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Urban Fortress

Shared By

August King

Project Name

Urban Fortress

Project Status

Student Work


714,384 sq. feet


  • Nicholas Traverse



This student project was completed in Good Grids, a studio course at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York's School of Architecture and Planning which won a 2016 ARCHITECT Studio Prize.

Project Description


The project can be read independently or in si-tu with the studio. The project is a clever reference to the City Club of Chicago's 1913 City Residential Land Development Competition, following the guidelines of the competition as "Late Entries". The Project uses the Chicago 1/4 Block as a means to explore hypothetical urban planning.

The focus for this project was to use the ideas of the grid to explore topological differences through form. The grid utilizes scenarios which would not normally exist together in urban planning, and creates an environment of walk ability between them. Through a compression of regional conditions for housing into a scale of walk ability, lifeless boundaries between the cul-de-sac dweller, high-rise occupant, and Urban and rural multi-family resident, dissolve into rich borders of exchange. Multiple living machines can coexist as a network to produce
new experiences for its inhabitants.

Within the perimeter condition are a catalog of housing types arranged in layers of stratum defined and pierced by the grid. Though the push and pull of the stratum typologies such as the suburban cul-de-sac are able to define, spatially parts of the urban multi-family family housing. While at times, the urban mixed use model pierces the Suburban ring , defining a presence not associated with the traditional Suburban layout.

Urbanistically appearing as a unified object, the quarter block provides eclectic readings and varying experiences traversing through the grid lines in relation to the stratum.
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