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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 INVESTIGATION INTO T H E SPACE B E T W E E N ARCHITECTURE A N DU R B A N INFRASTRUCTURE  ' by  GEORGE ALEXANDER PERCY  B . A . , The University of British C o l u m b i a , 1988  A THESIS S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F  THE REQUIREMENTS FOR T H E DEGREE OF M A S T E R OF ARCHITECTURE  THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES  School of Architecture  W e accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A  M a y 1997  (c) George Alexander Percy, 1997  In  presenting  degree freely  at  this  the  of  publication  for  this  department  or of  in  University  available  copying  thesis  this  of  British  reference  thesis by  partial  for  his  and  Columbia,  study.  scholarly  or  thesis  fulfilment  her  for  purposes  gain  The University of British Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6 (2/88)  AAY  VZ^ ,  <f  . ^^L^JfX  Columbia  ^  that  agree be  It  is  shall  not  ,  ^ < % 7 V  requirements  may  representatives.  financial  the  I agree  I further  permission.  Der^artrneTrroT  of  .  that  the  Library  permission  granted  by  understood be  for  allowed  an  advanced  shall for  the that  without  make  it  extensive  head  of  my  copying  or  my  written  ABSTRACT  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 c o m m o n language o f 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 o f 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 o f connectivity. Second, the making of  infrastructures aggressively alters the physical shape of the city, catalyzing our thinking about the artificial and constructed conditions o f 'ground' within the morphology o f the city - the conditions o f above, beneath, beside, on top and so on that form the physical surfaces of the city. F i n a l l y , 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. T o 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 o f 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 o f architectural form.  11  T A B L E OF CONTENTS  Title Page  i  Abstract  ii  Table of Contents  iii  Acknowledgment  iv  Plan Level Park and Ride  1  Plan L e v e l One  2  Plan L e v e l T w o  3  Plan L e v e l Three  4  Plan L e v e l Four  5  Plan L e v e l Four-b  6  Plan L e v e l F i v e  7  Plan L e v e l Six  '  8  R o o 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, Bill 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  ALEX  PERCY  U.B.C.  ARCHITECTURE  1 997  ./A  l :  plan level 2 - market scale 1:200 j 1. shop i 2. stall 3. concourse  3  4  O  o o o o o oo DODO  2  O  OC  iL-  FREMONT  plan level 4 - office/studio scale 1:200 1. office/studio 2. parking  WORKS ALEX  PERCY  U.B.C.  ARCHITECTURE  1997  5  o  o  o  o  o  o  o o o o o oo MM  K i  SJ  O-  n  XI  i  l'  n  T  n""~1  n  plan level 4b - office/studio scale 1:200 1. office/studio .-j 2. parking :j  6  FREMONT  WORKS ALEX  PERCY  U.B.C.  ARCHITECTURE  plan level 5 - gallery/assembly hall scale 1:200 I 1. gallery 2. assembly hall ..,.„_•.':•:  1997  7  plan level 6 - gallery/court scale 1:200 "1. gallery 2. court  8  9  10  IF R E M O N T  WORKS ALEX  PERCY  U.B.C.  ARCHITECTURE  1997  «... SOUTH  ELEVA1  ••..SCALE  l:2i  


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