Spring 2017 | University of Texas at Austin
St. Nicholas Ave, Harlem NYC
Partner: Ace Ren | Instructor: Hilary Sample

Where people often live separate lives within the city, we want to re-examine the allocation of private and shared spaces in the urban block. Interpersonal relationships are vital within dense urban networks, so providing opportunity to foster these relationships should be prioritized.

The program consists of shared offices and work spaces, performance, and commercial space shared with apartment towers intended for artist residents. The project seeks to define the relationship between the public and the arts community through a series of transitions (sectional, material, spatial, etc). Ground and second floor program combines performance, work, courtyard and common spaces in a series of stepping terraces that connect the 50-foot elevation change between Hamilton Terrace and St. Nicholas Ave.

The inspiration for the project is the much maligned garden-tower block, whose original intention of fostering close internal communities, while providing ample green and public spaces, failed due to its isolation. We propose an urban re-contextualization of this typology, using communal residential spaces to connect rather than separate individuals from the urban environment.