"Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood…" Daniel Burnham

Posts tagged “City of Aurora Illinois

Changing Urban Space

Throughout the semester I have focused on the way that two buildings, a train station and a church, relate to public space.   Through the development of my buildings I have thought through the optimal way for the urban environment to respond.  This post is an understanding of those musings. 

If you remember back to my earlier urban plan there was a plaza created in front of the train station which extended into the space along the nave of the church.  One of the challenges of this irregular urban plan was correctly defining the square to provide an understanding that the church was, in fact, the primary building on that square but the relation of the train station to the church was flipped in fact so the train station became the primary building.

To achieve this I broke down the large square into pieces, each building, or in a singular case group of buildings, was given its own portion of the urban plan.  Through this understanding it enables the organization of the spaces in relation to each other.  One of the downfalls of the plan below is the void that the street creates in between the square of the church and the train station retail square, also for understanding the plan below is drawn in the style of a nolli diagram, which expresses the public spaces within the buildings, as well as, the public spaces in the urban fabric. 

Through this I looked into the possibility of creating a formal square for the church within the boundaries of the street through the organization of elements on the corners.  This enables the existing space planned for beside the church to become a formal garden entry into the ancillary spaces within the church. 

 Finally you can see three sketch perspectives dealing with the idea of framing along my streets in order to further emphasize the importance of both the church and the train station in my design.  As usual comments and questions are invited. 

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Detail Wall Section

Through the process of working on the redesign of my church I spent time working on the structure of both buildings.  In the understanding of this structure several things changed on the way the elevations were composed as well as the interior as a whole.  These drawings are still in progress but I wanted to give an understanding of what I was working on.  The drawings below are 1’ = ¾” which means the drawings are approximately 30 inches tall.  After Critique Friday these drawings will be better detailed and give a clear understanding of the way that the structure will work.

The first drawing is a section cutting through the nave of the church looking toward the east and the apse.  The second image is a in process section of the train station.  Which is taken through the rear train shed. 


Update of the Church Project

I apologize for the amount of time that it has been since my post following the midterm critique two weeks ago.  Since then, one week of spring break and one week of classes have passed.   Spring break I spent working on a redesign of the church which is the primary purpose of this post. 

At the post critique review I sighted several challenges with the past design of my church which included: dealing with the programmatic challenges, and considering the opportunity to fill up the entire depth of the site with my building.  Through these changes it was important to constantly keep a view of the building and the siting of the building as it related to the community.    

Through these changes you can see that I redesigned the way that the church interacts with the streetscape by pulling a portico forward with ionic columns supporting it.  That columnar grid then expresses the opportunity to relate through the entire length of the church in the column center lines which run along the edge of the nave.  I took the opportunity to place side aisles along the church, which as you can see through the section enable the opportunity to light the nave through clerestory windows.

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The Eye is the Window of the Soul

Through the research into several different ideas for the expression of the structure of the building to be shown in the elevation, I settled on looking at the precedent of Christ’s Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  As you can see through the image of the church along the nave there is a trabeated structure that is used to express the load from the rafters and a more obvious wall based architecture on the apse elevation.

(Image Scanned from:  Clem Labine’s Traditional Building.December 2010 Edition.Cover Illustration)

This idea can also be seen through the expression of the elevations of my building.  The challenge with figuring this out is the discrepancy between the interior and exterior elevations of the building.  The primary choice I needed to make was to determine whether to use rectangular window or arched windows.  Below are the drawings that I made to determine the best way to design the windows.  In the end I decided going with the arched windows.  The following image is a composite of the two windows beside each other drawn with pilasters flanking them.

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Taking a Closer Look

Immediately we were encouraged to spend time working through the tectonics of the buildings that we were working on.  Attached to this post is an enlarged section that was drawn after the initial design was worked out.   The goal of this section and plan was to illustrate the idea of the impact that a bearing wall system of construction would have on the building.

Below is the aforementioned Section and plan.

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Don’t Let the Sound of Your Own Wheels Drive You Crazy

     Almost a month into the semester already and it seems to be flying by.  Finally able to get a moments rest after digging out from the storm that has been affectionately called the blizzard of 2011.  18 or so inches of snow + 50 mph winds + lightning = a Good time and a full day off of school.

     But here I am showing you some of my most recent sketches and catching you all up to where I am at.  This post will be a string of rapid posts hoping to catch you up with my process.

     Attached to this message are the principle elevation and plan of my Church which is placed on a square across the street from the train station.

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Seasons of Change

First of all I would like to apologize, it has been quite some time since I have posted anything pertaining to my project. Today is the day for catching you all up with the challenges and triumphs that I have went through in the past 21 days.

Last I posted was pertaining to the project I was planning to work on in Rockford. Since then, I had switched my project to the city of Aurora, been tempted back to Rockford, but finally settled in Aurora, working on a project very similar to that of the Rockford Project. Sadly this means I will no longer be able to obtain Turkey Hill Iced Tea while traveling for my project. But, Aurora is the best choice for me to work on a project in, due to the support structure that is already set up with the the City Planners, Historical Society, and the Community.

Since then, I have begun to whole heartedly look at the way that the city developed throughout history, focusing on three cardinal dates, 1888, 1945ish, and 2009. I say ‘ish’ because the development of the project is centered around a type of map called, Sandborn Maps, these maps were created so that fire companies could know what type of buildings they were being called to at a moments notice. The Sandborns are usually created over a certain amount of time, and the distance of time between the completions of one Sandborn to the rest varies greatly. Thus, the use of the word ‘ish’. The value of these maps are, they not only show detailed footprints of the building, but also uses and types, window placement, and interior walls. All of these elements create a very valuable platform to jump off of when looking at the historic city as a whole. The present state of the city is much more challenging to determine because the most recent Sandborns were produced in approximately 1955.

My Goal is to post later and provide my thesis proposal, as well as a post on my sketch project, the Madagascar Chapel.

Thank you all for you support

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