297_Yu Kono: Deferential Form
Country/City: United States/Houston
University: Rice University
About You: I studied architecture at the University of Cincinnati (BS.Arch 2015) and Rice University (M.Arch 2018) and am in pursuit of becoming an architect. Through these years studying architecture, I often found myself exploring ways in which built-form relates to the constituent's perception of things. With no regards to the programs that infill the built architecture, how can built-form be a visual and physical stimulus that the observer reacts to? This became the foundation for what my thesis has become.
Project Description: The giants of the Tech industry have emerged as a significant presence in the Bay area of San Francisco. Many of them are located in the suburban regions of Silicon Valley where they are in the process of building large, symbolic corporate headquarters. The Silicon Valley sites of these headquarters lack the public amenities of traditional cities that are deemed highly desirable to their workforce. A solution has come in the form of a private mass transit system that shuttles tech employees between their workplace in the suburbs and their homes in city of San Francisco. Reversing the usual center to periphery commuting patterns of the last fifty years, the “Google Bus” system has inevitably lead to gentrification throughout the Bay area with the worst effects being in the City of San Francisco where a doubling of median house prices over the past five years has led to a 2016 total of $1,500,000. As an alternative solution, this thesis attempts to bring the qualities of San Francisco to the suburbs eliminating the demand at the root of a wasteful and unnecessary transit system and runaway gentrification. Given the resources these tech campuses have accumulated, they are able to transform the corporate headquarters as a type into a model of public, mixed-use, corporate campuses that can produce the amenities sought miles away in traditional urban fabric. Open to the cities that surround them, these new mixed use campus’s can create an alternative to the suburb environment in the form of dense urban living with a walkable pedestrian street-scape and public open space.
Instagram Username: @yu_r_kono