Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Studio Critic: Elena Canovas
Thesis Advisor: Gia Daskalakis
Successful cities and urban spaces are made up of the sum of their parts (buildings, neighborhoods, and infrastructure). When these parts are acting in harmony, the city’s inhabitants are provided with quality spaces to occupy and enjoy. Post-industrial cities such as St. Louis stand as remnants of a prosperous past, but many of their buildings have since fallen into disrepair or abandonment. The barren and disconnected situation created by these buildings forms a dissonance that stifles future development and fosters a stagnant urban condition. Harmonic Resonance explores ways in which these types of places can be “re-tuned” to create a new urban situation and revitalize derelict spaces within the city. The project uses the flexibility of a music conservatory program to connect three industrial buildings along the riverfront of the city, extending the density of downtown St. Louis to the north.
For more details about how the program and site were developed, please read Constructing the Vamp.
In order to accommodate for certain parts of the program that required more open spaces with less columns, a new structural system had to be designed. By filling an existing floor level with large trusses, parts of the existing column grid could be removed, creating a more open, usable floor space below. Large programs such as the library and performance hall could be placed within the open floors, while the truss levels could be used for classrooms, practice rooms, and other service spaces. The remaining floors of the buildings are left unbuilt, and the idea behind the project is that as the school grows, these floors could be used to accommodate any other spaces that the school may require. The three buildings are connected by an outdoor plaza that serves as both an informal meeting and practice space, as well as a more formal amphitheater depending on the needs of the school.