Wednesday’s presentation of work completed during the 36 hour charrette proved to be successful in terms of voicing initial ideas to the class. Overall the composition of work was done in a clear and concise manner and was presented thoroughly by each group. There are still several gaps present, as was expected from such a short charrette period, but each team now has a strong base from which to move forward. Below are a few comments and questions that will hopefully help to guide each team as they progress in their work.
Team Madmen: Great presentation. Your proposal was clear through both your boards and your verbal presentation. The idea of refocusing pedestrian attention to the alleyway behind the Victory Hotel is a great way of addressing the current site conditions (DTLV prison) and a great way of reactivating a dilapidated service thoroughfare. However, I still question whether problems may arise for the businesses that are located along this alleyway. There still seems to be some issues with visibility that may cause a lack in pedestrian interest and may also be a serious problem in terms of crime and vandalism. It seems in your proposal that most of the block will only be activated during business hours, and only the social club will be utilized during the evening and night. How might you adjust the proposal so as the alleyway becomes more active and visible?
Dem Fremont Girls: Also a good presentation. Overall the proposal seems very minimal, which is good considering the site context and your duty to reuse the existing buildings. It appears that you are maintaining the character of the existing hotels very well, but I personally would like to see a move towards incorporating a larger community based program on the site. I recall you saying that you intend to include an urban farming program, but have you explored the possibility of incorporating an educational or health based program? It appears this site may be large enough to do so and is in a location that would benefit greatly from such programs. Arnie is addressing the issue of homeless veterans in DTLV, but what’s happening in the area for the other homeless groups?
Victory Nugget: Probably the best composition of presentation boards in the class. Most of the moves you made in your proposal were clear through your diagrams, but many things were still blurred, such as the alleyway and power station locations. The move towards a denser site is good, but it seemed as though the group was still struggling with how to address the Victory Hotel. It will definitely be a challenge to increase density while still celebrating the Victory Hotel. Maybe for this proposal you should consider moving the VH to a different location on the block, or figure out a way to make it a more cohesive part of the new building you’re proposing.
Bermuda T/Vet Vigil/Downtown South: There are still several gaps in the plan, but overall I believe my team was able to take a very large site and produce a solid proposal within the 36 hour period. In terms of presentation we may have fallen a little short, but I look forward to reassessing our master plan and delving further into the details of the site. Some other items that need to be addressed include the Veterans Village expansion and pedestrian circulation throughout the site. What needs to be done in order to expand Veterans Village, and what needs to be included in the expansion to make it a more complete and cohesive program? We will be moving forward with an additional teammate who is currently majoring in landscape architecture. This addition will allow us to better tackle such a large site and will also help us develop a more coherent and cohesive landscape plan.