Architecture is not primarily about utility, environmental control, style, fashion or economic diversity. The struggle and commitment of an authentic architect…is a striving for orientation and meaning, for a self-orientation that becomes embodied in buildings with profound social consequence. – Alberto Perez-Gomez
The 2016 PCI Tectonic Studio will be organized around the topic of ‘casting and recasting’ – adapting precast construction to accommodate potential new uses. The studio will change to design precast concrete building that will be gradually be converted from a parking garage into a collective of micro-apartments, live-work space, makers hive, artisanal incubator, or urban farm.
The historic brick and timber warehouses that become factories and offices were lost and rediscovered by artists, and most recently, converted to condominiums, parking garages have a potent adaptability in the urban fabric. Serviced with infrastructure, but unpartitioned as shell space, multi-story garages have the large open spans that allow change of use over time with minimal demolition. Anticipating the near future, the studio project will utilize the modularity of precast concrete to build the pragmatic terrain of a parking garage that can be recast by the simple occupation of the spaces, incrementally repurposing parking stalls into homes, workshops and gardens.
The PCI Foundation Architectural Studio aims to educate students on the design, construction and use of precast concrete buildings, and to encourage students to explore new potential directions. The program has been arranged to utilize the diverse expertise of the faculty and embrace input from industry partners.