Cleveland, Ohio
[a+la+u] Competition
Project Team large [medium] design office
Nadia Cannataro, Francesco Martire and Katheryne Parzei

Operating at the intersection of two urban typologies, the project proposes the creation of an intriguing hybrid of public space in response to the pluralistic propositions made by the people of Cleveland.

The project’s goal is to define true democratic public space within the urban realm, allowing the individual to determine program, its amount and its distribution. Utilizing the framework provided by the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge and through the strategic deployment of minimal infrastructural components, the project provides the fertile ground for the program to develop, grow and flourish.

Collect and Separate
UNDERline uses the existing structure of the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge as an organizing framework to accommodate the multiplicity of program. The tri-partite sectional configuration of the bridge is used to collect and separate the three categories of program. A fast trajectory program [cycling, in-line skating, long boarding, segways etc] is collected to the north side of the bridge, and a slow trajectory program [walking, jogging, sight seeing etc] is collected to the south side of the bridge, while blob programs [dance class, karate, drawing class, bingo, farmers markets, curling, etc] are collected in the center aisle. The bridge in its existing condition imposes an initial order to aid in the collecting program calibrated to the proportion and dimensions required.

Programatic Pressure Difference
The imposed order of the bridge’s existing structure describes a condition of stasis; the three program categories are stable. The order has a built in flexibility allowing other categories to assume space beyond its limit during stasis. Similar to air moving from high pressure zones into low pressure zones, program pressures located within one category will expand to fill up space unused by programs in a state of low pressure. Time of day, day of week and time of year will all factor in determining the pressure difference between program categories.

A Saturday morning will likely have the bridge in a state of stasis; populated by cyclists taking an early morning ride, joggers going for a run, individuals taking a brisk walk, along witha series of various activities occurring in the centre, such as yoga, karate class or a game of badminton. As the day progresses into evening, there may be a build up of pressures emanating from the blob program, such as an evening concert. In conjunction, the two trajectory programs will have less activity as the bridge reconfigures itself into adestination; more a place to linger and less a place to move through.

The pressure of the blob program will naturally expand into the unused space of the other two programs to fill the void. This cycle will repeat itself on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis as this mutability can occur sectionally amongst the three program categories or longitudinally between the blob programs. This allows for registration of the popularity or density of each program.

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