Team 4 kicked of Site Selection and Planning this week. The group met at Thornton Tomasetti where we reviewed our site and the mentors described some elements often considered in site selection and design: amenities, aesthetics and transportation.
The team broke into 5 groups to conduct a thorough assessment of the site and surrounding area. Four of the small groups walked different paths from TT to the Team 4 project site and the 5th group conducted an electronic review of the site. With their maps and sketch books in hand, the students set about identifying restaurants, retail and mixed-use developments as well as the variety of transportation modes and networks available in the area.
My group walked through the Trump Tower site and discussed the development’s proximity to the river and public plaza. The students noticed the ways in which some areas are made to feel more private and compared them to well-populated areas like Michigan Avenue. Taking a break from the cold, our group explored the pedway along Michigan Avenue, noting this unique transportation network and the differences in amenities available when compared to more public and tourist-oriented pedestrian paths. The students observed that stores in the pedway likely appeal to the business population of the city and are not as dependent upon tourists.
As we got closer to our project site, the students considered the scale and style of surrounding buildings. They noted the first floor retail and restaurants and learned that many of the upper floors of neighboring buildings are office space.
Once back at TT’s office, each group transferred their observations onto large-scale maps of the site. This will enable the large group to visualize concentrations of amenities, transportation networks, and potentially what is missing from this area of Chicago. Each group then presented their findings and the students began brainstorming what they might want to see on the Team 4 site.
Next week, Team 4 will continue the site planning exercise at TT.