A new development in Auckland, New Zealand that will include a new yacht manufacturing facility incorporating a high tech “assembly line.” The facility will the include the high tech manufacturing of 72’-0” hulls for catamarans; requiring the structure to be at least 72’ of uninterrupted space. A minimum of 5 catamarans will be produced by the Emirates New Zealand racing team for preparation for the final racing match in San Francisco. Due to the linear expressionism of the “assembly line” nature, the development is required to be linear structurally and formally. Hull and mast assemblies will be tested and manufactured in the plant and then tested in the water prior to shipment. The new facility will have direct access to the water and a form of transportation such as a rail, truck or boat. The assembly line production area will have direct access to the shipping and receiving of products and supplies. The hull and mast assemblies will be able to be loaded and transferred to the west coast for final assembly and testing of the yachts.
(Above) Aerial View of Auckland, NZ
The new development for Las Vegas will form a connection between the proposed High Speed Rail Station and the new VIVA Station development located west of I-15. The development will incorporate a multitude of uses, including a new linear parkway that extends North/South, office space, condominiums, affordable housing, a recreation center, an event center, and commercial space. Combinatory Urbanism, a concept established by Thom Mayne, was incorporated into this project.
THOM MAYNE’S COMBINATORY URBANISM: THE COMPLEX BEHAVIOR OF COLLECTIVE FORM EXPLORES NEW DIRECTIONS AND APPROACHES TO URBAN PLANNING AND DESIGN.
For the past forty years Thom Mayne and his firm, Morphosis, have been engaged with projects that exist in the hybrid space between architecture and urban planning. Against this backdrop, Thom Mayne’s new book Combinatory Urbanism: The Complex Behavior of Collective Form (Stray Dog Café, 2011) surveys 12 urban projects that range in scale from a 16-acre proposal for rebuilding the World Trade Center site after the 2001 terrorist attacks to a 52 thousand-acre redevelopment proposal for Post-Katrina New Orleans. This book and the proposals found within, posit an alternative to traditional end-state planning solutions, while attempting to not only illuminate but also explicate Mayne’s own work and critical processes. Combinatory Urbanism represents a departure from previous Morphosis publications. Both a manifesto on urbanism and a comprehensive presentation of Morphosis urban design projects, many of which have never before been published; this book fills a void in the world of architectural and urban design publications.
I used this idea in my design to suggest a new type of Las Vegas Urbanism that responds to the needs and multitude of uses that the people of Las Vegas demand. By intersecting and combining program uses and building form, the development was able to "explore new directions and approaches to urban planning and design" in a beneficial way. The development strives to create a new Las Vegas experience that attracts not only tourists, but locals as well who are looking for a place that meets their work, live, and play needs.
The new Streetsboro Monument will be located at the intersection of state route 14 and 43, a very busy intersection in NE Ohio. The new monument strives to recognize a sense of place, gathering a character for the city, and embracing both people and the city. The "Gateway To Progress" arch will span 60 ft. and stand 24' tall, reading "City of Streetsboro" above. The new monument will also feature a variation of hardscape and softscape elements, including a fountain and seating area and an array of trees and vegetation in the back to provide a buffer to the commercial buildings to the north.
Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown published "Learning from Lsa Vegas" in the 1960s. The book was a treatise on symbolism in architecture. Las Vegas is analyzed as a phenomenon of architectural communication. The ‘Strip’ is architecture of communication over space, achieved through style and signs. Las Vegas achieves victory of symbolism-space over forms-in-space. The main argument is that spatial relationships are created through symbols rather than forms.
But much has changed in Las Vegas since then. Now, we must ask the question, when designing for Las Vegas, how do we create a urban design scheme that resembles this "new Las Vegas" style?
To investigate this question I first had to research what it this new Las Vegas was. Rem Koolhaas, in his book "Content" interviews DSB and Robert Venturi about the Las Vegas of the 21st century. They describe several evolution's, listing in the following presentation, that have occurred in Las Vegas. They also mention their recent article, "Las Vegas After Its Classical Age," which I have had trouble finding.
The New Las Vegas
The new Las Vegas of today resembles some of the same characteristics of DisneyLand.
“Here is a vivid urban complex that is beginning to embrace symbolic content by combining surface and form, graphic signage, and sculptural symbolism—both the “decorated shed” and the “duck” (i.e., the loft whose surfaces are ornamented with signs, and the building as sculptural symbol.)” —“The urban complex that is a city rather than a resort—a vivid multifaceted place that pragmatically juxtaposes decorated sheds and ducks through signage and sculpture, civic and commercial content—all in the service of enhanced communication, the vital community-building tool of our multicultural era. This is what the Las Vegases and Pop Century Resorts are leading up to and what the Tokyo of today has essentially achieved.”
For this urban design project, I embraced this idea and attempted to represent it in my design scheme.
Several projects are already underway or completed that embrace this "New Las Vegas" idea; such project as Libeskinds "CityCenter," which was completed in 2010.
“CityCenter is a 21st century experience and a celebration of public urban life with retail, entertainment and the feel of an urban neighborhood. Crystals transforms the conventions of shopping and dining with a landscape of sophisticated and contemporary spaces enlivening The Strip and making CityCenter an international destination.”
– Daniel Libeskind
This semester I read a very interesting article I must give credit to called "Self-identity, rationalization and cognitive dissonance in undergraduate architectural design learning," by Christine Bachman and Leonard Bachman. Part of the article included a post my a graduate student on the author's course web site:
"[...And the thing is, we do it for ourselves. I know some professors said to not take longer on the design charrette than we just had. And I for one took longer than that. Just because I knew that the professors required a certain standard of work. Yet they were not concerned that we just had a project due two days before. It would be nice to have a life outside of architecture. Don't get me wrong. I know that the life of an architecture student has been like this and I know it will change by the time we graduate so why even worry about it. Although it has been a lot of work and sleepless nights, I would not trade it in for anything."
I couldn't agree with this comment more. Architecture students spend most of their time working on their studio projects. After gone through almost 5 years of architecture school, I can relate to this in many ways. "Our findings consistently indicated that architecture students spend more than 40 hours a week on studio design projects in addition to their coursework, and also that they average less than five and a half hours of sleep per night." Compare this statistic to this:
The typical U.S. college student spends less than 30 hours a week on academics.
U.S. college students spend 24% of their time sleeping, 51% of their time socializing and 7% of their time studying.
But architecture students aren't typical.
So what's the problem?
The problem is that too much time is spent practicing non-educational, biased, and opinionated material. "Studio demands can be gruelling, loosely managed, sudden shifting, and subjectively evaluated on loosely applied professional opinion." Oftentimes, however, the opinion isn't even professional. As most of my undergraduate studio professions were in fact, not professors, but graduate assistants. Their opinion may have been better than mine but it was surely not professional.
"Students quickly learn that sleepless nights become a great symbolic currency of devotion as will high levels of stress and anxiety." For some reason we think that by staying up all night we have achieved a level of status beyond our peers. That idea is slowly lost around fourth year. However, I often find myself staying up all night simply because I have to in order to finish the work on time. "They find comfort in believing that their sacrifice is worthwhile because it enhances their ideal self-image, the hero designer. Similar to medical students, they find reward in sleep deprivation because the learning experience ennobles it."
Perhaps studio would be more efficient in terms of learning if we spent more time, well, actually learning material rather than spending countless hours producing physical models, hatching in lines and areas, drawing in trees and making pretty graphics. Granted, all of these things help enhance your artistic skills, but not your mind. More focus needs to spent on mental skills rather than physical skills such as training your body to withstand the sleepless nights.
Speaking of sleepless nights...
Sleep deprivation induces significant reductions in performance and alertness. Reducing your nighttime sleep by as little as 1.5 hours for just one night could result in a reduction of daytime alertness by as much as 32 percent.
Las Vegas, a city known for its disregard of sustainable practices, has recently recognized the design potential that a high-speed rail network could offer to the city. “Desert Xpress”; a rail line that would connect Victorville, CA, to Las Vegas, would help reduce energy consumption generated by cars and encourage public transit. Located along Route I-15 and adjacent to the famous Las Vegas Strip, the new High-Speed Rail Station would serve as a destination point for tourists and a new landmark for the city. The building would promote sustainability and low energy consumption by incorporating passive design strategies such as sun shading, thermal mass, and natural ventilation, as well as active design strategies such as photovoltaic panels, green roofs, and water conservation. The design intent is to recognize the importance of Transit-Oriented Design in America, especially in a car dependent city such as Las Vegas, by incorporating a multitude of uses integrated in one harmonious structure.
For additional information, please contact Brandon Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brandon E. Young