Competition Winners Imagine Life at the Speed of Rail

National
Friday, June 24, 2011
.
ANIMAL FARMATURES (Courtesy Van Alen)

ANIMAL FARMATURES (Courtesy Van Alen)

Sooner or later, aerodynamic trains will be zipping across the farm fields of the heartland and the Van Alen Institute wondered what cultural, environmental, and economic implications such a novel technology would bring. After revealing ten winners of its Life at the Speed of Rail ideas competition, it appears that high speed rail could one day mean larger-than-life mechanical farm animals roaming around the countryside. At least that’s the vision of Stewart Hicks and Allison Newmeyer of Urbana, IL whose project, Animal Farmatures, reimagines farm implements as entertainment for passing riders.

Winners were announced today at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. and soon, the Van Alen will be taking Life at the Speed of Rail on the road (although unfortunately not yet by train). Stops include St. Louis’ Museum of Contemporary Art at 7:00p.m. on June 28, Houston’s James Baker III Institute at Rice University at 6:00p.m. on July 7, and Los Angeles’ Caltrans District 7 Headquarters at 4:00p.m. on July 12.

ANIMAL FARMATURES (Courtesy Van Alen)

ANIMAL FARMATURES (Courtesy Van Alen)

Animal Farmatures
Stewart Hicks and Allison Newmeyer (Design With Company) / Urbana, IL

From the project statement:

As a human/machine/animal hybrid, the “iron horse” locomotive captured the imagination of Americans during the middle of the 19th century by subjugating the pastoral landscape to the ingenuity of human invention. In addition to “conquering space and time,” the train was a new viewing mechanism that transformed the environment into a moving picture show through isolation, speed and framing. Today we have come full circle. Threading high-speed rail through the fabric of the American Midwest stands to recover the demand for mixing humans, commerce, technology and the rural landscape in new spectacular combinations. Which poses the question: what are the techno-natural hybrids that will capture the imagination of today’s rail riders?

WHAT WILL YOU DO? (Courtesy Van Alen)

WHAT WILL YOU DO? (Courtesy Van Alen)

What Will You Do?
Rael San Fratello Architects / Oakland, CA

From the project statement:

LA to San Francisco in 160 minutes—GREAT! But ironically, as the size of cities and the speed in which we are able to travel great distances increases, we are increasingly more sedentary. In fact, we are sitting down more than ever before—9.3 hours per day, which is more time than we spend sleeping. And the amount of time we spend sitting today increases the risks of death up to 40 percent. Instead of sitting for 160 minutes, why not create a high-speed rail that allows us to choreograph a set of experiences that make us productive, healthy and social individuals. Exercise, dance, shop, tan, eat, do laundry, play, take art classes and even sleep (ok, sometimes we need a break too!).

PARALLELOGRAMMIC HOU(S)TATION (Courtesy Van Alen)

PARALLELOGRAMMIC HOU(S)TATION (Courtesy Van Alen)

parallelogrammic HOU(S)TATION
SEUNGTEAK + MIJUNG / Brooklyn, NY

From the project statement:

HOU(S)TATION confronts the negative impact of 20th-century suburbia issues driven by automobile, such as heavy highway interchanges, traffic, parking spaces and sharply increasing CO2 emission.

This project looks for a new housing or town type driven by high-speed rail as an alternative which addresses these issues as well as combines benefits from city life and suburbia. HOU(S)TATION is located in the middle of two major cities within one-hour distance by high-speed rail. Thus residences have opportunities to commute and experience both cities.

THE BEACON (Courtesy Van Alen)

THE BEACON (Courtesy Van Alen)

THE BEACON (Courtesy Van Alen)

THE BEACON (Courtesy Van Alen)

The Beacon
MANIFESTO Architecture P.C. / New York, NY

From the project statement:

Compared to 20th-century infrastructure, the new high-speed rail network will allow people to travel far greater distances in a greatly reduced amount of time. This phenomenon can be described as an expansion of the realm of daily life, or rather, a shrinkage of the perceived scale of the entire Midwest region. In effect, through the new rail networks urban nodes will be pulled closer together, and industries, commerce, and most importantly, people will be connected more intimately than ever before. The Beacon, a proposal for a renovation of Chicago’s Union Station will be at the center of this new age, and our design proposal symbolically represents this new paradigm.

PERMEABLE RESPONSE (Courtesy Van Alen)

PERMEABLE RESPONSE (Courtesy Van Alen)

Permeable Response
Annie Kurtin and Laura Stedman / Tucson, AZ and San Francisco, CA

From the project statement:

The Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta located east of the San Francisco Bay in Northern California, has long been an important resource providing agricultural and recreational uses, wildlife habitat, infrastructure pathways, and water supply services throughout the state. This delta region is currently in crisis, with weakening levee structures and a deteriorating ecosystem due to rapidly increasing pollution levels.

Our proposal for a high-speed rail network in the region will rethink how architecture can become better integrated with large-scale infrastructure to improve the environment and people’s lives.

PERMEABLE RESPONSE (Courtesy Van Alen)

PERMEABLE RESPONSE (Courtesy Van Alen)

Check out the other five projects as well at Life at the Speed of Rail’s web site:

ChiLand
Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative / Cleveland, OH

The Effect of High-Speed Rail on Six Lives
Drew Bly, Brandon Souba, and Steven Vance / Chicago, IL

The Expanded Civic Center
Rebecca Sibley / Houston, TX

Switch Space
Karen Lewis / Columbus, OH

VPL
Rustam Mehta and Thom Moran / New Haven, CT and Ann Arbor, MI

Post new comment

Name (required)

E-Mail (required)

Advertise on The Architect's Newspaper.

Submit your competitions for online listing.

Submit your events to AN's online calendar.




Archives

Categories

Copyright © 2014 | The Architect's Newspaper, LLC | AN Blog Admin Log in. The Architect's Newspaper LLC, 21 Murray Street 5th Floor | New York, New York 10007 | tel. 212.966.0630
Creative Commons License
Pinterest