Archives for the month of: March, 2011

The review went well and I received very helpful feedback for the project.  As I proceed, I need to consider the following:

In the diagram above, I’ve identified some downtown attractions [seen in red] and they are all located within, a very walkable, 1/2 mile of the tunnel [dotted line].   I propose to re-purpose the abandoned tunnel as a distribution spine for not only bringing and dispersing people into the city, but also creating public gathering spaces such as places for events seen in the example from last year’s World Canal Conference.  In other words, how could we make it an integral part of Rochester’s civic life?  We don’t want a corridor, but a series of places where people have the opportunity to linger and connect to the rest of the city.

This early diagram illustrates the abundance of parking lots and some vacant lots throughout downtown.  They are the result of the strong single occupant car culture of today.  How can we rethink this transportation structure and change the perception of these parking spaces as potential opportunities to engage the larger network of transit and civic life.  Are there specific places [i.e. the public library] in downtown that the tunnel could connect to because of its proximity?

The above diagram is in its early stages, but begins to show a set of physical conditions of network intersections found along the western portion of the tunnel.  To the left are potential actions that could take place given the type of intersection.  After the identifying the moments of connections along the tunnel, I will need to develop spatial and operational models for interchanges that transfer people from one mode of transit to another.  Are they stairs, ramps, elevators, or any other means?  The intersections will then become a series of prototypical hubs responses to found conditions, but when read together, begins to weave a larger idea of the city and how people traverse through and interact with it.   This kit-of-parts approach allows for flexibility within the systems even though there would be a couple of unique moments for anchors or special attractions along the spine.

In addition to the conceptual development [or abstract, as seen above] of connecting the various transit networks, there is the realistic and almost scientific side to this project.  That involves the differentiation between networks because of the inherent qualities of travel speed, transit type and transit goal of each system.  How do the connections reflect these characteristics?  What other operational programs are needed at these moments?

There is much work to be done and it will be an exciting and fast-paced month ahead.

My journey into the tunnel is condensed to this 9 minute video.  The conditions were much better than expected due to the city’s construction activity and equipment closer to the west end.   However, I still found remnants of the decaying past with “no loitering” stenciled text and crumbling stairs that died into the ceiling.


music | kangding ray

This was once the Erie Canal and then the Rochester Subway. Now it stands abandoned and unused, but it holds the memories and traces of those who dare to explore. While this portion of the tunnel will probably survive the city’s tunnel project, others may not [].

This second conceptual model  begins to respond directly to the various transit networks [highway, rail, and tunnel].  Unlike the previous iteration, the goal here is not to create a singular construct, but instead use tendon-like paths to connect between intersections in both horizontal and vertical sections.

conceptual iteration | 1

The idea in this conceptual model is to test an extreme case of a construct that extends and encompasses all the networks of transport: roads, rail, highway and tunnel.  I realize the model is off scale, but the idea is to explore the relationship between the large infrastructural pieces and how they might begin to stretch outwards.

This is the first in a series of studies of the site and interchange propositions.  The project will certainly evolve so check back for updates!