Everything in its Place:
Wal-(medley mixed-up mélange montage mash-up shopping)mart
The contemporary architect is caught between the platitudes of utopian ideality and the realities of developer logic. This speculative, hyper-mixed-use project bridges those competing discourses by combining the spectacle of commerce, the banal tribulations of parking, and a sentimental nostalgia for urban street life. This programmatic and infrastructural patchwork" a vertically-oriented Wal-mart superstore, a series of big box platforms, cantilevered parking event-surfaces, and a layer of now ubiquitous “luxury lofts”"is a monstrous hybrid enlivened by the friction between disparate audiences and markets. Parking garages, shopping malls, and landscape urbanism become ingredients in a spontaneous assemblage that forms something appropriate to its site and program but that feels altogether foreign.
The project is sited along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn at the intersection of vast big-box shopping, empty horizontal parking lots, and a 95-foot high elevated train platform. To choreograph the movement between these existing conditions and the newly inserted programs, this project uses stacking as its operative technique. The precarious balance between its wide-ranging environments is based on the logic of samples, mash-ups, remixes, and collages without falling into referential aesthetics, remaining equal parts composition and strategy...
Published in thresholds 35 - difference
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
with Alexander Maymind