Alex Bush, Matt Burke, Bridget Carney, JD Harper, Alli LaChance, Kate Krueger, Sergey Selyuzhitskiy, Priyanka Sondhi,Adam Stoker Second Year Year
- Course Architecture Studio II: Tectonic
- Category Community
This is a hypothetical and conceptual project inspired by the NYC Highline and the proposed NYC Lowline. It is based on the idea that the tunnel, which formerly housed the Rochester Subway and the Erie Canal, has great potential and should be preserved and used. This is not a unique sentiment; many stakeholders, including the city of Rochester, are invested in developing a solution for its use. There have been several proposed ideas ranging from resurrecting and expanding the subway system to reintroducing water and creating a fountain lined pedestrian avenue, or even creating a museum and shopping center. The assignment undertaken by the second year RIT M.Arch studio class was to develop a hypothetical use and conceptual plan for the tunnel in order to make the remarkable underground space usable.
The goal of this project is to present one conceptual vision for the abandoned subway tunnel, one possibility that shows how vibrant and essential the tunnel could become. As it is right now –dusty, disheveled, and disconnected– it is difficult to visualize the latent opportunities for the area. However, these opportunities should not go unrecognized. Due to the success of adaptive reuse parks, such as the Highline in New York City, the Promenade Plantee in Paris, and the West Seoul Lake Park in South Korea, an urban park was settled upon as the design goal. Parks are both hubs of activity and escapes from the urban hustle; they are city assets, highly valued by citizens. Parks are places to eat lunch and read a book, to take a walk and visit with friends, to play a game or attend a festival. This concept presents snapshots of what could be, with areas for play, relaxation, and fitness, oases of water and greenery, and lighting solutions both natural and artificial. Throughout the design process, the team considered concepts of cleanliness, happiness, usefulness, and desirability. The ultimate goal of this project: to imagine a park that would greatly enhance Rochester’s downtown and the lives of those in it.