Building upon the urban exploration of vacancy proposed in The Available City project by David Brown, nine Chicago-based teams present their own responses to the issue at stake. Employing drawings and models, each project investigates the architectural possibilities of vacancy, with a specific focus on the role of collective spaces and the relationships they can foster. Diverse in their location, scale, program, and aesthetic sensibility, these projects ultimately demonstrate that we can leverage vacancy to generate new architectural scenarios that have the potential to address current social and economic issues.
The voids that exist in our city are symptoms of a larger multi-layered condition that is destroying communities and sapping life from the people who live there. Architecture has the ability to promote growth and healing in these communities where vacant lots and buildings stand as visible signs of the wounds inflicted.
Within the context of The Available City our proposal is to create a place that promotes healing. Our MATH Technology Center provides an environment where learning, teaching, and collaboration reactivate a community. The five major elements of outdoor collective/performance space, upper outdoor terrace, interior collective space, classrooms and a pop-up for use as an economic engine for the programs, and community provide the path to healing.
The “Collective Spaces” are like a salve wrapped by architectural bandages to accelerate the healing process. The intentionally small footprint is designed to facilitate collaboration and promote use.
3D Design Studio A. Melinda Palmore and Darryl G. Crosby