Where the nature and structure of space changes frequently, one will make
much more intensive use of global space. The volume of social space and
of social activity in space has two consequences: the space available
for individual use is greater than in a society with a sedentary population;
yet there is no more empty space, space unused even for a brief time,
and, as one makes creative use of it, its aspect changes so much and so
often that a relatively small surface offers as many variations as a trip
around the world. Distance covered, speed, are no longer the yardsticks
of movement; and space, lived more intensely, seem to dilate. But this
intensification of space is only possible due to the creative use of technical
means -- a use that we, who live in a society where use has a finality,
can hardly imagine.
-Constant. New Babylon. The Intensification of Space. 1974
in the power network of the future will be awake, responsive, adaptive,
price-smart, eco-sensitive, real-time, flexible, humming and interconnected
with everything else.
-Steve Silberman. Wired Magazine. The Energy Web. July 2001
by the Thorium contamination of the "3 Acres on the Lake's"
site, this proposal critiques the modernist city planning principles that
created this urban void. "How to Float a Park" is an investigation
into the potential for sustainable development within an urban environment
that challenges the conception of park as a composed picturesque object.
The goal is to generate a mixed-use urban landscape that acts as a piece
of city, reacting to political, cultural, and economic conditions and
guided by ecologically sensitive attitudes towards utilities, transportation,
and 3-dimensional zoning regulations. The park will be a place of research,
retail and entertainment that intertwines habitation, production, and
recreation while supporting itself by generating it's own power, water,
and jobs. This is a place for work, play, study, and residence that embraces
the complexities and informality of public space and challenges the traditional
notion of private space. The park will be "controlled sprawl"
having the openness and porosity that are required for outdoor uses while
possessing the programmatic density to provide 24-hour activity. In addition,
most of this intervention floats on the lake.
THE URBAN FRAMEWORK
After the removal of all the contaminated soil from the site the process
of developing the "park" begins by building the "catalysts
for development and direction.
FOR URBAN FABRIC
These consist of building a pier/anchoring system on a 50' module grid
that follows the profile of the previous contaminated earthen landscape
both in plan and in section. A vertical setback of 20' will be enforced
from any constructed spaces as a way of providing porosity to the development.
Structure can be built above or below the waterline.
The stainless steel piers will allow for bolt in structures to be connected
and removed based on development trends.
Some of these
piers will contain the utility lines and the vertical circulation "streets"
that will connect different pieces of the development and anchor the floating
ground that will consist of 5' spheres made of carbon nanotube technology
that connect and disconnect as needed.
AND UTILITIES INFRASTRUCTURE
After this basic structure is laid the platforms for the sustainable utility
systems can be installed including the extension of the existing access
road over the site for vehicular access.
a three-dimensional boardwalk system will be constructed around the site
with eventual inward growth as development occurs. This walk will connect
to both the access road and to Lakeshore Drive increasing site accessibility
for pedestrians, roller bladers, and bikers.
The primary architectural intervention will be a mixed use building that
contains the initial stage of the institute, a ferry terminal for the
new ferry line connecting all of the parks, a fuel cell bus stop and charging
station to as a stop along a new bus line running from Washington Park
and making stops along the lakefront to the site, and a Pavilion for the
Institute of Sustainable systems in Urban Environments. The new bus route
will connect the park to existing transit systems while the ferry will
act as a link to the entire lakefront, creating a new accessible connection
between all of Chicago's lakefront parks, which will facilitate a more
even distribution of park visitors and enable interaction between the
city's diverse population.
The Institute will serve as a connection to the rest of the city by attracting
visitors and providing a mouthpiece for park events, exhibits, and the
research conducted on site regarding sustainable systems. The pavilion
will contain the administrative and informational components of the Institute.
pieces of the "Institute" will scatter throughout the park space
and engage the public not only through structured events, but also with
day-to-day informal interaction that will be facilitated by the proximity
of the institute within the development.
AA similar land based development will be created underneath Lakeshore
Drive as a threshold to the city to provide local services and housing
that will act as the embryo of the future neighborhood to come. This threshold
will be programmed as a kind of Dionysia. Not only will it as a place
that people go to at night after downtown closes but where people can
live close to their jobs and establish a neighborhood adjacent to the
Central Business District that adds 24-hour life to what is primarily
an existing daytime urban program.
"How to Float a Park" is an argument against modernist planning's
love for the automobile and distaste for the old downtown that offers
alternatives to the privatization of public space by festival marketplaces
and the stylistic amber of historic preservation. This proposal offers
a model for urban transformation that relates directly to a specific set
of local conditions. The goal is to produce an urban landscape that can
address the needs and complexity of the contemporary metropolis through
balancing the local, metropolitan, and regional, which will offer possibilities
that benefit all constituents from big developers to small businesses
while staying aware and sensitive to the condition of the environment.
Kenworthey, Matthew Comfort, Russ Crader, Emily Kuchenrither
New York, NY