This design is derived from the idea that, in specific situations, there are social benefits to removing the boundaries between private and public land. By opening a large plaza onto the street I am declaring my distaste for the not-too-subtle fortification of typical urban developments. In a healthy urban environment our streets should be extensions of our homes, they should feel safe and we should want to spend time on them. The Urban Porch is simply a widening of the street to create a space where people will want to spend time. Just like the porch on a single-family home, visitors are welcome as long as they are respectful. I believe that the Urban Porch can work in a similar way so long as the stakeholders assume the role of stewards. The transition from user to steward is only possible if the stakeholder perceives value in the place.
To make the plaza a valuable outdoor space I have used it as an organizing device for the entire project. A desire to keep the plaza busy throughout the day informed my decision to add the mixed-use retail and commercial block to draw workers, clients, and customers from outside the immediate community. A desire to make the space more vibrant led to the decision to take programmatic elements typically tucked away in condominiums (like the pool, the multi-purpose room, and the gym) and use them as active boundaries. And a desire to make the plaza comfortable led to the grassy hill which extends to the back of the site.
The Urban Porch can be an effective tool for organizing seemingly complex programs.
(From competitor's text)
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- Presentation Panel