FAIA (2009 AIA President).

He spoke about traditions, creativity and how to challenge what you do. I enjoyed his talk very much, because he talked about how his grandmother was his inspiration and how she used a method called "Rumathy" when she would begin planting. It was a way of he testing the soil by her tasting it - meaning you can't rush or test creativity...

Another interesting point he made was the fact that even people - blind from birth - could draw in perspective by just touching an object. The reason is because they block all the 'noise' around them and are able to focus better on the shape itself.

-Know how to see (collect and give)
-Application of knowledge (test your knowledge)
-Expression -never be afraid to express your knowledge in studio because that is how you learn

He let us know that there is no right answer to a design problem. Remember to balance logic and Imagination. And always keep in mind the health, safety and welfare of the people. Embrace Ambiguity. There's the making of the clock and then there's the concept of time.

Out of the 3 human needs: Physical, Aesthetic and Intellectual - the Aesthetic is usually the one taken for granted.

When choosing a path, instead of getting lost in the Maze, go for the Labyrinth which is more of a (step/meditate , step/meditate type rhythm)

The last major subject Marvin touched on was a series of Domains and defining them. here are some of them:
  • marks a place
  • passes a way
  • innovation from a precedent
  • seeking the essence of an idea
  • experience
  • gateways
  • facilitates understanding
  • nurtures learning
  • story behind a story (connection between known and unknown)
  • each foot of progress (new sketch) reveals a new effect, a new purpose - if men have faith - a new thing comes
We are not human beings on a spiritual path, rather we a are spiritual beings on a human path

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice and in practice there is.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Laying it out on the Table. .

Top Ten Propositions for Downtown Fargo:
  1. International Market
  2. Walkway Expressway from NDSU to Downtown Fargo
  3. Circulation Routes in Downtown (walkways, bike paths, buses and cars routed appropriately for convenient and efficient transfer from point A to point B)
  4. Affordable Student Housing (studio apartments, dormitories, or smaller housing units)
  5. Downtown Student Union
  6. Farmer's Market or Chain of Local Merchants in vacant train Spaces
  7. Similar IACC/technology building for downtown students
  8. Library/Research building similar to one in Skills and Tech building for downtown students
  9. Parking Issues addressed
  10. Issues of Industrial buildings moved to their appropriate districts

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tour of the Renaissance Zone...

After our tour around the Renaissance Zone, and taking a few pictures, I realize that there are many opportunities for development that cater to the college population (student and faculty).

I am interested in doing a Kevin Lynch study of nodes, paths, and edges of our site. I also have a few international friends that are interested in proposal for the International Market.

Another exciting suggestion for downtown Fargo is the possibility that the Great Northern Railroad might be replaced with a bike trail. There are storage area spaces next to the tracks that have a lot of potential for a possible chain of small shops or a local farmer’s market type.

An important point that Professor Yergens made in class today was the fact that when a new town comes about there is a lot of disdain for the old towns. One wonders what will happen to former paths such as railroad tracks. Some have been revealed under roads. .while there are proposals to tear old tracks out for a newer (perhaps greener) form of transporting oneself.

Case Study for Flowood, MS

A few interesting points were made by the committee of the city of Flowood, Mississippi in their ordinance. I agreed with them in protecting and promoting the general welfare and preventing the deterioration of the appearance of their city while encouraging the construction of attractive buildings.
Many ideas are out there for Fargo and here is an example of how another city is dealing with their people and suggestions.

Here is an example of their Zoning Issues:

If you guys want to check out the committee's proposal to the city here is their URL:

Friday, August 28, 2009

House Form and Culture

A book recommended to me by Professor Ramsay - "House Form and Culture" by Amos Rapoport and has sparked my interest to want to try to define what "vernacular" architecture is to me...

I hope to be a People Architect one day and I hope my thesis and future work will reflect this goal~