Grand Intervention: Connectivity

Grand Avenue Intervention:
Submission Gallery

Connectivity 

Submitted by Genaro Diaz and Salvador Salazar

VISION STATEMENT

Our vision was to provide direction and purpose for the proposed space and follow guidelines with regard to character and urban design. The concepts drawn from these objectives are intended to:

Provide for distinct spaces with character and physical enhancements for residents and visitors to foster revitalization and rehabilitation of the downtown area.

Create vibrant pedestrian-oriented districts and business environments with architectural and landscape design that allows for active, healthy, and safe interaction of pedestrians and vehicles

Through the design of individual projects, attempt to promote connectivity to surrounding districts and neighborhoods.

PLAZA FEATURES

Our plaza will contain a variety of different programming including:

? Movie Theatre – to bring life to the site at all times
? Light Retail – including specialty shops to accommodate both the daily workforce as well as after- hours visitors
? Reflection Garden – which could accommodate the large work force in the surrounding area. This space could also serve as a venue for political activity
? Food Court – with a variety of international food vendors to accommodate the diversity of the area
? Business Atriums – strategically placed to accommodate the work force
? Two major specialty restaurants located adjacent to the Grand Entrance.
? A large Grand Entrance which will lead pedestrians from busy Grand Avenue into the site
? Water features that will serve as a focal point, placed on a central axis leading to City Hall

PLANNING OBJECTIVES

Major axial connection
Clear entry points
Open redeveloped spaces
Connection between downtown and neighboring districts
Historic and cultural significance
Streetscape improvements
Incorporate pedestrian-friendly central axis
Incorporate future residential developments
Assist in traffic decongestion by relocating existing parking
Create a unique gathering place in the city

Pedestrian Circulation

A comfortable, safe and enjoyable walking environment is essential to a successful downtown space. While many streets have wide sidewalks and pedestrian circulation is well provided for, there are other areas where pedestrian spaces are less coherent.

Accessibility and a strong axial connection form the backbone of the pedestrian circulation network downtown and, in most cases, provide pedestrians with a street environment that minimizes conflict with autos.

Streetscape design should reflect pedestrian needs, including good street lighting, provision and location of street furniture that allows adequate walking areas, adequate crosswalk provision, shade trees, and curb parking to provide a buffer between traffic lanes and sidewalks.

Streetscape

Treatments are meant to enhance and unify the visual experience of the driver, transit rider and pedestrian and help provide key linkages between downtown and its neighboring districts. A comfortable experience through the streetscape gives the user a sense of direction and place within downtown. We observed on walks that downtown lacked proper signage and direction which lead to discomfort. With the number of one way streets, rushing traffic and numerous signs and signals, downtown could be a significantly frightening place.

Paving Concepts

Due to the extensive pattern of walking at major intersections and crossings, we felt that an added layer of detail should be incorporated into our park and the overall downtown vision.

Traffic Circulation Network

The overall circulation plan is based on providing convenient access to and circulation within downtown for all transportation modes. This multi-mode approach recognizes the importance not only of auto circulation, but also of good transit, bicycle, and pedestrian circulation to a successful environment. The plan focuses on achieving a balance in our space so people can drive into downtown and find convenient parking, take transit, bicycle on the multiple trails or walk around downtown in a comfortable and safe environment.

The main gathering space at the park has a water feature along with seating blocks on the edges of the pathway. As one enters from Grand Avenue, one encounters the Grand steps which form an observation deck at the highest point of the park to oversee all of the activities it offers.

The Park offers terraced views from in front of the Hall of Administration building, which can be enjoyed from two main restaurants as well as adjacent shops. Light retail, including coffee shops, drug stores, donut shops and souvenir shops, will serve employees of the surrounding buildings as well as people who use the park on weekdays or weekends.

The transitional area that divides the movie theater and restaurant area serves as an intimate space for those waiting for a movie or just taking a stroll through the park. A jet fountain serves as a focal point that can also be seen from street level at a distance.

The Court of Flags will be shifted to the land across from City Hall in order to preserve the respectful government atmosphere. A reflection pond will be the central feature of this site. This site will be the most ambient of the three because the activities are limited.