SUBMITTED BY BKC DATE 01 - 08 - 2010
My hometown project in Evansville, Indiana, aims to bring greater life and vitality to the downtown via a new transportation infrastructure and urban infill. The scope of the project will include improved infrastructure and downtown transit stop integrated with a “stadium avenue,” a new development that will complement the existing stadium. My trip thus far has given me a number of great design ideas to apply to my hometown project. (image one to the right).
In terms of large scale planning, the “stadium avenue” will be composed of a transit stop, largely influenced by our visit to the Seville Station and other metro stations. This will then lead people to the “Evansville Plaza,” a small block composition of offices, restaurants on the ground floor, an underground full-service market, and places for outdoor performances and gatherings, in conjunction with and apart from the happenings of the stadium. My understanding of outdoor public space has been influenced by the Spanish Expo Pavilion of 1928 (image two below). The "Evansville Plaza” will then lead people to the addition to Signature School, which will include an art gallery and additional classrooms, possibly even for adult education downtown. This addition will create a rooftop gathering place on Signature School, complementing the Victory Theater. This experience of transitioning from the metro stop to the stadium will be a narrative of Evansville, referencing its celebrated history in various architectural elements.
Relating to the idea of the “Evansville Plaza,” the Plaza Mayor in Madrid illustrated to me the successful creation of a block with an open center surrounded by offices with restaurants and shops along the ground floor. Given that there is not an open and inviting place for community activities in downtown Evansville in close proximity to Main Street, this idea will become part of my urban development. In this plaza, there will be architectural elements that promote its regular use as a farmer’s market, drawing from the concept of markets in Seville, and connecting the disparate parts of the city.
Currently, I am exploring inspiration from the Ohio River and vernacular riverfront structures to provide an architectural language that tells a narrative consistent with the history and character of Evansville.