To keep pace with the changing face of downtown areas as they transition from understated business and commerce centers by day into lively areas for social and cultural engagements by night, urban developers are designing infrastructure that can adapt to meet an evolving set of needs.
One example of this Elastic Environments trend is a project by Architecture For Humanity Denver, which is seeking to raise money on Kickstarter for the transformation of a museum parking lot into an outdoor classroom for children in need. Denver’s Museo de las Americas’ mission is to educate the community about the diversity of Latino Americano art and culture, but the museum is lacking the necessary space for its increasingly popular youth summer camp.
The goal of the new design is to convert the outdoor parking lot into a multi-purpose classroom by building a permanent fence, surface and overhead canopy for shading the classroom in the summertime. The space will be flexible enough to still accommodate parked cars when not being used as a classroom, and will also be able to host other community events such as movie screenings. The majority of the materials used for the outdoor classroom will be salvaged from a building currently being demolished that would otherwise go to waste, however the final funding will come from a crowdsourced effort via Kickstarter.
Elastic and changeable environments such as this outdoor classroom are designed to accommodate a range of use cases, transforming a single-use environment into a multi-use destination that attracts a mix of demographics.