Downtown Fargo

The site is defined and bound by a multitude of factors such as; the regulating urban grid, the surrounding context and character of the neighbouring buildings. The grid provides regularity, fairness, order and equality to the organisation of the buildings within. The divided city blocks vary in character dependant on land value; where typically buildings tend to maximise their allocated footprint through complete infill with higher rise buildings. Towards the periphery, spaces dissipate giving way to diminished density where an increased ratio of surface parking versus built form becomes more prevalent. An adverse effect of grade parking upon the urban fabric within certain built-up areas is that a disjuncture is formed by the observer through a lack of cohesive continuity to the streetscape. As the city grows with time inhabitants invest memories into places, spaces through individual events. The city is a living organism. It is essential that both all aspects of buildings that form part of the public conscious should be retained; for example the existing bank building.

The built form alters its form when appropriate either as a consequence of either: allowing access, responding to its contextual surroundings, or as a reflection of its designated use. The form commences by utilises the clearly defined axis of the adjacent over-sailing (Radisson) hotel facilities as the initial urban block synthesis. The form respects the organisational principles of the urban grid whilst creating a multitude of further organisational axis drawn from the initial loci. A deliberate contrast between the exterior (street facing) and internal civic space facades is a further reflection of this principle.

The continual undulation implies to the expansion and contraction to allow views through the scheme whilst creating a series of discernable urban forms akin to the surrounding context. The gradual degradation of the grid becomes clearly evident once the scheme addresses the multiple conditions on 2nd Avenue North. The building contorts unapologetically as its response and thereby: maintaining views of the existing bank building along the street vista, creating a formal gateway to draw pedestrians towards the civic space, clearly delineating between the different developments.

The definition of the façade is two-fold; it aims firstly to encapsulate and preserve part of the character of its context by encapsulating all of the adjacent building façade apertures facing the scheme. They are literally mirrored to define apertures within the outer skin of the proposed building. The second function is that protective skin serves to regulate the inner habitable form, provide a clear and cohesive visual appearance in the scheme and allows the façade to accommodate functions such as: visual projection, privacy, environmental building control, green wall cladding and climbing grip points.

It is clear that whilst Fargo provides a multitude of civic buildings and functions, it is in need of more versatile temporary spaces that should only enhance the already existing stock. This scheme proposed to introduce that the main civic space be utilised on occasion as either a performance space (e.g. open air cinema/theatre), that outdoor activities based within the city are introduced (building (rock) climbing, community maintained urban gardens), a variety of differentiated grades of retail (including cafes & restaurants), as well as a