Friday, January 29, 2010

Post-Crit Thoughts

We had our first pin-up the other day with Thomas and our secondary advisor John Hartmann. They made some very good points about the direction of my project. I was planning on doing 'affordable housing' for the locals that get displaced every summer. The problem is that solving this problem isn't architectural. The solution has more to do with local policy and land ownership than architecture.

What does interest me is the ebb and flow of people, use, and money throughout the year in these resort towns. The relationship between the two extremes of the seasons and people who live and visit are one of a symbiosis that only work when the two are working together. While the local economies need the high season to make enough money for the rest of the year, a ramification is that places close and the towns offer much less activity for the locals. Most high seasons are 3-4 months long, with many of the businesses (and houses) closed (or open less frequently) during the other 8 months of the year.

What happens to these buildings the rest of the year? How can we use a building that lays dormant in the winter as an infrastructure to a different use and program for the remaining 8 months? For example, in the summer months in Martha's Vineyard, 14 ferry trips run from Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs everyday. After the summer, however, the ferry only runs to Vineyard Haven, leaving the Oak Bluffs ferry terminal unoccupied and unused the rest of the year. Maybe a new ferry terminal could be built that uses the qualities of that space to change into something that the locals could benefit from; a winter farmers market or something that facilitates larger gatherings.

Not really this...but a little.

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