Kwiecień . Zhongtian

Roofscape / Escape . 69.70 competition

design team: Agnieszka Kwiecień . Chris Zhongtian Yuan . 69.70

Plot 69 and 70 are two typical American city blocks that are filled with mostly com­mercial, mixed-use buildings, and few cultural buildings. Many issues of these two plots represent the problematic public space-making in American urban landscape: lack of urban, public areas; disconnections between buildings; rigidity of the American zoning system, etc.

In the midst of a concrete/brick jungle, we propose to re-program and re-activate the rooftops of the existing buildings on plot 69, 70. The ideas of hedonism and playfulness are introduced in our proposal: fields of plants and gardens, an outdoor gallery with aluminium flooring, a graphic skateboard rink, a rooftop cinema, a flying bridge made out of metal mesh connecting different roof surfaces, a board game, an artificial desert under a reflective cano­py, a cafe in the forest, etc. A series of activities and programs are implemented into plot 69 and 70, transforming the closed-off, private properties into active and vibrant urban spaces.

Public Space-Making: Junk space
Like many other American cities, Salt Lake City follows a rigid American city block system where square shaped plots are created with wide roads in between. However, the planning within each plot varies from one to the other, resulting in creating irrational mi­cro urban spatial conditions within an extremely rational masterplan. This leads to various gaps, junk spaces that become the “dust collectors” of the city: the roofscape often becomes forgotten and deserted. Our proposal rejects this notion by making use of the roofscape as public spaces.

Essential Urban Element: Roofscape
Experientially, city is perceived as three main surfaces: facade, street, facade. This perception has flattened urban experiences and eliminated other essential
urban elements, such as, sides, gaps, rooftops, edges, etc. Especially, rooftops are often forgotten because they are invisible to most people. As a radical statement, we propose to activate the roofscape fully - we have given texture and graphic identity; we have provided public programs; we have created green spaces; we have supplied urban furniture.

Three Dimensional Movement: Connectivity
In addressing three dimensional movement, various connections are created between roofscape and streetscape, between façades and roofscape, and among rooftops - a mesh surface that acts as a path, a bridge and a piece of urban furniture; existing fire ladders and escape stairs connect the ground and the roof; spiral stairs and ladders connect different levels of rooftops.

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