American City X: Syracuse After the Master Plan by Mark Robbins

By Mark Robbins

In American urban X, editor Mark Robbins, former dean of Syracuse University's university of structure, argues that leading edge and compelling structure can't basically increase the best way a urban is perceived, but additionally swap how it works. seeking to Syracuse, new york, because the archetypal "American urban X," the publication showcases tasks that show strength optimistic futures for publish business towns around the state. that includes renovations and ground-up constructions—ranging from landscapes to structures and infrastructure—at either residential and institutional scales, the winning fresh paintings in Syracuse addresses sustainability, fabric and formal experimentation, and artistic use of house for evolving neighborhood wishes.

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Though its median household income of $11,500 makes it one of the poorest census tracts in the United States, as a whole it offers a scale like the city itself, in which modest projects will have an impact. The Near Westside Initiative (NWSI) was founded as a nonprofit development corporation by Syracuse University to work intensively in this community. 8 million through the state as a nucleus for building acquisition and construction, with funds divided among the Syracuse University School of Architecture, the NWSI, and the Center of Excellence (CoE), a state-funded facility devoted to technology.

In Syracuse there has been a particular set of alignments: the market; social and political will; a progressive, committed chancellor who encourages broad interdisciplinary work and understands architecture’s potential role; a school of architecture oriented toward challenging standard assumptions about communitybased work; and, importantly, a community with leaders ready to work to make new things happen. These are the specifics of this place. Other places across the world have constellations of options, and it takes an opportunistic eye to read the potential within existing assets.

The building programs are linked through a sequence that begins at the southwest entrance. An interior sidewalk rises to become a ramp through the dining hall to the second-level lobby for the residence, which animates the space and provides views of activities inside and outside on campus. Corridor windows, lounges, and studies are strategically placed to maximize daylight, transparency, and views. The building, which earned a LEED Gold certification, incorporates innovative stormwater management, low-wateruse fixtures, daylighting, and dining hall efficiencies to reduce food waste and hot-water consumption.

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