Team 4 has been focused on conceptual massing during the past few weeks. After defining the size and uses of the building, the students and mentors played with the size and scale of our site on the northwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Lake Street. The students examined the scale of familiar objects (buses and Chicago’s Bean sculpture) to gain a better understanding of the true size of the project site.

Once the site’s size and relationship to its surroundings had been assessed, the small groups each created mock site layouts to further define Team 4’s priorities. Each small group presented their plan and attempted to sell their peers on the 5 highlights of their design. Fortunately, there were many common themes and it was evident that many of the students were focused on making the site exciting and interesting to passerby as well as a place where people wanted to stay. The students voted on these highlights and determined that their project must have:

  • A Water Feature
  • A Roof Area, accessible to building visitors and/or occupants
  • Multicolored Walls
  • A Pedestrian Path bisecting the site
  • Eye Candy – a feature that draws people on to the site

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Considering four of the project building’s uses, Team 4 broke into 4 new groups assigned to research and plan for each of the programs:

  • Farmer’s Market
  • Small Business Incubator
  • Art/Dance Studio
  • Green Space/Concert Venue

Last week’s meeting was an impassioned one as each of the program groups fought for their desired size and location for their program area. The students debated over the location and size of their program areas and, especially, their access to daylight and views from within the building.  At the conclusion of the night, Team 4 had created a rough model of our project that included all 4 program areas and incorporated the 5 priority features.

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We will meet again on February 9th and will start tackling each element (exterior, interior, structural, construction logistics, etc) of our final project.

Students are reminded to complete their scholarship applications before the February 20th deadline!

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