Infrastructural Architecture

Advanced Architecture Studio 5

Fall 2012

Michael Bell, critic, with Zachary Kostura, Chad Konrad + Hyon Woo Chung

A collaborative research project on housing and affordability coordinated with Lafarge Group’s Studio Plus program. The studio was coordinated with work done at architecture schools in Mumbai, Bucharest and Paris. An expanded team of critics were in studio each week; projects were developed simultaneously along structural and environmental engineering tracks. The studio site was located in Cupertino, California. As Apple undertakes a new corporate campus of near-infrastructural scale what are the parallel implications for areas of Cupertino adjacent to the campus? Is there a compensatory vision for architectural work in the program of housing, retail, government and public space?

The cleft between architecture and infrastructure in the United States has long meant that the deep resources of the public sector invested in infrastructure have rarely affected architectural design in any significant way. Housing, retail, commercial spaces—that is, building—is almost universally an adjunct of infrastructure and segregate from its means, methods or materials. The public invests immense sums in its infrastructure, collectively owning roads, rights of way, materials and productive instruments that often bear little value on architecture and that are in essence under-utilized. Space beside, above or next to infrastructure often stands empty foregoing the ability of infrastructure to bear and sustain new architectural and development even as this capacity is immense.

Amy Maresko A
Brian Lee B/C/D
Yusef Dennis E/F/G