Riverbend
BKC 03 - 31 - 2010

Riverbend is a series of spaces that celebrate the history of Evansville and move it towards a more sustainable, culturally engaging, and walk-able lifestyle. The transit stop, as an architectural icon, builds upon the collective memory of the Evansville people and their images of water and the bend of the Ohio River, to create flowing spaces that reinforces this connection and adds a casualness ideal for promoting pedestrian engagement and pedestrian use. A conceptual board layout describes the various scales the project addresses and the design principles gathered from the World Tour 4 (image right). The rock base of the transit stop structurally grounds the platforms while also reinforcing the idea of river stone eroded away by flow, providing places for the people to physically flow from the stop and into the “canyon plaza” and the “canal street” spaces. In section, the transit stop works at three different levels. The ground level serves buses, which enter below the structure. The second level serves the new tram line that will run along the Lloyd Expressway and Highway 41. Below ground, the transit stop connects to a future metro line. Upon exiting the transit stop, people flow through three blocks comprising a unified, yet distinct series of spaces; the Esplanade in Helsinki is an example of such multi-block unified compositions. Conceptually, its as if the center piece of a block of apartments has been eroded by a flow of people moving from the transit stop to main street. The first in these series of eroded blocks is the “Canyon Plaza.” The eroded space becomes home to a farmer’s market and pre-game shows servicing the new arena. Within this block, the first two stories provide spaces for the restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. The below-grade market functions successfully like the ones visible throughout many places of Europe, including Italy and Vienna. The two to three stories above this first level provide living spaces for a variety of people. A central light well, inspired by the Casa Batllo by Gaudi in Barcelona, provides natural light to the interiors of the apartments while also providing a degree of natural ventilation. On the roof level, spaces is provided for gardens, providing activity for elderly people. From “Canyon Plaza,” pedestrians flow into the “Canal Street,” a block that has been eroded in the middle, providing a narrow walking space that amplifies the passage and intensity of the experience that adds to the retail feelings of the space, furthermore contrasting with the expansion into the “Canyon Plaza.” Experiences even from the latter part of the tour, including the pedestrian street in Prague (bottom) influence the design development. The climax of the amphitheater is the “River Bend,” an amphitheater, a bowl shaped by the erosion of people, serving as a place of gathering and arrival. The spatial openness of this terminus, created by a minimal columns , allows for the performance to be viewed from the side streets, serving to attract people from all directions.

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