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Hybrid Architecture: The Integration of a Community Center on Existing Retail

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Title:Hybrid Architecture: The Integration of a Community Center on Existing Retail
Authors:Nip, Joyce K.
Contributors:Miao, Pu (advisor)
Architecture (department)
Date Issued:May 2011
Abstract:A community center serves people in close proximity. It draws residents of the immediate neighborhood and those commuting to that neighborhood for work and other purposes. It has the power to form a sense of community that many communities lack. It consolidates different wants and needs in one location. However, existing community centers, especially the ones in Hawai‘i, often lack these qualities. Simply put, they are basically senior and childcare centers. Buildings labeled “community centers” are not designed with the programs and spatial qualities that would attract a wide range of age groups. The unnoticeable locations of most community centers do not advocate the importance of community centers either. By incorporating a community center on top of an existing retail center, the resulting hybrid can create exciting changes that can accommodate for the programmatic and social needs of individuals. A retail development is ideal for addition of a community center for several reasons. Retail has the ability to unite people in a way that few other places can. Everyone has shopped in one way or another. A retail center’s central and visible location can help create an identity for and magnify the significance of the integrated community center. However, the single-functionality of typical retail centers has caused many to run out of business. There is a growing desire for greater living in today’s urban developments; it is about creating enjoyable environments for buying goods and spending time. People visit retail environments wanting to shop, dine, socialize, and be entertained. Retail cannot function as a single entity. Rather, it is a subunit that supports other uses, such as a community center. More importantly, second floor retail has been proven unworkable through the years because Americans are accustomed to shopping on the street level. Thus, the addition of a community center above an existing retail development is a feasible solution that would promote positive changes to both building types. Successful civic facilities address pedestrian circulations and activity spaces, which can serve as catalysts for buying goods. The resulting hybrid development merges two disparate functions to support and benefit from each other. Areas where the functions of the two overlay can pose opportunities for exciting interventions. This new combination of mixed-use can increase efficiency by concentrating more uses into a central location. The architecture of a retail and community center can bring about numerous spatial and program changes to correspond to the needs and lifestyles of the residents that it serves.
Pages/Duration:117 pages
Appears in Collections: D.ARCH. - Architecture

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