Friday, October 30, 2009

Design Standards list

This is a brief list of some of the more important design standards that I think would make a positive change to the downtown area of Fargo.

Any new building must have enough structure so that it can accommodate a minimum 3 stories. This provides for any future expansion that could possibly happen vertically, also helping the density issue.

Use at least 30% of like materials as adjacent buildings to promote a consistency though the neighborhood.

Zone in an area where walking or bicycles are the only form of movement possible. I propose Broadway to be this area, and copy Denver's 16Th street mall and only have frees buses that traverse the street. This will develop a area like a mall but is outdoors and will grow the downtown street front businesses.

Bike paths.

Using materials that have a suitable lifespan. Quality materials will last into the future and are ultimately the most green material we can invest in, so lets use them here.

To promote Green Roofs, grant any person/s who installs a green roof access rights to all runoff water from all adjacent buildings. (i dunno if this is legal) Basically, if we can give the people some reason to build a green roof and even more possibility that it would work then we win environmentally.

Any building that is to be torn down must go through a neighborhood comity that votes on it, then it must be vacant or unusable for it be destructed.

Any existing building must keep 50% of its existing materials when renovation takes place, unless not possible.

This is the basic rules/ regulations that I have discussed and thought about. In my mind I have many more rules, but they are mostly objective opinion. Yes, I may say that one building is ugly, but someone most likely built that building and think that it looks fine. So, when coming up with these standards I think it is helpful to think of Fargo as a whole and what we want this city to say to people. What is the image or layout of this area?? Should it reflect all the old masonry buildings that have been here for 100 years or should it be more modern and streamline to give this area a new identity.
My opinion is that cities like Santa Fe where everything is pueblo style are negative towards expression and true experience. Lets tell people from other places that Fargo is a great city and give them some character that they will want to come back. Lets use the old buildings as a mold and then break off and build diverse dwellings that will accommodate everyone.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Union Site Development

So, after looking at what to do, I have come up with a design parti and want to start refining the final solution. Basically to add a student union downtown I believe there should be many layers of spaces and physical boundaries that not only make it secure, but also define from the surroundings so that public spaces and student spaces are separate. So the parti that I have came up with is to compare my building to a winter jacket. The metaphor that this building will surround the people with layers of insulation and keep them comfortable is much like how a winter jacket is warm and offers a much needed barrier from the cold.

Basically there are three new spaces that are added to the site. There is a parking garage to the southeast, a greenhouse to the south of the existing pioneer building, and a new extension to the north.

This site is a little unique in the fact that views are not all that important as there is nothing around the site that is really that appealing and the spaces withing the building do not really require there to be all that great of views. So, to accommodate many of the spaces and to add light I would like to make walls of masonry construction with sun shading screens so that west light isn't an issue, but have the entire roof tilted open so that light can pour into the building.
Next, there is the outdoor space that needs to be addressed. What I wanted to create here is an outdoor lawn for the downtown campus that would serve many different functions and hopefully have a lot of flexibility.
Last point that I wanted to point out is how this site is a "link" for downtown. I would want to have public travel ways inside my building that would go through the existing building and the parking garage. I also would link in Barry Hall and the Taco bell site which is most likely going to be more apartments. So using this building as a link will be convent and be more attractive to students and the public during the winter months (which seems to be 5 months out of the year in Fargo)
In conclusion the development of the design deals first with its context and then looks at the program to make decisions on where things will be placed. I think it is important to think of the public and not just NDSU, because the fact that this building might not always be in the possession of NDSU is very likely.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

3rd Street Site

This is the last of my sites and it shows a lot of potential because of its proximity to so many people on a day to day schedule. I would like to show the site map before I explain a lot of what i am talking about here, because the context is so important to this site.

Taking a good look at the map and by touring around the site there is a high amount of people that are in this area and that live in this area. I also think that in the future there are going to be more people who would want to live here, however they are also going to need things, and that is why i would provide some commercial/ retail space. I do not for see this becoming a spot for bars or clubs, but that is not out of the question either. The biggest challenge of this site would be keeping the parking. They really need parking in this area and a more extensive study on parking would have to be conducted to see if this much building would even be possible. Maybe instead of the proposed two buildings there would only be one. Here is the program.
Low income- apartment design
student housing- lofts, apartment design
young professional- loft design
Mix Use
building resident center
Green space
spot for young people to hang out
quiet from noise and busy 10Th street traffic

Other then that i am not seeing to much of an idea. However, last Friday the idea for a business incubator space was proposed by Milt. I think this would be a absolutely great idea because of its proximity to Barry Hall and because NDSU and the Fargo Area doesn't have anything like this (that i know of). It would fallow the lead of the already established Tech Park by the NDSU campus, but would be catered to businesses who would benefit from being affiliated with NDSU and its business program.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Boys Ranch Site

This site is rather interesting and is my close #2 that I would want to pursue this semester. Basically because of it proximity between NDSU campus and Dwtn. Campus. I think it would appeal to a lot of students and hopefully bring in more then that. Here's the site and ideas.

Well this is the place so what are the spaces?? What do we NEED here?? Sense there is such a lack of development here and such feeling of vacancy I think these spaces would improve if not just bring life into this area.

Student housing apartments, maybe condos/ lofts (why not sell)
houseing for families
houseing for low income
housing for young professionals
replace the offices and buisnesses that were on the site
possible grocery for selling garden stuff
Green space
play area
garden area
basketball courts
hill twords the tracks (block sound)
keep existing function

Lastly i would like to say that the possiblitys that this site would be a green comunity with gardens and the residents could sell produce is not out of the picture. i would like to live in somthing like this.

any suggestions??

Union Program

As it stands right now I feel as if a new union site would be the most crucial/ possible program to go into the downtown. Sense we are architects we are visual learners so i will first post a diagram for how I think this site could all come together. Briefly to recap this idea, i am proposing a new "downtown" student union. It would be located directly across from Barry Hall to the south between 1st and 2nd street with 10th street running alongside its western border. Here is the site map.

So hopefully you can read the map, if not that's OK, it basically outlines where and what I want to put on this site. This can also be done by identifying the program, so why not?

Union Program/ Spaces:
Bison Connection Room
Study Lounge
Rec Room
Meeting Room
Coffee shop
Convenience Store
Green Space
Work Space (behind the scenes stuff)
Union Lawn
Water Feature
Ice skating rink (for winter months)
lawn bowling
sand volleyball courts??

So basically these are the proposed spaces that would be included in this development. Also don't forget all the standard spaces such as parking, toilets, utilities, storage, and entry/ exit spaces.

Any suggestions??