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John Gerneth

John Gerneth

Cincinnati, OH, US

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Southeast corner aerial perspective
Southeast corner aerial perspective
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VERT

This project was a submission to a design competition put on by the Kilbourne Group.  The competition was to design a mixed-use structure for a city block in downtown Fargo, North Dakota.  The following is a selection from my project description I submitted to the competition.

 

VERT brings the skyscrapers of Manhattan into Fargo and integrates vertically oriented structures without disrupting the city's context.  Fargo needs something unique in its downtown community to break away from all of its flat, uninteresting surrounding landscape.  VERT will bring the excitement of walking through skyscrapers in a famous downtown region such as New York, to the midwestern city of Fargo, North Dakota.

 

In street view two to three buildings complement the Broadway streetscape.  Once inside, the buildings appear much taller.  I have achieved the effect of an urban metropolis by lowering the grade of the site by about 100 feet.  Towers situated strategically on the site rise up to ten stories tall from the lowest level, and beckon the visitor to walk through a variety of high-end retail spaces.

 

Besides retail, VERT brings several other programmatic elements to Fargo.  A repurposed US Bank location exists on 2nd Avenue on the grade level.  My vertical grocery store exists at the corner of Broadway and 3rd Avenue, where the visitor enters at the grade level and descends down self-operated lifts to select their groceries, rather than walking through aisles and waiting in line to check out.  The program for the towers is quite flexible, and each level could be a retail, residential, or office space.  It is a new way of thinking about mixed-use structures, no more having retail on the bottom and residential on top.  The elevators will be demarcated with logos of companies or names of residents, instead of floor numbers.  This will create an interesting flow through the building for visitors as well as residents and workers, and will promote social interaction between them all.  On the lowest level there will be an ice skating rink open all year round to the public, with a skate rental and lesson shop at the bottom of one of the towers.

 

I am proposing a vertically oriented mixed-use structure for the block in downtown Fargo, something that would draw in visitors as well as intrigue the local population.

 

Manhattan, welcome to Fargo, North Dakota.

 
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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Fargo, North Dakota

 
Perspective from Skating Area
Perspective from Skating Area
Southeast corner perspective
Southeast corner perspective
exploded axonometric
exploded axonometric
project logo
project logo
site plan
site plan
concept sketch
concept sketch

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