To quote Jane Jacobs from her famous creation The Death and Life of Great American Cities-
“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
This project can be perceived to be a vision of what Jane Jacobs has stated in her classic. It started with the aim to revive an historic but now more or less static neighborhood of greater Chicago- the Woodlawn. The main design approach was for the 63rd corridor and Cottage Grove junction. This intersection accommodates the historic bank building (constructed in 1924), Daley’s restaurant, several retail stores, a mixed use development and over the intersection is the famous elevated line. The design here is to create the space for the people and by the people. The structures here were designed to be the backdrop of the neighborhood. The main focus was to provide successful public spaces which will help people to engage in the urban landscape. Rather expecting much from the new built structures, the design was to expect more from the spaces that will accommodate the people. The design proposal was to build diverse, lively and intense places that will contain key to their own regeneration.
This diversified use of spaces and streets will enable the people to live more successfully which in return can help to put the neighborhood back to its glorified version. For this the object was divided into four parts- 1.Enhancing the area as a destination place, 2.Improving transit and mobility, 3.Sustainable economic development and 4.Community engagement. The three main designed structures here were- the elevated platform, the rehabilitation of the historic Ballroom and a proposed hotel in memory of the historic Pershing Hotel at the same spot. The master plan was proposed in consecutive development stages, to ensure sustainable growth. Also in designing the structure, the identity of local culture and presence of contemporary architecture was considered.
Building Architecture- Small Scale (<10,000 sf)