Community Center for Communal Urban Living

Matthew Busscher (website)
University of Illinois at Chicago
The Exploding Edenic Inevitable
Faculty: Sam Jacob (website)

The Community Center for Communal Urban Living is an exercise in representation and the self-referential feedback loop.  The Center uses the city, in this case Chicago, as a space for the study of communal living within an urban environment.  Using techniques discovered in the case study experiment, the Community Center warps the traditional sense of place and develops the institution as a space within the city and the city as a space within the institution. The Center is both the building and the city and contains space for communal living, working, and recreation. 

The works of Zaha Hadid and Étienne-Louis Boullée are used as stylistic framing devices for the American “utopia” case study, Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti, a communal desert living experiment designed for the study of urbanism and architecture.   The Community Center is developed through a series of drawings representing the case study, then transformed through the process of re-representing those drawings as a series of models and drawings.  This abstracts and transforms the initial drawing set into the self-referential city where the city and its architecture begin folding into one another. 


 ↑ Case Study:  Arcosanti in the style of Zaha Hadid’s 59 Eaton Place

↑ Case Study:  Arcosanti in the style of Étienne-Louis Boullée 

↑ Three-dimensional representation of case study drawings  
↑ Site plan – the city and building exist within the other

↑ Floor plan showing fragments of the city contained within the Center
↑ South elevation 

↑ Model

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