The research proposal by Shellar Garcia from the California College of Arts focuses on the horizon line, which is created by the convergence of the Earth’s surface and the sky. In architecture, the site or ground acts as part of the horizon, where buildings impose their presence, therefore fragmenting the horizon. This creates what is called a visible horizon, consisting of the current existent horizon containing transformation. The question then is: Can architectural structures be seamlessly spliced into the horizon line to form new fluid horizons? Fluid horizons refer to characteristics such as continuity and seamlessness, where panoramic views are achieved and not obstructed by existent architecture.
The proposal is located at Russian Hill, which is extremely varied in its topography, specifically at the currently abandoned, Francisco Reservoir. Its drastic slope provides views to strategic places such as Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge, Ghirardelli, and Sausalito.
A 60-degree angle cone of vision was used as a strategy for the design. This generated a surface, which redefines the horizon and guides towards specific views. It also provides the opportunity for program such as sightseeing, play, art, and planting; as well as incorporating other program lacking in Russian Hill such as commercial and office space. This program acts as plug-ins occurring underground to the surface, which also blends and takes advantage of the surface by extending outwards and merging with exterior surface program and views. Since the site is currently an abandoned Reservoir, the surface reincorporates that aspect, where rain water travels throughout and ends on several actual empty lots on the site acting as reservoirs.
Using the horizon line and the views focused within each line, a new form of architecture design emerges, where the design doesn’t start from a plan or elevation, but instead on the perception and perspective performances it will carry. Architecture will not be molded to the ground’s surface, but rather the ground will be treated as part of the architectural construction.
To commemorate the 2013 Skyscraper Competition, eVolo published a collector’s edition of its highly acclaimed book “eVolo Skyscrapers”. The book is a two-volume, 1300-page set with the best 300 projects received during the last years. Only 150 copies are available worldwide.