Fighting fire with fire: The reinvention of the modernist canon


Thesis Statement: By reinterpreting the basic tenets of the Modern Movement in a more humanist and contextually cognizant manner, the revised doctrines will reverse the ill effects of pervasive homogeneity and autonomy that have dissolved the urban fabric of today's cities. Facility Statement: Following the example of successful urban revitalization projects and countries whose cities have been stripped of identity and cohesiveness due to the International Style, the intent of this thesis program will be expressed through a mixed-use facility incorporating housing, small scale retail and office areas, and public spaces. The variety of activities and functions within the facility will ensure its own survival and rejuvenate the lifeless and unvarying nature of the area around it. The facility itself will cover one half of a standard city block and will incorporate the surrounding buildings and features into the design. Scope of Project: This project will involve the conception and design of a prototype which will demonstrate the benefit of smallscale urban revitalization to a city blighted by the shortsightedness and profit driven aesthetic of the Modern Movement. The physical size, configuration, and appearance of this particular facility will be unique due to the particular site and environmental aspects of its context. As opposed to contexturalism, this project will attempt to create a new layer onto the existing urban fabric of the city rather than continuing a former layer or reusing a style from the past to meet the needs of today. The users of this multi-use facility project will include the residents (both owners and renters), resident/shopkeepers, employees, and customers (mainly business people from within the downtown area). Overall, the project should invoke a sense of community for its users. The result should seem a natural yet optimistic outcropping from present conditions; at once recalling the past and reflecting current societal standards. Context Statement: In order for the facility to demonstrate the necessity of integration and variety of form and use, it would be most advantageous to place it in an diversitystarved urban site for the sake of comparison. This site for this particular project is located at the north half of the city block between Avenues Land M, and Broadway and Main Streets of downtown Lubbock, Texas. This area is primarily commercially zoned except for a junior college to the south of the site and a public health building to the north-east, all of which are Modernist-influenced buildings. By emphasizing the significant aspects of the surrounding buildings and environment, the project's design will incorporate these influences to make itself more complete and help to make the area a cohesive whole.



Architecture, Multipurpose buildings -- Design., Modern movement (Architecture), Urban renewal., Lubbock (Tex.)