Client: Van Alen Institute

Location: Flint, Michigan

Completion: 2013

Type: Competition

Team: Amir Kripper, Ryan Hogan, Chris Li

The aim of the proposal, float, is to challenge the notion of the flat parking lot, understood as a generic and banal space, namely a sea of cars. Therefore, two main strategies were deployed on the site. First, to establish a new organizational hierarchy, by introducing a band using one bay of parking spaces, where seating is provided. At the end of the band, there is a focal point, an iconic object floating above ground, occupying only eight parking spaces. This “magic box”, raised twelve feet above ground, provides shading for the stage and acts as an anchor to the site. This operation can be summarized as from “flat” to “float”.

The second strategy that shapes the proposal is the choice of materials: wooden logs. Flint, its inception and development, is tightly linked to the the lumber industry. Beginning in the 19th century, Flint became the center of the Michigan lumber industry which later progressed into the carriage industry and then further developed into automobile manufacturing. Therefore, using logs as seats and cladding evokes an emblematic and glorious history, as well as celebrating the simplicity and beauty of the wood. Ultimately, the goal of float is to re-imagine the traditional parking lot using minimal resources by creating a new iconic space for the city of Flint.