Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Downtown Revitalization

I went to take updated photographs of one of Bouler Design Group's commercial projects today. I like this project because of its siting. It's such a visual anchor in an otherwise busy crossroads in the heart of Syosset, New York. This rehab is situated on one end of the three roads that caddycorner over each other-- where steady traffic, a train station, a gas station, and pedestrians mix it up in one absolutely confusing landscape. It proves the point that architecture defines and articulates space. In fact, James and I spent a lot of time analyzing different cityscapes, trying to put our finger on why some are more intimate than others. What we've noticed in places like Key West, Antwerp, the French Quarter, and Greenwich Village is that the buildings are between three and four stories high and are mixed use-- commercial on the bottom, residential on top. Of course the car in those places is given second-class status with narrow streets since most of the traffic is by foot. On the other hand, the wide streets of Chicago, Houston, and Atlanta are far less intimate in scale. This distinction, of course, explains my visceral reaction to Salt Lake City, where I had a minor panic attack, not from the Mormons but from the sense of space.

No comments: