AGER Group’s Boston Studio won an Excellence Award winning first prize for the Kaohsiung Port Station Urban Design competition initiated by the Urban Development Bureau of the Kaohsiung City Government in Taiwan. The 15.42 hectare site is located between the Hamasen and Yenchen historic commercial centers of the 1920’s and 40’s and at the intersection of three of Kaohsiung’s thriving neighborhoods home of the recent Maritime Music Center and Port Terminal competitions. The competition’s dual goals of cultural preservation and urban development are achieved in AGER’s proposal through a three phased development.
AGER studied the economic trends of domestic consumer market growth, office and retail demand, housing demand, and the expected growth of Taiwan’s tourism industry to propose a financially feasible design. Integrated in the study, was consideration of the brownfield soil conditions, building re-use, and disaster resilience to help form a sustainable strategy for the project over time.
Instead of developing a master plan with a predetermined end result for the project, AGER’s phased strategy for the re-use of the existing rail infrastructure used a variety of components (rail, walk, wall, ramp, plaza, building, program platform/ stage, landform, planting) to direct and capture the diverse forces and flows within the site to create flexible conditions for future events and program. The seemless relationship between landscape, architecture, and infrastructure allows for an increased level of habitation, protected circulation, and incremental response to a variety of weather conditions. In particular the park corridor, the central network for movement in the project, is designed to encourage communication, exchange, and thus be adaptable over time based on behaviour and performance. From the point of view of the visitor this is a constantly shifting layered experience coordinated with their own movement.
Gowanus Lowline: Connections Competition
Airing our Domestic Laundry as a Connection to Place
AGER Group's Boston Office Receives an Honorable Mention
In addressing the Gowanus Canal site and community we focused on industry past, present, and future looking for connections that allow the legacy of this place to continue. We believe we can transform retrograde materialism into a healthy working industrial ecology where wastes are recycled, resources conserved, and community regenerated based on the existing foundations of the site. Using a variety of bioremediation and site cultivation methods our domestic laundry is aired through the language of the Flushing Basin or cleansing wetland, Curtain or vertical filter, Mattress or microbial matrix medium, and Pillow or soil cleansing berm. Through an opportunity for observation and participation in the processes of site remediation people are connected to place and the industry that makes it so.
Flush Basin Curtain
Future canal basin contamination is limited by flushing water through a variety of remediation methods including floating microbe islands, phytoremediation terraces, and a curtain wall made from custom fabricated architectural grill by a local industry that filters all site run off through biomatrix and phytoremediation layers.
A Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) mechanism uses contaminated soil as a fuel to generate energy. The MFC is integrated into a geotextile retaining wall and sliding walkway powering the LED display that is woven into the geotextile membrane. The greater the contamination the more power generated for the LED lighting. The LED lighting becomes a performance indicator, which informs passerby of the level of soil contamination.
The remediation process of land farming is articulated through landforms that are designed with infrastructure necessary to accelerate the soil cleansing process. Sod attached to a geo-textile membrane provides a movable surface of containment over layers of contaminated soil and layers of bio-augmented material. A network of tubing connected to vertical drywells provides a means for monitoring contamination, maintaining moisture levels, and injecting the biomatrix mixture specific to the soil being treated.
Gowanus Lowline Canal Remediation Industrial Resilience
Design Team: Jessica Leete, Albert Chung, Winnie Lai, Shan Shan Lu, Claire Ji Kim
: Weave the way yards of park(ing)
AGER Group's Boston Office is one of the finalists. Result is due mid March.
Nashua Millyard played an innovative role in textile manufacturing in our industrial revolution that should inspire its own redesign. Re-programming and re-stitching is needed to weave this space back into the urban fabric and participate in the unfolding technology revolution. By adding to the existing building program, enhancing indoor-outdoor connections, and programming multiple uses of vacant parking lots, the remnants of the millyard can be connected to the town and fabricated into a one garment. The woven elements of the garment are these:
Stitch - Individual spaces are visually stitched through the buildings to the traffic spines extending out from the streets into the plazas and parking lots.
Threads - Paving pattern is the organizing element of the landscape. Landscape elements such as benches, lighting, planters, bio-swale and parking lots are part of the woven fabric.
Patch - Large scale park(ing) lots, especially those used for daytime workers, have the potential to accommodate multiple night-time activities if special features are introduced to enhance the site / plaza feeling / atmosphere and to facilitate those activities.
Color Palette - Vibrant colors enrich the monochromatic character of downtown streetscapes and differentiate various uses of open space.
Seams - Parkway, river, canal and adjacent bicycle and pedestrian circulation are bundled and intertwined
Folds Though they function largely as rights of way for industrial activities, millyard spaces adjacent to the existing industrial buildings could be made attractive to patronize spaces rented for workshops and studios. Pockets Parks and courtyard spaces that provide opportunities for rest alone or in groups could host farmer’s markets, art fairs, and educational outreach events.
Pleats - Tilting and elevating the ground surface will encourage a variety of activities while protecting visitors from vehicular circulation and hazardous structures, such as electrical towers. Slits from tilted and elevated surfaces provide integrated lighting, seating, and drainage opportunities.
Collars and Cuffs - Situated at either end of the parkway, the City Gate Fence and Keystone buildings and landscape should be programmed to accommodate greater activity. Industrial buildings are transformed into industry-themed retail including show rooms and cafes. Preservation of the existing building structure minimizes the cost of renovation and showcases Nashua Millyard’s history. The cluster of commercial buildings stitches together both sides of the canal and draws people from the surrounding neighborhoods along the parkway and into the Millyard development. The iconic smoke stack becomes a marker that can be used to orient people toward the Millyard development and as the centerpiece of the Park and Plaza patch at the intersection of Technology Way and Broad Street Parkway establishes a meeting place.
Key words: Nashua Millyard Industrial Revitalization
Design Team: Jessica Leet, Shanshan Lu, Claire Ji Kim