University of Washington (William)

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    The Project

    Will Payne
    Nov 1, '08 9:08 PM EST

    This quarter has been busy and probably the most exciting of my time here at the UW so far. We had a review last week that went well overall in spite of my cold that kept the volume of my presenting voice a little too quiet. My project involves evaluating the alley system in the neighborhood and how we might use those spaces as a more intentional pedestrian network. There is a large public square in the center of the neighborhood - Occidental Park - that I'm focusing on as the central public space that will help to connect the pedestrian network. In order for this space to truly function as an active center it needs both more people and spatial definition because one side of the space is currently surface parking. I'm defining the space with a building that makes two major moves. First, it slopes one side of the roof to the surface of a bordering pedestrian street that will allow the public to move upwards, above the tree canopy already in the square and experience the sun when it shines...a much loved event in Seattle(see the Delft Library). Second, it will line the square with activity - the program of the structure is yet to be determined but the idea is that it will provide adaptable space for retail shops, offices and possibly residential units. Also, the new alley that is created on the east side of the structure will act as a more intimate public space with a formal access to Seattles underground network. Seattle is very unique because after a major fire destroyed the entire downtown, the city actually rebuilt on top of what used to be ground level - effectively raising the street level an entire story. Today there is a system of passage ways around many of the blocks in the neighborhood and this site provides the opportunity to reveal this important piece of the cities history. below are some of the latest developments:


    • nice sketches! I wonder, though, if the orange ground is doing a disservice to your argument about scooping up pedestrian traffic. A neat thing about the Delft library is the ambiguity of when you are walking on the ground and when you are on a roof--that is not possible in the way you have represented your project. So either pull more orangeness onto the roof or make the roof landscaping more a part of the larger urban strategy--maybe it's not purely green but reproduces some of the landscape that you find immediately around.

      Nov 3, 08 3:04 am  · 

      that's a good point, and one which came up during our review. i totally agree that the public space should read as consistent from the ground to the roof. for it to function as public space - the natural "barrier" of the slope needs to make a clear move to connect with the street or embrace like you said "the ambiguity of when you are walking on the ground and when you are on a roof." the edge where the roof touches the street (Main st) is a condition that i'm actually going to be collaborating on with one of the landscape students in the studio who is addressing Main St. with specific attention given to where it intersects with various student projects. i'll be sure to post images as we get further into coordinating that connection.

      Nov 3, 08 3:02 pm  · 

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