P.o.w.e.r. UP!


Short List Finalist

ProjectMovement on Main: Design Competition for the Healthy Main Street
LocationSyracuse, NY
DateDesigned 2013
ClientUPSTATE: A Center for Design, Research, and Real Estate
CollaboratorsSp[a]de, Barton & Loguidice

Providing Opportunities for Work, Energy and Recreation

Power UP is a series of physical and programmatic circuits designed to interweave the cultural, recreational and environmental contexts of the SALT district. Our proposal is focused on crafting surfaces and objects that interact with both body and environment, creating a unique street that interlaces art, exercise and green infrastructure.

Our strategy was derived by identifying several important GAPS when considering the neighborhood with respect to its context: lack of heat relief, lack of connectivity, and underutilized resources. In response, we developed a series of CIRCUITS as a means to “close” these gaps. There are three circuits comprised of both two-dimensional patterns and three-dimensional elements that, when interwoven together, have the potential to transform Wyoming Street from an auto-centric, undefined space into a multi-use, multi-modal spine for the SALT district.

Cooling Circuit (temporal)
Syracuse is known to be one of the snowiest cities in the United States. But it is also hot. Like New York City or Buffalo, Syracuse’s summers are especially dangerous for the elderly, homeless, and low-income populations who are at a disproportionately higher risk for suffering from heat-related illnesses. This neighborhood has little access to relief from high temperatures. Accordingly, we are proposing a Cooling Circuit comprised of “cool” surfaces that lessen the amount of reflected heat, increased tree cover, and interactive spray features. In addition to these elements, bio-retention of rain water and surfaces that display intermittent patterns–visible only when they are wet–are included as part of this circuit.

Energy Circuit (tactile)
The Near Westside is isolated from the rest of the city. The Energy Circuit, inspired by the visual language of the Connective Corridor, creates linkages that increase connectivity and encourage movement. The design interprets the SyracUSE typeface letters as multiple lines and loops that delineate a multi-use path and encircle spaces where hybrid fixtures–combining exercise and energy production–are located along the street. The circuit expands beyond Wyoming Street via painted stencils that create a neighborhood-wide path network, encouraging exercise simply through marking 1/4-mile increments. This “Walk your Block” program builds on the neighborhood greenway proposed in the Near Westside Master Plan and, along with improved connectivity to downtown across West Street, will become a much broader “green activity” corridor. Movement is also encouraged through objects that produce energy when activated by people, including flywheels that power LED lighting with pyro-electric infrared sensors.

Warming Circuit (temporary)
The Warming Circuit seeks to turn the problem of vacancy into an opportunity by expanding outdoor seasonal activities and building on established green-jobs training programs. This circuit is comprised of “heat seats,” which are pieces of furniture that double as composting repositories for leaf and grass clippings collected from vacant lot maintenance. The decomposing material produces an optimal temperature for creating warmth during outdoor fall and winter activities. LED heat sensors display the internal temperature of the compost on the external surface of the furniture in order to create a warm visual and physical ambience. This circuit has two lines: one for winter (based on shady areas that need warming) and one for fall/spring (based on proximity to vacant lot leaf/grass clippings). The “heat seats” are distributed more densely along the “Walk Your Block” demarcations in order to expand seasonal use.