Attenuated Urbanism

Reductively, a city is composed of two things:

  • Stuff (program)
  • Ways to get to it (circulation)

In every urban condition, the interaction of these two systems produces a “remainder.” These spaces emerge (unintentionally but inevitably) from the relationship between the two systems, rather than being designed in accordance with the logic of either.

At the scale of nine blocks, architecture is afforded the opportunity to reimagine how these urban systems relate, to establish a better reciprocity between them, and to reconsider the remainder.
By organizing program into a series of attenuated “loops,” sides are erased: there are only fronts. Programmatic organization and circulation are merely (and literally) two sides of the same architectural condition.

The sectional variation and planimetric intersections of the loops facilitates beneficial programmatic adjacencies (e.g. gym, day care, and laundry next to apartments) without diminishing overall programmatic legibility. Reciprocity between circulation and program also extends to the relationship between interior and exterior space. The public and semi-public exterior spaces are given specificity by architectural “wrapping.” The building itself can also act as a sort of buffer by looping in on itself, which establishes hierarchies of accessibility and privacy. These hierarchies are reinforced and given nuance through sectional articulations; for example, the roof is almost entirely publicly accessible, but crosses over itself at the east end of the site to produce an exterior space only accessible to the tenants within the office program.

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