Instructor: Francisco Gomes
Course: Vertical Studio III
Semester: Spring 2014
Duration: 6 weeks
The aim of the project was to uncover the potentialities that lie in the friction between rigid program and limiting site. Given the well established existing typology for the Texas high school football stadium, our challenge was to explore the program’s nuisances, essentially the field’s interactive peripheries, as they were constrained and exaggerated by a sloping riverside industrial site.
My exploration focused on an issue I find extremely pressing and exciting in the world of architecture. Being that a work of architecture inherently privatizes (at least in some capacity) a piece of the otherwise public landscape, we face the interesting dilemma of responsibly continuing to reduce the public’s realm.
"First there is the site, then architecture is added and a new site is created. This new site establishes a sort of yin-yang relationship between the first site and the architecture.”
- Eduardo Souto de Moura
But I believe there is a classification of site that must remain fully in the hands of the public if we wish to maintain cities that are for their citizens and not purely for their companies, cities based on free adventure rather than pay-as-you-go experiences and entertainment.
The football stadium becomes a public park with its collecting space acting as town piazza, its bleachers as public amphitheater, and its sidelines as riverwalk with open waterfront access. Upon surveying the Highland Lakes in 1936, the state of Texas called for them to remain open for the public to enjoy. My goal was to reestablish that public ownership.