Citation
Central Park East

Material Information

Title:
Central Park East a mixed-use development
Creator:
Greenberg, Beth
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
105 leaves : illustrations, charts, facsimiles, maps, color photographs, plans ; 29 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
City planning -- Nebraska -- Omaha ( lcsh )
Parks -- Planning -- Nebraska -- Omaha ( lcsh )
City planning ( fast )
Parks -- Planning ( fast )
Nebraska -- Omaha ( fast )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 102-103).
General Note:
Cover title.
Statement of Responsibility:
[Beth Greenberg].

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Added automatically
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
12078012 ( OCLC )
ocm12078012
Classification:
LD1190.A72 1983 .G735 ( lcc )

Full Text
This Book is Submitted as Preparation for the Architectural Thesis
in Partial Fulfillment for the Requirements of the Master of Architecture Program at the University of Colorado at Denver
Date Dus
|
Beth Greenberg August, 1983


SPECIAL THAVKS
to
BARTON and CARYL GREENBERG


11
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION
Thesis Statement .................................. 1
Introduction to Project ........................... 3
Location Map....................................... 5
Lower Downtown Map................................. 5
Downtown Omaha Map ................................ 6
Site Selection..................................... 7
Schematic Site Map................................ 11
HISTORY
Omaha History..................................... 12
Site History.................................... 13
CBD Masterplan.................................. 2 4
Riverfront Redevelopment ......................... 28
SITE INFORMATION AND ANALYSIS
Notes............................................. 30
Site Photographs................................ 32
Existing Site Conditions ......................... 33
Site Dimensions................................... 34
Topography........................*............. 35
Climate........................................... 36
Solar........................................... 40
Utilities....................................... 44
Views and Sounds................................ 4 5
Pedestrian and Vehicular Access
46


Ill
Bus Access......................................... 47
The Neighborhood: Architectural Context .... 48
Zoning............................................. 53
Building Code...................................... 60
Fire Control Regulations .......................... 74
BUILDING TYPES: RESEARCH AND ISSUES
Residential........................................ 75
Commercial: Retail and Office ..................... 83
Urban Open Space................................... 86
PROGRAM
Space Allocation................................... 91
Residential........................................ 92
Commercial....................................... 94
Site Development................................. 9 5
Spatial Relationships ............................. 97
Functional Diagram ................................ 98
FOR THESIS
Schedule........................................... 99
Advisors........................................... 99
SOURCES
People.............................................100
Books and Periodicals..............................102
APPENDIX A
Outline of Basic Human Needs ..................... 104
APPENDIX B
Thesis Presentation


INTRODUCTION


1
THESIS STATEMENT
The thesis presented in this project is that residential mixed-use on the selected site will embody the historical urban development of that sitethe evolution from park to residential/commercial to industrial use and back again to residential/commercial and park uses. The site is also one of the keystones of the city plans for CBD revitalization.
Implications of this thesis on the form of the project will include acknowledgment of adjacent warehouses and the Central Business District (CBD) connection on the western "urban" side of the site, and acknowledgment of the park and river, the "natural" sides to the north and east. I have no control over future development to the south of the site, but will attempt to embody in this project the concept of the site as a connection between the CBD and the riverfront, which could act as guidelines for future development. The primary emphasis of the project will be high density urban housing. Commercial and retail uses are to be developed only schematically. Key issues are:
1. The development of the site as a (pedestrian) connection, and yet an integral entity, between the CBD, Central Park and the riverfront,


2
2. The development of a variety of open spaces ranging from semi-private to public, and
3. The development of high density urban housing which responds to the requirements of livability (discussed below) and at the same time establishes itself as a major element of downtown Omaha revitalization.


3
INTRODUCTION TO PROJECT
I have been an expatriated Omahan for the past 10 years, but each time I return to visit, I am pleased to find wonderful changes and improvements. The Central Business District is beginning to experience a renaissance, after going through the "been down so long it looks like up to me" syndrome. I was very interested in choosing a thesis project which takes part in the Omaha renaissance.
While visiting with city planner Greg Peterson, I was presented with a project which fulfilled my hopes perfectly. As part of a CBD study* done in 1974, a mixed-use redevelopment has been proposed for the riverfront area adjacent to downtown. This development is to become the link between a new public park (Central Park East) which fronts the Missouri River, and lower downtown. This area is currently covered with a profusion of railroad tracks and low warehouse buildings, and is virtually a no-man's land which removes the city from the riverfront. It is also the site of Omaha City's birthplace and the gateway into the city from the east.
*Reference is made throughout this paper to the "CBD Masterplan." This term does NOT refer to official city policy for that area, RATHER it' refers to a report prepared by the Omaha City Planning Department in 1974 which presented a masterplan for the lower downtown and riverfront areas.


4
The riverfront development is the area between 8th Street and the river (west to east) and between the interstate and Jackson Street (north to south). The site covers approximately 30 acres, of which approximately 23 are to be developed into Central Park East.
The strip of land between 8th Street and the park is designated in the masterplan for mixed-use (primarily residential) development. Immediately south of this site the city has indicated the desire to promote the development of a mixed-use (high rise) complex.
I have chosen to develop a small piece of the strip along 8th Street for the thesis project. I feel that this approach is reasonable because it is unlikely that the entire site would be developed at one time. I have chosen to use the existing context (city plans for 8th Street, Central Park Mall and Central Park East; existing utilities and fire access regulations) as the controlling factors for design. However, I will assume the site, currently zoned 1-4, to be developed as a Planned Unit Development (PUD), using regulations for 1-4 and R-9 districts as guidelines but not absolutes. The program has evolved from a combination of the 1974 CBD Masterplan, sources for the development of mixed use and condominium projects and comparisons with existing projects of similar size or waterfront location.


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DOWNTOWN OMAHA


SITE SELECTION
One of the first steps in the process of defining this project was to select which portion of the site to work with. To do this, I chose to break the site into six parcels of approximately equal size. The rationale behind these divisions is twofold:
1. Each division has a connection with a cross street. And, as the site is essentially linear, each of the parcels has an "urban" side relating to downtown and a "natural" side relating to Central Park East and the river.
2. I needed to define a parcel of a reasonable size to work with for the thesis. This limitation of project size is not merely an easy way out; it is recommended by many sources (Urban Land Institute and the Economics section of the Masterplan among others) to limit the building size of a new high density housing scheme to approximately 100 units.
Specific factors I considered in site selection include the existing physical site conditions (city plans for Central Park East and 8th Street improvements are considered existing conditions) and considerations for development.


8
PHYSICAL SITE CONDITIONS
1. TOPOGRAPHY. The major physical site factor bearing on site selection is topography. Although the site itself is essentially flat, there is a considerable drop from 8th Street to the site. Currently two ramps extend from 8th Street onto the site, and act as retaining walls. Eighth Street slopes down from Farnam southward to Jackson, with the greatest drop being 15 feet at the Farnam Street end and the least drop being 8 feet at the Jackson Street end. Evaluation of topography suggests a site at the southern portion of the site, off Jackson or Howard.
2. RAILROAD TRACKS. In the development of Central Park East, railroad tracks extend off Jackson Street and swing around to the northeast in a corridor parallel to the river. The proximity to the tracks eliminated the selection of a parcel at the far southeast section of the site.
3. WAREHOUSE BUILDINGS. The most massive and tallest warehouse is at the northern end of the site.
This could be a deterrent to development, but is compensated by proximity to the park, and functions also as a buffer to the cold northwest winds.
4. SOLAR ACCESS. The section at the north end of the site, in swinging outward to the southeast is most naturally oriented for solar exposure.


9
DEVELOPMENT CONSIDERATIONS
1. MARKETING:
PROXIMITY TO EXISTING PEOPLE-ORIENTED AREAS. This consideration pointed to two possible areas; one at the base of Howard Street, two blocks away from the Old Market, the major downtown restaurant and entertainment center, or the northernmost parcel at the base of Farnam Street which is immediately adjacent to Central Park Mall and is two blocks from two ready to be leased renovated buildings containing commercial, retail and restaurant space and one block from a hotel renovation project soon to begin.
IMAGE. Housing in the CBD is at this time very limited. The Old Market has approximately 25 units of loft conversions and Farnam has, to my knowledge, only a single residential conversion facing Central Park. At the west end of the park is the Paxton Manor, a hotel which has been converted to elderly housing. Marketing studies, however, indicate a great interest in downtown housing.
As the first major introduction of high density CBD housing, image is a critical factor. From this point of view, the northernmost parcel, at the hub of redevelopment activity seemed most attractive.
2. ECONOMICS:
ACCESSIBILITY. As indicated in the topographical analysis, the most easily accessible part of the site is


10
at the south end, which could logically serve as the initial stage of development. Another strategy might begin development at the center of the site, with circulation branching off in either direction.
IMPROVEMENTS. Improvements required are similar throughout the site.
From these analyses, two parcels seemed likely choices; the base of Howard Street, toward the middle of the site, or the parcel at the northwestern corner.
The parcel I selected is the latter, which although presenting greater development problems in terms of accessibility, seems the most exciting in terms of image. It is also the most closely connected with the goals cited in the thesis statement.


11
SCHEMATIC SITE PLAN
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HISTORY


12
OMAHA HISTORY
The city of Omaha, as it is known today, began in 1854. This was the year that the Sioux tribe, the Omaha, ceded their land to the United States government, the year that the Kansas-Nebraska Act was signed, and the year that Omaha City was surveyed and platted. The meaning of the word "Omaha" is: "those who go against the current" and although the origin of the word is uncertain, it is believed to have stemmed from the time when that branch of the Sioux Indians, while migrating westward, reached the Missouri River and decided to continue their mirgration upstream rather than southward.
4
Omaha is located on the western shore of the Missouri River and the site was chosen as a steam ferry connection from Council Bluffs, Iowa, directly across the river to the east. Omaha began as a gate city to the west, and that role was significant in its growth during the remainder of the nineteenth century. In the 1860s Omaha was chosen as the eastern terminus of the Union Pacific railroad, an event which secured the town's future. By the late 1860s Omaha was a major outfitting center supporting steamers, stage lines and freighters. This early activity is intimately related to this thesis project, because the thesis site is in the center of these early developments. The proximity to the river and


13
railroad caused a change of identity for lower downtown; from a combination of residential and small commercial uses to a warehouse and jobbers district, an identity which has been constant since the late 1890s.
It is not my intention to present a complete history of the city, but it is interesting to describe a few events and institutions which continue to contribute to Omaha's "personality." Omaha's early history is full of "wild and wooly" adventures; it had a reputation as a "wide open" town. In the splendid Trans-Mississippi Exposition of 1898, modeled after Chicago's World Columbian Exposition, one "very popular but unofficial attraction" was a local bordello. This exposition, however, provided an enormous lift to the city, both economically and civically after the depression of the 1890s. At that time Omaha was one of the five largest cities west of the Mississippi. Major industries included distribution, breweries, smelters, creameries, and the famous stockyards. Foreign immigrants constituted about one-third of the city's population.
Cultural activities have always been important in Omaha. By the 1870s there was an academy of music, two opera houses and an auditorium. In the year 1924 both a symphony and community playhouse were established and in 1930 Joslyn Art Museum, which includes galleries, a


library and a music hall was completed Omaha now has its own ballet and opera
In addition, companies.


15
SITE HISTORY
When Omaha was platted in 1854, although blocks were designated up to the riverfront, the effective edge of the city was a bluff, several blocks inland. Along this bluff was a park which lay between 8th and 9th Streets and stretched eight blocks, from Jackson to Davenport. (Much of this land is now occupied by warehouses, directly across from the thesis siteFigure 1.) It is interesting to note that the blocks along the park were organized along the east-west axis, to face the park, while all other lots ran north-south. This shows that concern for integration of public space into the city has strong roots for Omaha. A map of 1857 shows the blocks immediately east of this park being interrupted by the bluff. It is in these blocks that the thesis site is located (Figure 2) .
By 1858, the park was replaced by residential and retail/commercial uses, including several hotels (Figure 3), and the city's first church--St. Philomena's Cathedral (Figure 4). However, the area which will presently form the lake of Central Park East was used as a public skating pond.
An 1868 map of the city (Figure 5) shows the first railroad lines (following the same routes as presently proposed for the site), the skating pond, and the


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scattered residential and retail use extending up to the bluff. The character of the city as a transportation and goods distributing center is quite clear.
According to my research, lower downtown became increasingly developed for commercial and retail uses while residential development moved west and south, away from the muddy riverfront. The major wholesale district was in the location of the present "Old Market" and 9th and 10th Streets were the leading retail arteries. The skating pond remained in use until 1881. This changed after the great flood of 1881 when the river rose so high that a steamer from St. Louis sailed up 8th Street as far as the Union Pacific yards (far right on Figure 5). At that time, private businessmen spent large sums of money to raise the level of the bottomlands (filling in the skating pond) and government increased its efforts to stabilize the banks. From that time the area became entirely industrial and commercial. The warehouses built along 8th and 9th Streets furnished the epithet "jobbers canyon" for the area, and that name and character remain to this day. Jobbers canyon is presently being considered for landmark status and designation as an historic district. Two buildings have already received designation as individual landmarks (Figure 6).


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The Ninth Street Corridor ... Warehouses could become landmarks. Camera Is pointed north from Jackson Street.
Landmark Status Is Considered For Warehouses Near 9th Street
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Po*mOt LantliMtffh de*4yml Central Park Mall
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By Kevin Collison ,
Wortd-HcrxU Stall Writer
About 25 tum-of-ihe-century brick warehouses east 0/ the Old Market are being considered by city officials for landmark status, which would prevent the owners from tearing the buildings down without city permission.
The citys Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission, which makes recommendations on whether buildings should be saved because of historical or architectural significance, was to discuss at its regular meeting today the possible creation of a historical landmark district for the warehouse area.
The area of eight square blocks is bounded by Eighth, 10th, Douglas and Juckson Streets. Many of the buildings face Ninth Street, and the area was lubeled the Ninth Street Corridor in a
ISTOs riverfront study, do&eethe exterior without city approval.
Mike Drummy/Woxid-Heraid
City Council.
In the past, landmark designation has been opposed by owners of some buildings. Individual buildings designated as landmarks and buildings in u landmarks district cannot be tom down or altered
Two buildings in the warehouse area already have been designated as individual landmarks by the city. They are the city-owned McKesson-Kobbins Buildine at 902 Famam St. and the Fairbanks-Morse Building at flQ2 Har. nev St. :
Third Warehouse
A third warehouse, the vacant John Deere Building at 912 Howard S| was to be nominated for landmark status by its owner, Paul Weiss, at todays meeting, said City Planner Lynn Meyer, administrator for the commission.
Meyer said he did not know Weiss plans fur the structure.
Meyer said most of the 14 other owners of buildings m the area have not been contacted about the possibility of declaring their buildings as landmarks.
Before a landmark district can be created, owners of at least 51 percent of the areas property must sign a petition requesting such a designation by the
City records list the owners of buildings in the warehouse district as Nogg Biothers Paper Co.. 902 Partnership, Missouri Valley Cold Storage Co., J.D. Warehouse Co., Mary Trimble, a partnership owning the U.S. Tires Buildinv. Carpenter Paper Co.. Paul Distributing Co, Wnght i Wilheimy Co., Depot and Terminal Railway Co., Duncan Hines Food Co. and Ken Wagnon of Wichita, Kan.
Burlington Building
Wagnon owns and is renovating the old Burlington Building at 10th and Far-nain Streets on the Central Park Mull.
Meyer said Wagnons purchase of the U.S. Supply Co. building at 901 Famam St. sparked the citys interest m consi-Hermg landmark status for the area. Wagnon was considering demolition of the building to provide parking for tenants in the Burlington Building, Meyer said.
Theyd like 10 knock down (ihe U.S. Supply Building) lor a parking lot for the Burlington Building, said Meyer. Were trying to work out an alternative.'
Wagnons Omaha representative, Erik Wagner of Progress West Curp., said the parking lot is needed for ihe shops, restaurants and offices to be located in the Burlington Building.
The possibiliy that U.S. Supply would be tom down is under reconsideration,Wagner said.
Council Decides
If Ihe members of ihe Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission generally favor (he idea of historical status for ihe entire area, they will ask the buildings' owners to petition for creation of a Historic district, said George Haecker, a member of the commission.
If 51 percent or more agree with ihe idea, ihe commission would (hen vote on a recommendation to the City Council, which makes the decision on whether a building or area should receive landmark status.
Omaha already has (wo historic districts. One is made up of large older homes along North Jflth Street in Ihe Cuthedral area. The other consists of the Drake Court Apartments south of downtown. In both of those areas, property owners wanted landmark designation.
Haecker said the Ninth Street corridor warehouses may someday tx-cuine an office, retailing and residential district expanding on the neurby Old Market.
"Its consistent scale nnd consistent brick consiruction makes it an excellent example of early 20th centuiy ar-chileciure, he said
Meyer said many of Omahas most prominent architects in the early IDUUs designed the buildings.
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21


22
The thesis site is presently owned by Burlington Northern railroad, from whom the city has purchased the land for Central Park East. The site is thus bordered on the north and east by public parklands (Central Park Mall and Central Park East). The western border, 8th Street, will also undergo major changes. Currently used only for servicing warehouses and covered with railroad tracks and divided by ramps leading into the site, 8th Street is to become a major one-way arterial from Jackson Street leading into the drive toward the airport. Concurrent with 8th Street improvements will be improvements on the east-west streets (which currently serve as thoroughfares only as far as 10th Street) as feeders into 8th Street.
In summary, the area is to become a collage of Omaha's history: Central Park East will provide the skating pond and public connection to the river. A corridor of tracks along the riverfront (separated by a wall which limits the floodplain) will follow the original configuration of tracks within the city. The warehouse district as an historic district, whether remaining as warehouse use or as conversion to commercial, retail and residential use (such as is occurring in several canyon buildings) will remain an expression of the turn of the century development. And proposed


23
mixed-use development on the thesis site will act as a link between the original use of the site and the current revitalization plans for downtown Omaha.


24
CBD MASTERPLAN
Omaha has followed a pattern typical of American citiesthat of decentralization (suburban sprawl) accompanied by the loss of retail and people oriented activities in the CBD. In the early 1970s a study was done to establish a plan for the redevelopment of the CBD. The portion of the study dealing with the riverfront redevelopment provided the inspiration for this thesis project. The CBD study "evolved a plan to increase the social and economic vitality of the CBD. . . The
plan aims to improve the access, efficiency and functioning of office and retail functions of the CBD." The emphasis of these plans is on people oriented activities and amenities with the intent of making the CBD a "fine place to live, work and play." The study focused on several areas, and evolved an overall concept for each. (Refer to chart on page 27).
Portions of the masterplan are on the boards or in place already. The Old Market is a two block area on Howard Street between 12th and 10th. It is so named because it was originally Omaha's wholesale market and the center for local farm marketing. It sports the city's highest concentration of unaltered nineteenth century buildings, and since 1968 has been successfully


25
revitalized as a space for specialty shops, artists' studios and galleries, restaurants and theaters.
Central Park Mall, opened in fall 1982, currently extends from 14th to 10th Streets between Farnam and Douglas. Flanked on the west by the new public library and Northwestern Bell buildings, this block wide linear park, sunk below street level, includes waterfalls, a lagoon, an amphitheater/play area and pathways for pedestrians. It is a haven for downtown lunchers, strollers and picnicers, and is the location of daytime and evening concerts and various other recreational activities. The mall has spurred the renovation of two adjacent buildings for office, retail and restaurant space, and a third will soon become a hotel. The park will continue to 8th Street, at which point construction will continue into the riverfront area as Central Park East, which will include a 10-acre lake, waterfall, an amphitheater, extensive landscaping, pedestrian crossover and promenades, restroom facilities and parking.
Construction will begin this year on a six-block pedestrian shopping mall on 16th Street between Howard and Dodge. This project is accompanied by the renovation of the Brandeis Department Store, which had closed its doors recently as the last bastion of major downtown


26
retail space. It will be re-opened as office and retail space. The Orpheum Theater, which houses the Omaha Symphony and Ballet has recently been renovated, and a new downtown educational center has been built. Total new investments in downtown Omaha between 1975 and 1981 exceed $600,000,000.00 for both new construction and renovation.


CBD MASTERPLAN
27
CBD CONCEPT The central business district is conceived as a series of vital intrinsic neighborhoods all linked by an open space and pedestrian network and served by an adequate vehicular circulation and public transportation system.
TRANSPORTATION AND CIRCULATION CONCEPT Transportation and circulation in the CBD is conceived as an adequate vehicular circulation and parking system and a highly accessible pedestrian network.
OPEN SPACE CONCEPT Open space in the CBD is conceived as a variety of exciting, participatory, recreational public spaces in integrated within the neighborhoods and linked together by the pedestrian network.
COMMERCIAL CONCEPT Commercial enterprise in the CBD is conceived through all its facets as the principal catalyst for the revitalization of the area.
EDUCATION CONCEPT Education in the CBD is conceived as both a source of cultural enrichment and a community necessity which will bring vitality to the area.
COMMUNITY AND CULTURAL FACILITIES CONCEPT Community facilities in the CBD are conceived as the support system for the areas' communityproviding for social needs, interaction and government.
RESIDENTIAL CONCEPT Residential life in the CBD is conceived as an integral component of its revitalization bringing vitality to the area by providing a variety of stimulating and desirable urban living environments.


28
RIVERFRONT REDEVLOPMENT
The Riverfront Redevelopment Area is a large parcel of land (approximately 30 acres) which is presently bordered by Interstate 480 (elevated approximately 80 feet overhead) on the north, the Missouri River on the east (presently separated from the site by a levee), an abandoned alcohol plant to the south, and 8th Street, with its wall of warehouse buildings to the west. Currently the site is devoted to industrial use and warehousing.
The primary concept for the riverfront redevelopment is: TO RECAPTURE THE SITE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A WATER ORIENTED RESIDENTIAL, RECREATIONAL, COMMERCIAL URBAN NEIGHBORHOOD THAT PROVIDES FOR BOTH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE USES.
The CBD masterplan for the riverfront redevelopment includes pedestrian crossovers, residential use, a mixed-use complex, public plazas and public open space. To be centered around a marina, the area was named Marina City. Current city plans no longer include the marina; instead Central Park East is the major public open space. However, I have assumed the spirit of the masterplan in making site and programming decisions.


29
In the masterplan, a high rise mixed-use complex is located at the southeast corner of the site "to provide condominium residential units, apartments, hotel facilities, offices, limited commercial uses and a multitude of indoor and outdoor recreational facilities for private use." I have accepted this use for the development, and, in planning amenities for my own site, have considered that major recreational facilities would be located in this complex rather than being immediately available on my chosen site. This is one of the advantages of PUD zoning and mixed-use development; the infrastructure, if properly planned, can serve the entire project.
The major residential component of the plan is located along 8th Street and adjacent to Central Park. Following the spirit of the masterplan, pedestrian crossovers, public plazas and open space are integral pieces in this project. For this reason, I have included retail and commercial uses (as suggested in the Economic and Implementation section of the masterplan), both to serve future residents and to encourage, yet define public
*
access to the site. Presently acting as a barrier or wall between the city and the river, this site has the potential of opening up the riverfront to the city, re-embodying Omaha's urban history and creating a new possibility for urban living in Omaha.


SITE INFORMATDN and ANALYSIS


30
NOTES
SITE DIMENSIONS
Site dimensions are taken on the north and east from the limits of work by the city on Central Park East. The western limit of the site is 8th Street as it will be improved (information from the City of Omaha Traffic Engineering Division). The southern limit of the site was determined as part of the site selection process.
I will attempt to follow the limits of city work on the northern and eastern edges of the site, but in the case that these dimensions are too restrictive (as for fire truck access, for example), slight modification of the edge shall be made. In addition, the slope separating the site from the park promenade may be included in the design of this project.
VEHICULAR ACCESS
Vehicular access to the site will change drastically. Currently 8th Street is all but unused. City plans, soon to get underway, include the improvement of 8th Street to a three-lane, one way street going north, starting at Jackson Street, bridging over Central Park Mall, and connecting four blocks further north to Abbott Drive which leads to the airport and East Omaha. Improvements of Famam and Harney from 10th to 8th Streets will be included


31
in that project. This will increase traffic counts considerablyprojections for 1995 peak hour traffic are 1,800 at the northern corner of the site.
PEDESTRIAN ACCESS
Pedestrian access to the site will become extremely difficult due to traffic developments. At this point in time, skywalk connections cannot be considered, but in the case of future warehouse conversion this may become a possibility. The pedestrian overpass from Central Park Mall to Central Park East is not well located to enhance pedestrian access to the thesis site. As a developer pursuing activity on the site, I would attempt to dissuade the city from its improvement plans.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Metro Area Transit (MAT) does not currently have bus service along 8th Street, but a representative explained it would be a simple matter to alter routes to bring at least two bus lines past the site. At this time there is no downtown shuttle service. MAT has found such service unsuccessful in the past, but as downtown improvements continue (the retail mall along 16th Street, Central Park East) MAT may initiate this service again.


EXISTING SITE
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CONDITIONS
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TOPOGRAPHY
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CLIMATE
GENERAL
Omaha lies at 41 18' North latitude on the west bank of the Missouri River. It is situated midway between the zones of the humid east and the dry west, and shares characteristics of both these zones. Summers are warm and fairly humid, winters are cold and dry. Heating degree days (base 65) far exceed cooling degree days, and therefore design for heating needs should be the prime consideration.
DETAIL
1. TEMPERATURE. The record high temperatures have exceeded 100 for the months of June through September, and the record lows have fallen below 0 November through March. The average frost free period is 188 days, a little over half the year. The coldest months are December through February with normal temperatures falling in the 20's. The mean monthly temperature during the summer months falls in the 70's.
2. SUN. Sunshine is fairly abundant in Omaha, shining nearly 75% of the possible in summer and 50% of the possible in winter. The mean number of clear days throughout the year is 113, 107 days are partly cloudy and 145 are cloudy.


37
3. WIND. The prevailing wind comes from the SSE 66% of the year, from May through December. January through April prevailing winds come from the NNW. The mean speed is 10.7 MPH. However, wind roses show that in any month, winds from both these directions are present. The fastest recorded mile winds come from the north or northwest in all months but one. The fastest recorded wind speed is 109 MPH, in 1936. Tornados pass over Omaha on the average of 9 to 11 times per year, during the months of June through September.
4. PRECIPITATION. Seventy-five percent of precipitation falls during the growing season, April through September. Much of this falls in the form of sharp showers or thunderstorms in the evening. Snowfall accounts for only 10% of all precipitation. The record snowfall of 27.2 inches occurred in 1948. Snow loading is based on a load of 30 psf on the ground.
5. RELATIVE HUMIDITY. Mean relative humidity ranges greatly throughout the day, indicating large diurnal temperature swings. These shifts are greatest during the summer months. The mean relative humidity is 80% at 6:00 in the morning and 58% at 6:00 in the
evening.


38
CLIMATIC DATA
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HEATING and COOLING DEGREE DAYS


40
SOLAR
ORIENTATION
Optimum orientation of openings to allow heat gain is to the south and east. This strategy for heat gain in winter is viable because sunshine is available 50% of the time. However, care should be taken to size openings so that heat gain is not offset by infiltration. Intermediate areas such as balconies and arcades can be used to temper the air entering the building. Openings should be protected from the summer sun by shading devices. The building and open public spaces should be protected from the cold north and northwest winds. Winds from the southeast should be taken advantage of for cooling breezes in the summer, and provision should be made for cross ventilation by allowing breezes to change directions as they pass through the building.
FORM
Elongation along the east-west axis is preferable for heat gain. The optimum shape is a rectangle of the proportions 1:1-6.
MATERIALS
Mass should be used to retain heat during winter and to temper the diurnal swing. Dark colors should be


avoided in areas where they could act as a heat sink in summer. The roof should be light in color to reflect the high summer sun.


90
85
00
75
70
65
60
55
50
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
Zer
85
80
75
70
65
60
55
50
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
He
BtNNE.il buN ainGLc. ChnrtT
East South West
90 180 270
A O MnPTU I ATITI II1F


I
H ^TH






48
ARCHITECTURAL CONTEXT
The buildings in the canyon area date from between 1880 to 1910. Approximately two-thirds of the original buildings remain, many still in use as warehouse and connected offices.
These buildings are without doubt functional buildings. One's first impression may well be that of a huge massive brick wall. But a second glance shows careful attention to proportion, directionality and detail.
Within the simple block form, there is a stylistic range from the more austere classicism of the Burlington Building (#1, 1879, 1898, and 1982 by Thomas Kimball) to the Richardsonian Romanesque of the arch from the United States National Bank (#2, 1887) which now serves as one of the entrances to Central Park Mall, and the Fairbanks Morse building (#3, 1893 by H. H. Richardson), to the straightforward realism of the John Deere Building (#4, 1908 by Fisher and Lawrie).
Structurally, the buildings range from mill construction to cast iron skeleton structures to brick bearing walls to some of the first reinforced concrete column and floor slab buildings. The area is thus a museum of sorts for turn of the century warehouse construction and design.


49
Common to all these buildings is the special treatment of the ground floor, which may be articulated with rustication, elaborate cast iron work, plaster moldings, and especially large windows. Windows below the cornice or at the comer are often differentiated, which has the effect of attenuating these massive buildings.
This architectural legacy left to the city is greatly appreciated, and interest and involvement in historic preservation is growing. These buildings give Omaha a connection to her past, and it is hoped that their continued use and re-use can provide vitality and pleasure to the area.


51
FIRST BUILDINGS
\
"!+1£ gy^LLJTltfK V\?&V
PfcAPj^ b'|l,x' g.e.^it?eHriAi-
p^uir?
rfBPtflAU r^£-H TfiP-LAT£ ^.
g^jAHAv 4 J27lk|U\fr
aaibHy.
Omaha in the early 1860s, looking northwest from 12th Street between Douglas and Famam This photograph, probably by Edric Eaton, is one of the oldest photos of Omaha in existence. Courtesy, JoslynArt Museum.
The Central Block, on the south side of Famam between 13th and 14th, was completed in 1867. From the Bastwiek-Frohardt Collection owned by KMTV and on permanent loan to Western Heritage Museum, Omaha.


A panoramic view of Omaha that from the roof uf the lit and Central Hotel, cnxa 1875. Famum St net ii at the le/t, St Plnlonnnu'*
Calhetlral in live center, and the newly completed Union Pacific brittle at the right. From the Boutwick Frohardt Collection
owned by KMTVutul on permanent Juan to Western Heritage Mueeutn, Omaha.


53
ZONING
The site is presently zoned 1-4, which permits virtually any usage. 1-4 zoning does include area regulations in the case that a building in that zone be used for residential purposes. Since these requirements may not coincide with the conditions of mixed use development, I am assuming that PUD rezoning will occur in order to allow the flexibility desirable for a mixed-use development.
The Omaha Zoning Ordinance includes a set of regulations for PUDs, but this classification is oriented towards suburban residential developments and again, may not be appropriate for mixed use.
Therefore, in analyzing the zoning ordinance, I have outlined the regulations for each usage which will occur on the site. These regulations will be adhered to unless compliance seems unreasonable to the designer and her advisors.


Applicable Zoning Ordinance: Omaha Zoning Ordinance
1-4
Zoning Classification
1-4
Maximum Height:
24 stories or 245'
Minimum Setbacks (for residential
use) :
Front Yard: 35'
Side Yard: One and two story structure: 7' Three-story structure: 10'
Four-story structure: 12'
Five-story structure: 14'
and an additional two foot setback for each story above five stories Outer Court: 35"
Inner Court: 30'
Rear Yard: 25'
Minimum Setbacks (non-residential use) :
Front Yard; no structure nearer than 50 feet to center line of street Side Yard: 5'
54
Reference
Art. XXX Sec. 55-613
Sec. 55-614
Sec. 55-614
Rear Yard: 10'


55
Reference
Parking Regulations: Sec. 55-615
as per Article XXXIX Commercial and industrial buildings shall provide off-street loading facilities
PUD
Planned Unit Development:
* Principal Zoning Type: R-9
Uses by Right (among others)
Drug stores
Grocery stores
Liquor stores
Laundry and dry cleaners
Offices
Retail stores
* Extent of Accessory Uses:
5% total floor area of development
Conditions of Accessory Uses:
Commercial uses to be integrated into the residential facilities
* Maximum Height
Not to exceed requirements by
Sec. 55-38 Sec. 55-38 (b) Sec. 55-38 (c)
Sec. 55-38 (c) Sec. 55-38 (c)
Sec. 55-40
previous district


56
Setbacks:
20' average setback from all street frontage
10' minimum setback from street frontage Minimum Land Area per Dwelling Unit:
As per R-9 regulations Maximum Building Coverage:
25% land area being developed Off-Street Parking:
2 spaces for each dwelling unit No stall closer than 6' to any residential building All stalls to have curbs or wheel stops
R-9
Zoning Classification:
R-9
Uses by Right (among others):
Multifamily dwelling Retail stores Restaurants Office buildings
Off-street parking as required per usage
Reference
Sec. 55-40
Sec. 55-42
Sec. 55-41
Sec. 55-45
Art. XV
Sec. 55-312


Outer Court:
Width not less than 35'
Inner Court:
Least dimension not less than 30'
Building Bulk (FAR):
Not to exceed 3 times area of zone lot
PARKING
Zoning Classification:
Off-street parking
Area required:
Minimum area per space: 162 sq. ft. Minimum width at middle of stall: 9'
Width of Driving Aisles:
Perpendicular parking: 24'
60 angle to aisle: 13'
45 angle to aisle: 13'
Parallel to aisle: 10'
Residential Uses (R-9 District):
1 stall per one-bedroom and efficiency unit
57
References
Sec. 55-315
Sec. 55-316
Sec. 55-319
Art. XXXIX
Sec. 55-774
Sec. 55-775
1% stall per 2 or more bedroom unit


58
Retail Enterprises:
Office buildings: 1 stall per 500 sq. ft. GFA
Establishments for the sale and
consumption of alcoholic beverages, food or refreshments: 1 stall per 300 sq. ft. GFA
Retail stores greater than 500 sq. ft. GFA: 1 stall per 300 sq. ft. GFA
Retail stores less than 500 sq. ft. GFA: no parking required
LOADING
Applicable Zoning Ordinance:
Denver Zoning Ordinance
Off-Street Loading:
For structures of less than 25,000 sq. ft. GFA
1 berth (160 sq. ft. min.) per 12,500 sq. ft. GFA or increment thereof
For structures of 25,000 to 40,000 sq. ft. GFA
Reference Sec. 55-777
.8-7-7 Art. 615
1 berth


59
For structures of 40,000 to 100,000 sq. ft. GFA
2 berths
with minimum berth size 10' wide, 35' long and 14' high
* Standard Procedure:
References
Art. 615
50% parking for compact cars


60
BUILDING CODE
Applicable Building Code Ordinance:
1976 National Building Code as amended by City of Omaha *
Occupancy Classifications:
Restaurant
Class C Assembly (capacity 50-299 persons)
Business Mercantile Covered Malls Multifamily Bldgs.
Dwellings Enclosed Parking Open Air Parking
* Occupant Load
Restaurant
3 sq. ft. per occupant for waiting area
7 sq. ft. per occupant in areas for dancing
15 sq. ft. per occupant in areas with tables and chairs Business
100 sq. ft. gross floor area per
References
Sec. 313 Sec. 310.1
Sec. 320 Sec. 370 Sec. 371 Sec. 381 Sec. 382 Sec. 391 Sec. 392
Sec. 310.3
Sec. 320.1
occupant


61
References
Mercantile Sec. 370.1
30 sq. ft. gross floor area per occupant 60 sq. ft. per occupant for all stories accessible only by interior stair, elevator or escalator Covered Mall Sec. 371.1
30 sq. ft. gross floor area per occupant Multifamily dwellings Sec. 381.2
200 sq. ft. gross floor area per occupant Parking Sec. 391.2
300 sq. ft. gross floor area per occupant
Occupancy Separation Sec. 313.2
Restaurant and Night Club 1 hr. rating separating place of assembly from other occupancies Multifamily Occupancy Sec. 381.1
Dwelling units shall be separated from each other and from corridors, hallways, passageways and from other occupancies by wall, partition, floors


62
and floor-ceiling assemblies of at least 1 hr. fire resistance.
Covered Mall
A covered mall and all buildings connected thereto which are not separated by a firewall (4 hr. rating) shall be considered 1 building.
Mercantile
1 hr. rating for wall, partition, floor and floor-ceiling assembly separating mercantile and residential uses
Doorways protected with approved automatic or self-closing fire doors suitable for Class B openings
1 hr. assembly for truck loading and unloading at or near grade
Enclosed Parking
2 hr. rating for enclosed parking of area greater than 3,000 sq. ft.
Class B openings for doorways in
References
Sec. 371.1
Sec. 370.11
Sec. 370.12
Sec. 391.1
interior walls


63
Open Air Parking
2 hr. fire resistance rating Class B openings
Maximum Allowable Floor Area and Height Maximum allowable floor area and height are determined by the type of construction used. These data are summarized in Table 510 which follows.
TABLE 510.
HEIGHT AND AREA LIMITS OF BUILDINGS.
Types of Construction Height limits in feet Area limits in square feet
One story Building Multi-story Building
Fire-Resistive Type A No limit No limit No limit
Fire-Resistive Type B 85 No limit No limit
Protected Limited-Combustible 75 1-8,000 12,000
Heavy Timber 65 12.000 8,000
Ordinary 45 9,000 6,000
Unprotected Limited-Combustible 35 9,000 6,000
Wood frame 35 6,000 4,000
Fire Wall Openings
No openings greater than 120
sq. ft. except where sprinklers are installed
References
Sec. 392.1
Table 510
Sec. 800.0
No dimension greater than 12'


64
Opening shall not exceed 54 sq. ft. when serving as exit
Every opening shall be protected with automatic closing or self-closing fire door suitable for Class A openings
Protection of Openings in Exterior Walls
Approved fire door or window required in exterior walls within 3' to adjacent lot or 6' of another building on same lot
Number of Exits Required
From each story or part of story, not less than 2 exits required for all occupancy types
Minimum Exit Width Required
The following summary of Tables 403.4, 405.4, 407.4 and 408.4 show the information necessary to determine exit width requirements for interior and exterior stairways and ramps.
In all cases, vertical headroom clear-
Reference
Sec. 800.0
Sec. 803
Art. Ill
Art. Ill
ance shall not be less than 6' 8"


65
Reference
The unit of width used as a measure Art. Ill
of exit capacity shall be 22".
Fractions of a unit shall not be included, except that an allowance of % unit is permitted for 12" of width added to one or more units of width.
MINIMUM EXIT WIDTH REQUIRED FOR INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR STAIRS AND RAMPS
OCCUPANCY
Number of Occupants Per Story Per Unit of Exit Width
Assembly 75 Business 60 Mercantile 60 Residential 75
Storage
75


66
Capacity of Means of Egress Assembly
42" minimum width for aisle accommodating 60 or more Main Exit: width sufficient to accommodate % total load On each Level: access to main exit and exits sufficient to accommodate two-thirds occupant load of that level Business
At Grade: 100 occupants per unit width In ramps, smokeproof towers and stairways
60 occupants per unit width Mercantile
At Grade: 100 occupants per unit width Ramps, smokeproof towers and stairways: 60 occupants per unit width At Story of Discharge: doorways shall provide total units of exit for stairs and ramps and for story of discharge
Reference
Sec. 310.5.f.
Sec. 310.6.g. Sec. 310.6.h.
Sec. 320.2.a.
Sec. 370.2.a. Sec. 370.2.b.
Sec. 370.4.d.


67
Covered Mall
100 occupants per unit of exit width Not less than 2 exits Width not less than 12'
Multifamily Dwellings
At Grade: 100 occupants per unit of width
Ramps, smokeproof towers and stairways: 75 occupants per unit of exit width
Enclosed and Open Air Garages Minimum 2 exits
Exit at Grade: 100 occupants per unit width
Ramps, smokeproof towers and stairways:
Reference
Sec. 371.3.a. Sec. 371.3.b. Sec. 371.4. a.
Sec. 381.3.a.
Sec. 381.3.b.
Sec. 391.5.b. Sec. 392.5.b. Sec. 391.3.a.
Sec. 391.3.b.
60 occupants per unit width


68
MINIMUM TRAVEL DISTANCE TO EXIT
Without Sprinklers With Sprinklers
Restaurant:
at story of discharge 150' 200'
above story of discharge 100' 150'
Business: 200' 300'
Mercantile: 100' 150'
Multifamily: 100' 150'
within dwelling unit: 50'
Garage: 150' 200 '
Reference
Exit Door Requirements
Door shall be of swinging type Sec. 401.7
If occupancy is greater than 50 persons, door shall swing in direction of travel
Minimum Height: 6' 8" Sec. 502.4
Minimum Width: 28" Sec. 402.5
No Dead end corridor greater than Sec. 401.8
20'
Exit Door shall not diminish width of Sec. 402.2
means of egress


69
Landing shall not be less than width of door
Interior Stairways
Shall provide continuous and unobstructed path from upper stories to story of discharge Minimum Width: 44"
Minimum Headroom: 6' 8"
Maximum Rise: 8"
Minimum Tread Width: 9"
Product of tread and riser shall not be less than 70 nor more than 75
Minimum number of risers in any flight shall be 3
Length and width of landings shall not be less than stairs they serve Headrails required on both sides of stairway
Smokeproof Towers
Shall conform to provisions for interior stairways Shall be enclosed with walls having 2 hr. fire resistance rating
Reference
Sec. 402.3
Sec. 403.1
Sec. 403.4
Sec. 403.5
Sec. 403.6
Sec. 403.7
Sec. 404


70
Access to the tower at each story provided by vestibules or balconies open to the air and having unobstructed width and length not less than width of doorway leading to it
Minimum Door Width: 40"
Vestibule or balcony shall face on a street, alley, yard or court not less than 20" wide and 100 sq. ft.
Doorway shall swing in direction of travel
Exterior Stairways
Shall conform to requirements for interior stairs
Maximum Height between Landings: 12'
Horizontal Exits
Shall have 2 hr. fire resistance rating
Doorways shall swing in direction of travel
Ramps permitted at gradient of 1:10
Balconies shall face on a street, court or public place not less than 10' wide and 100 sq. ft. area
Reference
Sec. 404
Sec. 405
Sec. 406


71
Ramps
Maximum Slope: 1:10 Width to be the same as stairs Length and width of landing not less than that of ramp
Requirements for Handicapped Persons
Maximum ramp slope: 1:12 Ramp shall have handrail at height of 32"
Minimum clear opening of door = 32" Floor shall be level for 5' from door in direction of swing
Design Criteria for Handicapped Persons
Fixed turning radius wheel to wheel: 18"
Fixed turning radius front to rear: 31%"
Average turning space required: 60", 63" preferable Average vertical reach: 60"
Average horizontal work surface: 38" Minimum walks shall be 48"
Maximum grade of walk: 1:20 Minimum platform landing: 5' 5"
Reference
Sec. 408
Sec. 43-357
Sec. 43-359
Sec. 43-353
Sec. 43-354


72
Public Toilet Rooms
Toilet Rooms must have 1 stall: at least 4' 8" deep Door of 32" which swings out Handrails on each side Mirrors, shelves and towel racks not
Reference
Sec. 43-362
higher than 40"


73
Plumbing Requirements
* Applicable National
Ordinance: Plumbing Code
Typ* fcuwifl* or Oenaey (an Cloaats Uriaals KT ar R sr
1 to 1 1 i
1 1 1 i
Ho... 7*C Ud hnw u 1 Mataa Pimm 1 tor aa. 10 Itoraal Itotaia ItoraLD 1 tor rac* 29 to 1 toaiaa 1 aa. aa 30 1 Pa 1 tor aa. 10 l tor aa. 10 1 1 tor aa. M 1 tor aa. 10 1 tor aa. aaa 15 toa 1 tor aa. mm. 13 I aaa tor aa. aa
Mii amt aa Um Sa aa a Sa aa Mat
Uatai fiaUi
1 tor aO. 23 1 toe M. 20 Uiiu_l_ . Maaa toaartaaa
1 tor aac* 23 to I aa. S-laa * r ar ar fe tor aa. a Haaa *
SrtoaaH Ummut Sonp^MT UtMCt Maia FM l tor 73 1 tor 39 1 tor 79 1 tor 43 1 tor 79 1 tor 30 1 par 50 toaiaa 1 par 7 toaiaa 1 par '00 toaiaa l par OOpirani I aar 90 prraoaa 1 par 100 paraaaa p P" . IOmMB 1 par 150 \rn,m
OomionN 1 tor iO ptrH 1 tor aacfc 23 Mi aaar 130 ato 1 tor I par U prraoaa I tor 12 prraaaa I p71
ItorSlao
Oto or P jss sra 1 15 1 1* to 35 a 30 99 1 to ao M to IM 5 III to 130 0 MtiiUMi pirn, i Urla aa aato la a'a m lata to Uaa at aarr clutoi aiaSar to W.cla"* Ha.~w era I to 15 1 M to 55 2 3o m 40 a w n 4 n us a Oa mi toin tor I tar aa i ljr
MMnJO BldU|a an* Tcra i i 10 M 2 29 to to 3 30 to 74 4 73 > 100 3 3a aa OfBca * fo. ai Ha. ai i iao i m io Oar 100 1 to 15 to (4) 1 tar aa. 75 pin
ItMOUiO3'1 Clines 1 ac#r Oomi tor 10 Paris 1 Aa4 tor 30 ? pjamnai. tor pK Uan Mtoilar to l laa. tar aaca roar 1 tar. tor aac4 10
TW. Aiafcaarta Ai.iaill) Hal la fera 1 to too 1 101 to 230 a 231 JD 3 Oar aoo oaa 1 an aM 1 tor oaca W PM4I TCra BaTaT" Parh Plaaarai 1 200 I 301 to 400 2 401 aoo 3 Oar aOO-aaa a tor aaaP Mi Ha. of Ha. of Paraaaa Pltoini 2tH to 400 a 404 700 a Oar TQOaaa tar aatok ltoU 5ataMD0 1 tor a 100 1 Sara
Table 7.21.2


74
OMAHA FIRE DEPARTMENT REGULATIONS
Maximum Grade: 10%
Turning Radius of Truck: 45'
Overhead Clearance Required: 12'
Width of Fire Lane: 24'
Distance of Fire Lanes to Building:
Fire lane required if:
Building is more than 150' from street Building exceeds 35' in height Building exceeds 2,500 sq. ft. per floor Restriction of Fire Lane:
Parking not allowed in fire lane Fire Controls Required within Building:
If building exceeds 75' height from lowest point If building has separate sections which are not divided by 3 hour assembly. The building is considered a single building, and requiring fire control throughout.


BUILDING TYPES: ISSUES and RESEARCH


75
RESIDENTIAL
As Charles Moore has noted in his forward to The Form of Housing, the cousins to stereotype are prototype and archetype. It is all too easily we forget, for example, that the office building grew out of the basilica (a meeting place) or that, etymologically at least, "hotel" and "hospital" have the same origin. The concepts of "single family home," "high rise apartment," and "suburb," through cultural norms and history, bring to mind stereotyped (oversimplified) images, and yet they are all connected to the archetypal images of "dwelling" or "shelter."
The amenities associated with the single family home are generally recognized to serve as the prototype for contemporary housing design, but the real issue is to understand the basic human needs which must be satisfied in living environments, whatever form they may take. The Danish psychologist Ingrid Gehl has classified these needs as physiological, safety and psychological (refer to Appendix I for further detail). The "livability" of housing is determined by how well these needs are met.
The following issues must be considered in assessing "livability":
1. Site Planning, Land Use and Context
2. Privacy


76
3. Sense of Community
4. Security and Maintenance
5. User Group Identification (and Involvement)
6. Flexibility, Adaptability, Individuality
7. Aesthetics: Variety, Texture, Scale
SITE PLANNING, LAND USE AND CONTEXT
Discussed in greater detail under "open space," primary concerns are:
1. Response to natural and manmade conditions which exist on and around the site, and
2. Zoning of space into articulated (conceptually as well as physically) areas.
PRIVACY
Privacy in one's own home is indispensible for a feeling of well-being. Engstrom and Putman point out in Planning and Design of Townhouses and Condominiums that design should begin with the home units and move from there to the building form.
Within the home, spaces should be zoned from public to private. This zoning should also extend from the home to outside. The transition from one's doorstep to the world beyond should be gradual; one should not be thrown immediately into a totally public space.


77
This is a major challenge in high rise housing, but it is not an impossibility, as proven in Ralph Erskine's Byker development, where the transition from private to public spaces proceeds from the individual home (unit), to a semi-private space adjacent to the entrance (a bench is an essential ingredient to the entrance, according to Erskine), to separate entry corridors for small groups of units, to partially enclosed or defined open spaces at ground level, to the world beyond.
To assure privacy for the individual home, acoustic insulation and visual screening are essential.
SENSE OF COMMUNITY
One of the greatest advantages of high density over single family living is the potential to create a community. Semi-public and public spaces provide the opportunity for sharing activities. Traditionally this has been a special quality of urban living, which can be seen clearly in many European cities. Carefully planned zoning allows for areas where this sharing can occur, such as corridors shared by a small number of units, or semi-private courtyards. Careful placement of activity nodes allows choice of involvement. Every attempt should be made to allow people to choose the degree of participation they desire.


78
SECURITY
Security is an especially important issue in downtown housing. Even though the crime rate may be higher in suburban areas, peoples' perception of downtown areas being unsafe is deeply rooted.
The question of security has been explored in great detail by Oscar Newman and Jane Jacobs. Both concur that the degree of surveillance over an area is directly related to the degree of ownership that one feels for that area. For example, if an entry is shared by so many people that no one feels ownership or control, or where people are not present to take charge of surveillance, then the entry to this area must be handled by special personnel and/or systems.
MAINTENANCE
The choice of urban mid- to high-rise living is usually accompanied by the wish to reduce the time spent in exterior maintenance. Also, as a development consideration, cost and energy spent on maintenance should be kept as low as possible. These considerations suggest alternatives to grass-covered yards, such as pleasantly paved courts, carefully selected planting. Snow removal should also be considered. Lighting should be sufficient, and of appropriate height and distribution, to assure security.


79
USER GROUP IDENTIFICATION
Certain building types are better suited to specific user groups. High-rise dwelling is much less acceptable for families with children than for single people or couples without children. This project is oriented toward the latter two groups; market studies and comparison with other downtown housing developments have indicated primary user groups to be working singles or couples and "empty nesters." Handicapped persons should be included in the user groups.
FLEXIBILITY, ADAPTABILITY, INDIVIDUALITY
Flexibility and adaptability of design contribute to a sense of individuality within the project. Flexibility of units, for example, can range from choice of one of several floorplans, to total unit design within a structural framework, such as proposed by the Dutch group SAR, Gunnar Plesums, and SITE (see Highrise of Homes, by SITE).
High density housing can rarely approximate the degree of flexibility of single family housing, and this is a major area of study in contemporary housing. The essential strategy for flexibility is to allow residents to exercise choice in their environment, which does not necessarily mean "ad-hocism," because small touches can contribute a great deal to one's sense of individuality.


80
rate*


or *<**<

>*Tf ________]
Highrise of Homes, by SITE


81
AESTHETICS: VARIETY, TEXTURE AND SCALE
High density and especially high-rise housing often alienate because of uniformity; a single mass, an undifferentiated connection to the earth, the absence of human scale. This can be deterred by variation in surface planes, treating each facade according to its context and climatic orientation. Articulation of mass by texture, projections or recesses can be used to give the building a human scale.
The residential development will be treated as condominiums, a use which is preferable to developers for financial return and building management. Even if rental becomes a necessary marketing procedure, future condominium conversion problems are reduced. The waterfront location also justifies this approach. Additionally, the city has shown great interest in developing residential use on the site, and hopes to work with developers for the site. This indicates that the project may receive public support of some form, although this is not certain.
Two surveys were done in 1981 which indicate a strong interest in downtown living. Assuming the interest in downtown housing exists, the next programming decision was the project density and size, type and distribution of unit types.


82
The density for the project was arrived at through discussion with developers working in that area of Omaha, and an approximation of the density required to support mixed use infrastructure. The specifics of unit size and type were derived from figures presented in the CBD Masterplan and from discussions with the management of several downtown Denver condominiums and apartment buildings.


83
OFFICE and RETAIL
These spaces are to be considered only schematically in this project. The following design guidelines will help in determining the shell requirements for the two uses.
OFFICE SPACE
Flexibility is an essential consideration in office space design. Flexibility is obtained by column spacing which allows for a variety of office landscaping or layout plans and also allows for flexibility in partitioning.
The optimum module is approximately 30', a module which also works well to accommodate underground parking.
Traditionally a depth of 25' (8m.) from building
core to window has been used to optimize daylighting. Currently a depth of 30' has become popular, allowing for greater flexibility of space division. Floor to ceiling height is typically 8' to 9'.
RETAIL SPACE
In retail space design also, flexibility is a key issue. Column spacing should allow for maximum flexibility in store partitioning. Design should provide for future space reallocation and readjustment. Store depths range from 40' to 150'. Typical ceiling height ranges from 9' to 12' .


84
Public access, and especially visual access should be maximized. Window shopping should be facilitated by open space design, possibly including arcades or canopies and street furniture, to bring the customer close to the shop.
For both office and retail uses, service access from a loading berth should be direct and screened from public view. Restroom facilities should be provided for employees and customers. In a mixed use project, support facilities are likely to be centralized, but should be metered separately for commercial uses.
Marketing studies suggest that office tenants in the riverfront redevelopment area would be small space users requiring less than 2,000 sq. ft. per firm. Retail space in the area would be primarily entertainment (restaurants, theatres), shops oriented to park related activities (such as boat or skate rental) and shops directly servicing the residents. Specialty shops may be added as the market is established. At this point in time, the closest major grocery is two miles from the site, however, the scale of this phase of the project could not support such a facility.
For the purposes of this project, possible space divisions will range between 500 and 2,500 sq. ft. It is possible that office and retail use could be located side


85
by side, which is consistent with the site historically as well as reflecting the current practice in lower downtown.


86
URBAN OPEN SPACE
The book Urban Open Spaces makes it abundantly clear that everyone has his or her own idea about what urban space is or is not; should or should not be. The book brings to mind countless questions, such as: Is urban open space an inherently good thing? What is its value? Shouldn't we also consider urban enclosed space? What is the distinction between urban open space and park space?
Is urban open space designed to frame buildings or are building and open space integral threads in a fabric? Is urban open space art?
Throughout history urban open space has served many purposes, including a meeting place or commons (the Greeks and New Englanders), and outdoor enclosed room (the Romans), a glorification of an idea (the medievals), among others. Each distinct approach demonstrates different political or ideological frameworks (democratic versus demagogic for example). Furthermore, I have observed in recent travels that the type of open space which is most popular varies greatly from region to region, due to climate, cultural differences and a variety of other reasons. The pedestrian streets in Copenhagen for example, are entirely different from those in Barcelona. There is no single formula for good urban open space.


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I bring up these ideas to indicate that the designer must identify the conceptual focus of an urban space. In this project the focus will be upon creating a series of spaces which act as transitions from the downtown urban side of the site to the park, and to use the open space as a shared element between the public retail and office uses of the site and private residential uses.
In a recent lecture, Jan Gehl distinguished three types of outdoor activities: necessary acts (such as waiting for a bus), free choice acts (which depend on the quality of a space) and because of acts (social acts).
For the purposes of this project, it will be assumed that the free choice act should be encouraged by open space design. Professor Gehl presented the following "Key Words for Urban Design" to consider in designing open space. The essence of these considerations is to create a space where the individual can choose his or her relation the the space:
1. Protection against traffic and accidents
2. Protection against crime and violence lived in/used
street life street watchers social structure overlapping in space and time


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3. Protection against unpleasant climate wind
rain and snow cold and heat draft
4. Protection against unpleasant sense experiences noise
smog smell
dirt and dust
5. Possibilities for walking space for walking
lines of walk (organized)
distance of walk surface materials surface conditions (snow)
change of level
6. Possibilities for standing standing zones
standing spots
support for standing ("if you have a hole you can be semi-private")
7. Possibilities for sitting zones for sitting
primary seating possibilities (benches, chairs)


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secondary seating possibilities (bollards, planters, "everything in a city should be sitable")
resting places
8. Possibilities to see seeingdistances
unhindered lines of vision views (framed or not)
lighting
9. Possibilities for hearing/talking noise level
talking distances bench arrangements
10. Possibilities for play/unwinding play, dance, music, theatre
different age groups different people
11. Possibilities for a multitude of activities space/area
summer/winter/day/night
12. Possibilities for peace/isolation/inactivity
13. Physiological needs eat/drink
rest
run/j ump/play public toilets


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14. Small scale services (friendly gestures)
signs
telephone booths waste paper baskets post boxes
15. Designing for enjoying positive climate elements sun/shade
warmth/coolness breeze/ventilation
16. Designing for positive sense-experiences aesthetic qualities
views plants
17. Daily maintenance
"built in" possibilities for cleaning snow removal, ice melting, etc.
"built in sturdiness"


PROGRAM


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SPACE ALLOCATIONS
SPACE AREA (gross)
OFFICE 7,000 sq. ft.
RETAIL 7,000 sq. ft.
RESIDENTIAL CONDOMINIUM
Studio: 5 units @ average of 650 sq. ft. 3,250 sq. ft.
1 Bedroom: 30 units @ average of 850 25,550 sq. ft.
sq. ft.
2 Bedroom: 30 units @ average of
1,250 sq. ft. 37,500 sq. ft.
Circulation @ 15% 9,945 sq. ft.
Hot Tub and Sauna facility 800 sq. ft.
TOTAL 77,045 sq. ft.
PARKING
Office: 1 space/500 sq. ft. GFA =
Retail: 1 space/300 sq. ft. GFA =
Residential:
required: 1 space/1 bedroom and studio
lk space for 2 or more Bedroom recommended: 1 space per bedroom TOTAL
TOTAL =133 spaces, @ 330 sq. ft./space, 42
14 spaces 24 spaces
73 spaces 95 spaces 133 spaces 900 sq. ft.


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RESIDENTIAL
ENTRY LOBBY
Must be visually accessible from inside to outside, and yet separated from major public traffic flow Security is a MAJOR consideration Must be directly accessible from parking Shall include mail delivery area
As much of lobby area as possible should be visible from the street or entry way Should be well lit
CORRIDORS, LOBBIES AND ENTRANCE TO INDIVIDUAL UNITS Corridor should act as an interior street Entrance to individual unit should be articulated Attempt to provide natural (ambient) light to floor lobby and corridors Provide trash disposal areas
1 to 2 elevators suggested for this size project Elevator should be buffered from units INDIVIDUAL UNITS
Develop a variety of unit plans
Each unit should have private outdoor space
Private outdoor spaces should be shielded from other
residents


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Party walls used to assure sound isolation Private interior spaces should be zoned away from main living area Attempt lighting from 2 sides Optimize views to lake and park Include design for handicapped persons


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COMMERCIAL
7,000 sq. ft. (gross) retail 7,000 sq. ft. (gross) office Will be developed schematically only Plan for flexible space, ranging from 500 to 2,500 sq. ft. per tenant
Will be at ground levels of site with exposure to pedestrian and auto traffic Will include restroom facilities for employee and customer use
Will have direct service and parking access Natural light and ventilation are to be optimized 1 loading berth required


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SITE DEVELOPMENT
OPEN SPACE
Attempt 40% open space
Should serve as a connection between the CBD and Central Park East
Must be a sequence of differentiated spaces from predominantly urban to predominantly natural Should encourage pedestrian passage through site Should include landscaping, seating areas, and street furniture
Should be screened from residential use Should serve to increase access, both actual and visual, to retail and office spaces Should have adjacency to restaurant with the possibility of outdoor dining area Should provide a variety of stimuli Should have good solar exposure Should not act as a wind funnel Must have protected areas Must have adequate drainage Should allow access for snow removal Must be accessible to handicapped persons Should provide suitable space for vendors