Monday, August 22, 2011

Material Process Product

SLABS - We recently came across these concrete road slabs on I76 near Bethlehem. Here they sit just prior to being crushed and repurposed. Check out the textures of the stacked compostion. The Palazzo Medici has nothing on this graduated rustication.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Living in the Brownfield

COME VISIT - We think you'll like what you see, find somebody that sounds great and eat something that tastes good over the next few days in our brownfield. 

That's right people, it's Musikfest time and here's a visual hint to help you find your way to the artsquest center at steelstacks that was "made by spillman".
As they say... "go FEST yourself!"

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Living in the Brownfield

HOMEGROWN TALENT - Our favorite intern and promising young talent, Patrick Ruggiero, was born & raised near the spillman brownfield in Bethlehem.  This summer Pat is off learning more secrets of the trade with Rick Joy Architects, but before he left he shared with us his project from last semester at Syracuse.  This kid has got it going on and he's a incredible to collaborate with !!!  Congrats to Jayden Curry and Patrick for completing such an intellegent project so early in their architectural training.

Collaboration between Patrick Ruggiero and Jayden Curry
Syracuse University School of Architecture
ARC 308, Professor Larry Bowne

The Skid Row district of Los Angeles is home to one of the largest homeless populations in the United States. With a median age of 9 years old, a population of over 20,000 people calls the area home at any given night. Many of the people living in the 12 block area have come to live there after being dumped by other states (bussed in) or by the state of California itself after the people are unable to pay for things such as hospital bills.

Typical Skid Row shelters offer services to the people of the area but fail to address the broader issues of poverty and a lack of resources in the area. This has created both a vibrant (but dangerous) street culture of tent dwellers and temporary stay houses which are reserved for high risk tenants (a mother with children). The culture of Skid Row has become that of the lions and the lambs.

The Herban Hostel aims to provide both a safe living environment and to become economically self-sustainable. By growing crops those who stay at the hostel will participate in agrotherapy and be treated by the crops they are growing. By selling the crops, the hostel will gross over $100 million per year based on the .85 acres of growing area. This income will more than cover the cost of housing and caring for the people that stay at the hostel and use services such as counseling and higher education.

The massing of the building reflects these two aims: a vertical ‘bar’ raises living units off street level, and a horizontal ‘arm’ contains the production spaces needed to process the crops and access to the street, creating a bustling streetscape of activity. A ‘green carpet’ connects the two by weaving through both the arm and bar and provides the majority of the growing surfaces.

Occupants stay at the hostel for at least 4 days and up to 2 years, and they receive benefits corresponding to level of established trust and behavior which is closely monitored. After 2 years, tenants are encouraged to move to other California locations which are a part of the hostel’s support network.

The Herban Hostel is a serious attempt to suggest a solution to Skid Row’s growing poverty issues while respecting the culture that is already there. The hostel will become an economic resource as well as a shelter that focuses on the well-being of its inhabitants. Because the shelter is based in California, the ability to grow and sell certain crops is not only becoming more accepted, but looked to as a major source of income. By providing the homeless the opportunity to produce something of value, the stigma that they are a drain on society can become reversed. In fact, the Herban Hostel will turn the homeless and needy into producers, earning more income than the people who dumped them there to begin with.