Friday, September 25, 2009


The Woodrow Wilson School is currently being used as a continuing education facility, but with the Fargo community expanding, another school is being built in South Fargo. This new building will shift the uses of existing schools leaving the Woodrow Wilson school vacant. To ultimately enhance $ for the community it is important create tools for people who want to occupy downtown spaces.  Diverse property types, affordable housing for all people, and cultural sensitive businesses offer endless opportunities for downtown occupants.

I plan on transforming the Woodrow Wilson structure into a diverse housing unit, add businesses and entertainment to suit the needs of the neighborhood, and provide more new housing on the same site.  
A new mixed used cultural building will ground the new arc thrift store, day care, food, more housing, and a small tech center, while leaving a protected 'green' zone giving the families of the neighborhood a safe place to escape to. 
This neighborhood has great potential because of its prime location. Situated on the corner of University Avenue and 4th Avenue N, the public transportation routes constantly run by (see map below).  Also, it's a mid-point between the NDSU main campus and downtown campus attracting traffic throughout the day. Providing more housing and businesses through renovations downtown will help create density (relying less on cars), fight urban sprawl, and utilize wasted space.

Desgin begins very basic. What makes sense? 

yellow = diverse housing
green = mixed use with housing on uppermost level
pink = single family housing
blue = green space

Spaces to Include:
mixed use- 
-daycare (toilet rooms, kitchen, play area, nap area)
-clothing store
-restaurant (kitchen, indoor and outdoor dining)
-hostel for travelers above (4 kitchens/4 living spaces/ 1 common rec area with computers/ 8 sleeping rooms/ 4 sets of bathing spaces)
mixed housing-
-36 total units (1 br, 2 br, & 3 br variety)
bus stop/warming house
bike racks
underground parking garage
indoor common area (pool and hot tub)
community gardens
single family housing-
contains typical living spaces

Mixed use parking: None is required, customers can park on the street in diagonal parking spots. The travelers who have cars can also park on the street. Business owners and employee's can park in the proposed parking garage.
Renovated WW: A drop off area is necessary on the west side of the building because of the busy traffic on University. An underground parking structure will be built beneath the green space for residents of the WW complex. 
Single family housing: These people can either park in diagonal spots on the street side of their house, or park below grade and share the parking garage. 

I think it is important to think about how these spaces and surrounding spaces will be used in the future. The form I will push further to design, is option #1. Having built structures on the west, north, and east side of this block will take advantage of natural sunlight, protect the inner courtyard from nasty weather, and allow for expansion going south. This area of downtown Fargo is full of dense housing units. I think it would be great if they had a large green space to share. My idea is to merge the two blocks, build around the west and south side, then leave the space in the middle for permeable pavement parking and more green space for outdoor entertainment.




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