Message - Re: If anybody is still awake or maybe in a different time zone… Please, help.

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Posted by  Paul Malo on September 19, 2002 at 06:52:34:

In Reply to:  If anybody is still awake or maybe in a different time zone… Please, help. posted by Sleepless in New York on September 18, 2002 at 22:10:57:

Your dilemma seems to be this: you have chosen a planning problem, but seek an architectural solution. Buildings aren't the solution to every problem--particularly social problems (as Pruitt-Igoe showed).

I don't know how architectural your project should be, to satisfy requirements. To do what I understand you want to do, much of your effort would have to go into research about the community and how it works, or doesn't work. The product would probably be a planning report, not a building.

The best solution might not be a discrete building project on some selected site, but a program of community engagement in activities. These functions MIGHT, but need not be housed in a new "community center." Chances are there are derelict buildings that could be better adapted to new uses--vacant churches and synogogues, for instance.

There's a timely issue--what to do with all the empty religious structures, and the empty strip shopping centers, vacated because of competition of "big box" retailers and regional malls. You might suggest a variety of uses for these underused facilities, then propose some sort of linkage by a local transport system.

But, as cautioned, this might not be much of an architectural project. If you're expected to produce a conventional building, it looks like you're headed for the "community center"--or a shopping mall, which has become the real community center in many American towns.

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