The modern community center was premised on the idea that local communities are the permanent homes of most of their residents. In that context, the community center was intended to function as the core of the local social network. But this idea didn't work. As society became more mobile, the falling percentage of permanent residents led to dispersion and diversity. Instead of returning to their neighborhoods, people shifted the focus of their social lives to alumni meetings, coworker gatherings, and interest groups. With the spread of information technology, mobile phones and e-mail became the primary means of communication, resulting in restricted opportunities for face-to-face contact.
Recently, however, the average age of the population is increasing and many communities have gained more permanent residents. People are looking for a place to share with the neighbors that they greet on the street every day. This is the birth of a new kind of social order. In contrast to the orderly mechanisms of theory, it is emerging in new and unexpected ways. Is there anything that architecture can do to support these new developments? We would like applicants to approach the theme from the standpoint of contemporary requirements and to propose community gathering places which, while sidestepping distinctions between public and private, will represent solutions to the constraints and opportunities of the local communities where they are located.
We expect the proposals to differ in scale, conception, andexecution. Some will be for small towns, and others for the residents of urban districts. Some will be for new towns, and other for mature neighborhoods. Different requirements will naturally call for different responses. Unlike community centers designed according to the conventional view of modern society, they will lack a single set of defining characteristics. But we do expect each proposal to be an attractive space in its own right.
We would like applicants to propose community gathering spaces that meet the requirements of specific places, scales, and mechanisms, approaching the theme from the standpoint of architectural solutions for the present and the future.
The following must be included with your application: Floor plan, cross section, site plan (at any scale), and perspective diagram or photo of model. You are free to add charts, diagrams and descriptive text to help describe your proposal. Descriptive texts must be within 100 words.
Complete all drawings, illustrative matter, and texts on one sheet of thick drawing paper (600mm×840mm). You may use blueprint, pencil, ink, color, and photographs. But do not use panels.
On the back of your entry attach a piece of paper bearing your name, address, age, telephone or fax number, and e-mail address. Also indicate the name, address, and telephone or fax number of your school or place of employment. In the case of group applications, provide the same information and indicate one individual as the representative of the group.
Deadline: 3rd August, 2009
Final Screening Interviews and Presentation Competition prizes will be decided by final screening of the seven highest ranking proposals from the initial screening... READ MORE...