Building upon the urban exploration of vacancy proposed in The Available City project by David Brown, nine Chicago-based teams present their own responses to the issue at stake. Employing drawings and models, each project investigates the architectural possibilities of vacancy, with a specific focus on the role of collective spaces and the relationships they can foster. Diverse in their location, scale, program, and aesthetic sensibility, these projects ultimately demonstrate that we can leverage vacancy to generate new architectural scenarios that have the potential to address current social and economic issues.
Project by Central Standard Office of Design
Working from and expanding on the zoning guidelines set forth by David Brown’s The Available City project, Cut/Fill takes cues from Brown’s proposed shift from typical city planning quantifications of floor area ratios and square footage zoning codes toward a qualification of relationships between private building volumes and public collective surfaces. Cut/Fill zooms in on corner lot conditions in the City of Chicago and expands on their inherent multiplicity and potential exaggeration of access points, frontality, and public iconicity. The proposal reorganizes a set of five adjacent individual lots from 25′ x 125′ strands to a shared 30′ x 30′ patchwork grid in order to produce spatial hybridization and programmatic slippage between public collective surfaces and private multi-family housing volumes. Cut/Fill adapts techniques from earthmoving to relocate existing ground matter for use in the labor-efficient and sustainable construction of eight housing units, expanding on the notion of material availability in an urban context.
Kelly Bair, Alejandra Edery-Ferre, and Ruta Misiunas.
Chen-Han Tu and Lukasz Wojnicz.
The Central Standard Office of Design philosophy hinges on a belief that the dynamic forces that shape our natural environment are central influences to the design of our built environment. Our work employs physical forces (gravity, weight, temperature, weather patterns) and urban dynamics (crowds, human interaction, context/history) to elicit experiences as strange as they are familiar. Whether this process results in the production of forms and features reminiscent of human or animal bodies (figural objects) or adopt more elusive atmospheric qualities (difficult to define yet utterly visceral in their effects), we strive to design architectural spaces that provoke human interaction and pique the curiosity of the collective mass. Central Standard Office of Design is directed by Kelly Bair.