L O C I is the entry for the Urban Rest Stop Competition in downtown Syracuse in 2014.
LOCI is the ‘center or focus of great activity, a
particular set of places’ – and is the concept generator for the
design proposal of Urban Rest Stop. In response to the design
prompt to create a ‘multi-dimensional exhibition’ for collaborators
and artists, our proposal harnesses empty parking lots and re-
activates them into a place of events - creating a distinct identity
for Urban Rest Stop.
Identity of L O C I - The forms were generated as a series of follies that become ‘urban character objects’ that orient visitors to the events via their distinct forms, colors, and size. The follies create their own individual character in the urban spaces and house the four main functions: L – the mobile Literacy Arts Bus, O – the mobile collaborative laboratory, C – the mobile theater, and I – the large-scale, outdoor video projection screen. The design elements are conceived as flexible and adaptable structures that create a delightful atmosphere to enliven the urban spaces adjacent to and under Highway 81.
Traveling to L O C I - As one approaches downtown Syracuse from Highway 81 or the Connective Corridor, LOCI is immediately recognizable from a distance because of its distinct, tall form of I-Folly. The tallest of the follies becomes a glowing beacon within the city and makes it easy for visitors to find their way to the Urban Rest Stop.
Proposed Element Construction - Each of the 4 follies can be assembled and disassembled at any given time for any event. All four can be deployed at once or individually on a per need basis. The construction of the follies is based on pre-fabricated scaffolding from a local scaffolding company (i.e. Colgate Scaffold). The scaffolding is a standard size and dimension but is reconfigured into multiple, uniquely shaped follies to serve different functions. The scaffolding also is made for quick assembly and disassembly, which is ideal for event programs only lasting a couple days or over the weekend. The exterior cover is a custom designed, colored tarp manufactured by a local company (i.e. Custom Canvas in Buffalo, NY). The design stemmed from needing to create a cover for people to have more intimate gatherings and to be sheltered from the elements. The cover is designed with perforations so the space is able to naturally ventilate. This also helps to avoid uplift so that air can pass through the exterior surface of the follies and cool the space down in summer months. The disassembly of the scaffolding can be broken down and flat-packed into a standard shipping container.
Proposed Element Functions - The shapes of each L O C I folly were derived from the functions of each event housed inside. The L - Folly, for the mobile Literacy Bus, is always adjacent to the street and with its distinct RED color, becomes a temporary anchor of the events along the Connective Corridor. There are multiple entries with display panels and seating areas inside. People can linger and read in the pavilion or they can just pass through and learn about the history of Syracuse. The O - Folly, for the mobile collaborative laboratory, creates a large collective space in the middle with smaller side spaces to use for storage, materials, etc. The C - Folly, for the mobile theater, creates a small urban space encapsulated by the scaffolding and puts performers center stage. The pavilion serves as a nice backdrop for the theater and the spaces inside are used for ‘backstage’ and storage. Lastly, the I - Folly, for the outdoor video projection, is the largest scaffolding at a height of 26’. This is ideal for the video projection but also helps serve as an icon to passerby driving down the highway or the Connective Corridor. The lights from the mobile video projection can be seen from a long distance and becomes a beacon for the city.