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Fremontworks : an investigation into the space between architecture and urban infrastructure Percy, George Alexander 1997

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F R E M O N T W O R K S : A N I N V E S T I G A T I O N I N T O T H E S P A C E B E T W E E N A R C H I T E C T U R E A N D U R B A N I N F R A S T R U C T U R E ' by G E O R G E A L E X A N D E R P E R C Y B . A . , The University of Bri t ish Columbia , 1988 A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E O F M A S T E R O F A R C H I T E C T U R E T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S School of Architecture We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A M a y 1997 (c) George Alexander Percy, 1997 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. , Der^artrneTrroT ^ < % 7 V <f . ^ ^L^JfX . The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date AAY VZ^ , ^ DE-6 (2/88) A B S T R A C T The thesis has evolved into a search for a spatial construction that lies at the juncture of two types of spatial articulation: architecture and urban infrastructure. In the case of the North American city, built infrastructure has become the accepted background to the urban condition, sublimating.itself almost invisibly into the consciousness of our everyday experience. E d Ruscha, describing the gloss of its homogenizing effect, used the term 'visual noise.' This thesis seeks to understand infrastructure not merely as a by-product of the built city - mere systems of service or as the common language of repeatable structures - but as a productive apparatus that mediates space. Understood in this way, the physical infrastructure of the city has the capacity to both produce new types of space and re-territorialize already "existing conditions of space. These operations work in several ways, and at various scales. First, the making.of infrastructure is motivated by a need to establish physical connections within the city. This has a two-fold effect: it both delimits new boundaries and configures radical new contiguities, impressing a new language of difference into the urban landscape, based on a logic of connectivity. Second, the making of infrastructures aggressively alters the physical shape of the city, catalyzing our thinking about the artificial and constructed conditions of 'ground' within the morphology of the city - the conditions of above, beneath, beside, on top and so on that form the physical surfaces of the city. Final ly , i f infrastructure can be understood as a language of difference, its syntax becomes the important measure in defining difference -columns, retaining walls, lamp-standards, handrails, bollards, telephone poles, signage all begin to assert territorial allegiances. If infrastructure can be seen to mediate urban space in these ways, the intention of this thesis is to generate a design which employs this thinking at an architectural and site specific level. To make this sort of space tangible means looking at infrastructure not merely as a language but as a perceptual register. In other words, to articulate the visual possibilities of an infrastructure's form, material and finer distinctions of grain, color, and juxtaposition in order to lend the 'language' a more perceptual character from the point of view of the subject. In this way, the spatiality of the project might at once betray the 'dumbness' of infrastructural form while striving for the finer character of architectural form. 11 T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S Title Page i Abstract i i Table of Contents i i i Acknowledgment iv Plan Level Park and Ride 1 Plan Level One 2 Plan Leve l T w o 3 Plan Level Three 4 Plan Leve l Four 5 Plan Leve l Four-b 6 Plan Leve l Five 7 Plan Leve l Six ' 8 Roo f Plan 9 Section 1 10 Section 2 11 South Elevation 12 iii ACKNOWLEDGMENT I would like to thank George Wagner, Marc Boutin, and Raphael Gomez-Moriana of my thesis committee for their direction and encouragement. In addition I would like to thank my production team of Michael Jacobson, Omar Nagati, Scott Posno, Patrick Louvouezo, Michele Hayden, Nigel Parish, Gregor Young, and my girl Susan Ock'well. I am also indebted to my 911 team of Rick Peck, Bi l l Uhrich, Hugh Bitz, Amanda Levey, Drew Furman, and Lisa Syverson. Finally, my special thanks to both George Wagner and Susan Ockwell for going way beyond the call. , iv i ./A l : A L E X P E R C Y U . B . C . A R C H I T E C T U R E 1 9 9 7 plan level 2 - market scale 1:200 j 1. shop i 2. stall 3. concourse 3 4 O D O D O o o o o o o o O 2 OC i L -F R E M O N T WORKS A L E X P E R C Y U . B . C . A R C H I T E C T U R E 1 9 9 7 plan level 4 - office/studio scale 1:200 1. office/studio 2. parking 5 o o o o o o o o o o o o o MM K i i SJ O - X I n l ' n T n " " ~ 1 n plan level 4b - office/studio scale 1:200 1. office/studio .-j 2. parking : j 6 F R E M O N T WORKS A L E X P E R C Y U . B . C . A R C H I T E C T U R E 1 9 9 7 plan level 5 - gallery/assembly hall scale 1:200 I 1. gallery 2. assembly hall ..,.„_•.':•: 7 plan level 6 - gallery/court scale 1:200 "1. gallery 2. court 8 9 10 IF R E M O NT WORKS A L E X P E R C Y U . B . C . A R C H I T E C T U R E 1997 «... SOUTH E L E V A 1 • • . . S C A L E l:2i 


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