© 2007-2013 UnitedLAB
Architecture / Landscape / Urban Design
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Lofted Ambitions: Between Utopia

Visions of a promised land dissipated and we are left with a city built on the mediocre, gray combination of need, availability, and function. The last fertile grounds lie between the gray, where densification left these spaces cleansed of preoccupation. This project uses these interstitial spaces to re-establish utopian ideals above lost urban topography and give the rest back to natural phenomena. These same ideals now hinder development. Large streets are roadblocks to pedestrian activity, huge blocks make the central city impossible to grasp, and micro-solutions to lost ideals have slowly disintegrated downtown. Very few interstitial spaces are left to be reclaimed as the “Promised Land.”

First is an endemic resurrection of natural landscape. All interstitial spaces are flooded with natural Utah topography. Underneath the topography is filled with necessary functional program like structure, parking, and city amenities. Next, a public plinth is lofted above the old city and connected to the people with vertical circulation cores located between remaining buildings. The plinth is supported by towers filled with program misplaced from the resurrection.



Navigation is a hybrid experience between a desolate, secluded, natural landscape and a bustling urban environment. Any experience of the project is an urban exploration through vast and narrow spaces like Zion. Penetrating those spaces are circulation cores, monuments to human curiosity, solidifying the project to the bedrock of the city while allowing people to explore upwards. On the plinth public program is provided in an environment of human designated exterior neighborhoods.

Monumentality comes from not only size, but timing in a dire global urban situation. By densifying and elevating we give the land, and the city, back to the people, but in order to do this, interstitial urban cracks must be utilized as seeds for growth to build on the foundations set in place by those who established a city of such grandeur.