The Architecture of Interstitial Urbanism

Paul Nakazawa will serve as Co-Instructor, and Joao Paulo Meirelles de Faria is the Teaching Assistant.This option studio will seek to generate alternative design strategies for Rio de Janeiro\’s Maracana neighborhood that address the negative effects on urban life that result from large, punctual interventions. The existing characteristics of the Maracana area are conformed by a constellation of distinctive urban elements – a]the Maracana Stadium, b] the State University of Rio de Janeiro campus, c] the Quinta de Boa Vista\’s park and National Museum and c] the favela Mangheira -, and by a heavily criss-crossed system of major, mixed modes of transportation routes. In addition and due to its peculiar geography and history as well as to the impending monumental interventions associated with the double occurrence of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, it tends to emphasize and reinforce the \”insular\”, inward looking character of each piece while ignoring the in-between, interstitial urban spaces that become left-over generators of urban decay. It is these spaces, mostly public in character, which in spite of neglect and poor capacity must perform crucial roles as connectors and promoters of urban life that will be the focus of attention of the students\’ and instructors\’ work. The outcome of the studio will become the subject of public and academic discussions together with exhibits that will be coordinated with similar studies currently being undertaken at the School of Architecture of the Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro. A required field trip to Rio de Janeiro is tentatively planned for the week of February 12/20, 2011. Since visas are needed to travel to Brazil and there is a lengthy process to obtain them, students applying for this studio must have a valid passport to be submitted with application form by Tuesday January 25th. This studio is recommended for elegible students from the Architecture Programs and/or from other GSD programs, who hold an undergraduate degree in Architecture. Mid-Term review will take place on Thursday March 10 and final review on May 2 or 3 (tbd).