Avon, IN
JRM1 02 - 14 - 2010

My hometown project site is in Avon, Indiana on US 36. The site is currently home to a strip mall, numerous chain restaurants, and a vast, under-utilized parking lot. The project will involve creating a master plan for developing the parking lot into a mixed-use neighborhood and designing a mixed-use dwelling that can co-exist architecturally with the strip mall. In order to create livable dwellings in the existing parking lot, there are at least two points concerning the strip mall that must be addressed architecturally: the very horizontal context, and the ubiquitous architecture of the strip. In Barcelona, there was a Herzog and DeMeuron project which involved placing a horizontal box within a very vertical context. They addressed the context visually by placing vertical elements within the greater horizontal piece. Their context and project was the exact opposite of mine, as I am adding vertical density to a very horizontal context. I will be exploring different means of integrating horizontal elements into my project by using materiality and form to create functional and contextual elements. Prior to the installation of the wall-to-wall carpet at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, the floor was covered by single rugs left behind by individuals. This accretion of rugs allowed the space to become personalized by its users over time. In order to create a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood, the monotony of strip mall architecture must be addressed. Providing opportunities to personalize individual units of multi-family residences could counter-balance the ubiquitous and monotonous strip mall architecture to create unique and livable streetscapes. An example is shown in the sketch below with manually adjustable shading devices. Residents could change the orientation of the devices as they see fit, which would allow them to have a certain level of control over their facade's appearance.

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