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    2011 NOMA National Student Competition
Ashby MARTA Station + Visitor Center
2011 NOMA National Student Design Competition

Design Team: Kim Nguyen, Kevin Nguyen, Ivan O'Garro, Erica Geromini, Elizabeth Galan, and LaQuinton Nimox
Competition Advisor: Frank Melendez
Location: Vine City Community, Atlanta, Georgia

The success of the Civil Rights Movement stems from the emergence of multiple leaders, some less recognized than others, working in concert to attain equality for all. This design draws upon the ideas of multiplicity and aggregation as the impetus to social gathering, pedestrian circulation, programmatic arrangement, and architectural form.

As the main transportation hub of the area, the proposed project encourages pedestrian traffic on multiple levels of the site. The ground level hosts a variety of open and intimate public spaces for neighborhood residents and visitors to gather. This serves as a destination for visitors in the greater Atlanta region, while simultaneously providing public areas and green spaces for residents of Vine City.

The ground level also engages the lower subterranean, as well as the upper visitor center level through a series of vertically oriented circulatory, spatial and visual connections. The existing MARTA entrance brings the user through a modest building down to the platform below. This allows only a singular experience and does little to heighten awareness of the platform below.

Our design proposal draws commuters and visitors up from the MARTA platform to engage with the plaza level and retail spaces. The proposed design seeks to strengthen this connection between spaces on multiple levels by opening the ground level to below, resulting in a design solution that blurs the boundaries between various elevations, promoting and encouraging the use of public transportation. In addition, the gallery floors of the Visitor Center inflect to reveal and visually connect the pedestrians and activities occurring outdoors with the visitors in the galleries, and vice versa.

As a response to the fast-paced lifestyle of Atlanta residents and commuters, the Retail spaces pierce through the ground to the underground level, creating brightly lit, glowing surfaces, that serve as commuter information display areas, enlivened billboards, and add more ambient light to the rail station. Rather than covering up the transportation hub, the scheme celebrates the underground platform, and the vertical connections guide the user’s attention towards the ground level.