redefining the human environment
The objective of [sub]urban is to produce “more in the middle” in a selection of Tempe’s suburbs. 75% of workers in Tempe commute from the edge of the larger Phoenix region instead of living within walking or biking distance to their work. The concept of this project is to take the wanted living conditions of “the edge” and combine them with the needed conditions of an urban environment, thus redefining the human condition in “the middle” both socially and economically. [Sub]urban enhances the community’s needs by furnishing the site with spaces for social exchange. These social interactions flourish due to combinations of living conditions, which range from urban- apartments, and work:live townhomes- to suburban- low density, backyards, and the importance of the car. The transition between these two typologies is represented through the use of a metal mesh system, which begins on the public edge of the site defining interactive public plazas, gathering spaces and elevated backyards. In the semi-private sections of the site, the mesh structure lessens in height and scale to solely provide circulation and definition of space. The transition ends in the most private areas of the site, here [sub]urban embraces the suburban activities and wanted living conditions of “the edge” by defining backyards, both shared and private. These areas use the material of the elevated mesh and shrink its scale to a human level through the use of gabion walls. As a whole, this project provides not only housing, but office spaces and other urban amenities to create a work:live ecosystem that combines both urban and suburban needs and amenities. [Sub]urban is a catalyst for 1960s suburban developments that remain unchanged in Tempe and the surrounding suburbs.
submitted June 15, 2012