Stepped Spaces

Related people
Justin Slayton (designer)
Benjamin Wilke (studio professor)
Spring 2019
North and Central America->United States->Michigan->Detroit->Michigan Central Train Station
This was a student project by Justin Slayton for Ben Wilke's course ARCH 8420 in Spring 2019.
"This project seeks to create new spatial opportunities through research into connective public spaces, specifically Roman steps and transport hubs. Roman steps such as the Spanish Steps, Cordonata Capitolina, Scala Regia exist as both a connection between point A and point B while still creating a place of destination and public venue. The various steps host different speeds, sizes, rise/run ratios, but contain four basic types of movement. The advance is the continuous movement up or down through a space. The stop halts movement and usually presents an opportunity for a pause. The turn presents choices of direction in the space. Finally, the retreat are spaces where movement is reflected upon by allowing a chance to look back on a space. A very successful public space should include all of these moments.
Transport hubs act as the venue between people and the mode of transit they seek to use. Most transport hubs become large, static hallways with amenities plugged into the sides. While these spaces are by nature very public, they do not usually seek to create public space. This presents an opportunity for potential interventions to create both a destination and a connective venue in a transport hub.
The Michigan Central Train Station provides a venue with enough rigidity in both program and site to explore the intervention of steps as a public space making tool. In keeping the general layout of the train station the steps begin to fill and dominate the public spaces and organize movement while providing places to advance, stop, turn, and retreat. The general waiting room sinks down and hosts the slowest types of movement and provides the most stops for programs like food carts and newsstands to be inserted. The entry and ticket office zones act as an axis to begin separating slower movements in the waiting room and faster movements in the concourse. The concourse zones are more vector driven and provide fast advance to various points of program while still creating a few places to stop, turn and retreat if needed. The terminals host the quickest movement and the stairs respond to the speed by allowing a plethora access points to and from the tracks which run above the space. Each individual “staircase” acts as part of a whole to create a set of steps as a public space of connectivity. "
ARCH 8420
Academic Class