A design project for an urban frontier
Author(s)Hahn, Robert Louis
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
Bill Hubbard, Jr.
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The interplay between the form and infrastructure of modern cities produces spatial and temporal dimensions which allow for erratic growth and fragmentary perception. Though their origins can be clearly seen in urban development since the Renaissance, density, movement, and pace in contemporary cities increase as meaningful boundaries are erased by rising consumption of services and a spate of traffic (automobile, communication, utility). While property values limit accessibility to inner urban space, the city expands outwardly, generally following the path of least resistance. In so doing, the increased demands on infrastructure cleave existing urban textures, creating anomalies in the landscape. As a result, large open spaces for public use are either dislocated (to suburbia), restricted (institutionalized where most public), or simply "left over" as remnants of previous programs (abandoned buildings) or the fall-out of large scale construction (highways, public transport, utilities, etc.). The potential of these latter spaces for public use is often unrecognized. This thesis will argue that due to their very natur~, cities produce such spaces by default and that they can be employed for public use as a frontier in the urban psyche. The design for such a frontier would support a variety of programs based on public events. As soon as one event takes place, another would follow according to the rhythm of the city. In this way, it could act as a stabilizer by activating places which are really just dormant and providing a permanent fixture for civic activity.
Thesis (M. Arch.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1992.Includes bibliographical references (p. 51).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology