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Project Title: Apache Green Market Square [AGM2]

Location: Tempe, AZ

Project Goals: Current strip malls stop adjacent community use with block walls or dingy alleyways.  AGM2 removes these walls and encourages more neighborhood use by incorporating a park environment over an open air marketplace.   By design, the building makes its own power, recycles grey water for landscape use and is naturally cooled by cool towers.

In Depth: After an in-depth research analysis of typical current strip mall conditions it is apparent that major reform is needed in order to achieve culturally viable shopping conditions and sustainable economic strip mall settings.  This is where Apache Green Market Square [AGM2] is trying to provide a solution.  The current situation doesn’t allow for the immediate community to come be a part of the market experience.  Most markets are literally ‘blocked’ off from the immediate neighborhoods or separated by underused dingy alleyways.  Public sides of strip malls cater to vehicular traffic and offer visions at 45 MPH of blurred, oversized and underused asphalt parking lots that dominate the strip malls illusive facade.  From these principles AGM2 overarching intension is to provide a marketplace that reconnects, repurposes and sustains the market for the current community and for generations to come. 

AGM2 has been designed with several key architectural moves reflecting a reconnection to surrounding neighborhoods; both present and future, addressing visibility for retail, and incorporating both passive and active design technologies in the plan for the new marketplace.

If envisioning the future of markets; I believe that there’s no one that wouldn’t appreciate a marketplace incorporated within a park space, full of lush vegetation and is easily accessible to the surrounding neighborhoods.  Current trends suggest this is already the direction we’re trying to head with newer open air malls that incorporate the outdoors somewhat.  However this trend is lacking several key elements that keeps them from become a complete, deep and community based environment. It seems they are ever approaching a more artificial atmosphere. That’s why this site specific design has a park topography that begins as a hillside to the adjacent neighborhood homes.  This is the first in a series of neighborhood connections and an effort to increase pedestrian use.  This allows the neighborhood to the south to have direct access to the market through there own “back door”.  Also, this path becomes the beginning of a new utility run for a neighborhood collaborative grey water collection system that will be used on site supplying ample water to the parks vegetation.  From the front of the site there are several moments for pedestrian access to the site from light rail or by cars.  Shoppers to the site can intermingle between the park and market place, enjoy a cup of coffee at the cafe that overlooks the site or browse to the lower level through the sites main gathering point.  Another in this series of community connections happens at the core of the site where the project comes together to form a heart for the marketplace.  Here one finds a wide open gentle rolling landscape that gathers the community, allows for people watching, grey water harvesting cascades on display while working to clean the water, and shoppers gather to form a peaceful enjoyable shopping and park experience.

See it in Google Earth: Download Preliminary model

copyright © 2010 edward scheletsky- June 21, 2011 11:04 AM
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