Bozeman Urban Growth Center
Interview with Jessica Bone
Bozeman Urban Growth CenterFor my senior capstone project, there was a significant amount of flexibility including site selection, program selection, and the scale of the project. The only initial requirements were 1) it include housing and 2) that design be situated within the R/UDAT (Residential Urban Design Assistance Team) district of Bozeman (an geographical space consisting of the Bozeman’s Northeast Neighborhood (NE)–an area that encompasses the Northeast Urban Renewal District (NEURD), the Rouse Corridor, the historical rail yard, and Story Mill Park). The studio I have designed is acknowledged as the “hybrid studio,” and therefore encouraged a diverse incorporation of activities both within the building and its surrounding areas.
The site I selected is directly across N. Rouse from the Cannery District and is nestled in the tall grass fields between the train tracks and I-90. This is currently an unused space with direct access to the Story Mill Spur Trail along with high site visibility while entering or leaving Bozeman. Shortly into the design process, it was discovered that the majority of the site is a reclaimed wetland. This is what solidified a commitment to public space and sustainable practices and, further into the process, resulted in relocating the building at the northern edge of the site along the freeway embankment. An initial analysis of the surrounding area revealed the juxtaposition between the industrial nature of the RUDAT and Cannery Districts, and the rural lands to the north and east. This dichotomy inspired an exploration into the potential of vertical farming and the opportunities it presents for providing a localized circular economy on site.
Once sustainable infrastructure came to the forefront of the design, it was a natural projection to research a highly recognized sustainable infrastructure which is missing in Montana: glass recycling. This is something which has frustrated me since moving to Bozeman four years ago and I was excited to address this issue through my design. Moving to a more local scale, I researched the homeless population of Bozeman, which stands at an average of 200 people each day. This puts 13.5% of the population under the federal poverty level and at risk for food insecurity. After witnessing their success in Seattle, WA, I decided to implement a Catalyst Café into my design. This program is a restaurant which has proven to be a successful business model for training the disadvantaged and homeless population in the food industry and assisting in future job placement within the local community. Transitional housing was a natural continuation in program development for those participating in the program and forms a mutually beneficial partnership with the local warming center. To supplement these programs, I also added a store to sell the fresh produce from the vertical farm at a local level and a zero-waste grocery store, which encourages sustainable solutions to be implemented conveniently within the Bozeman community.
These programs were initially five individual buildings which I condensed into one building to provide a more urban solution. Moving the building up onto the freeway embankment preserved the wetland, provided exterior community space, and encouraged the program to be stacked vertically. After studying the wood and steel structure which Marte.Marte Architects employ in Austria, I decided to use a similar system. As you move vertically through the building, the exterior becomes more and more exposed in accordance with the programs. The recycling center on the ground floor is fully encased in wood to provide security while the vertical garden on the top floor only utilizes wood for the truss system while the rest is glazing.
Throughout the semester I worked in collaboration with two students, Kali Peterson and Kaitlyn Kuntz, whose individual sites neighbored mine. To develop a neighborhood energy strategy, we each implemented piezoelectricity, solar photovoltaics, and hydro power. My site specifically housed a massive water tower that housed so much water, that when released and passed through the hydro power engineering, would provide enough surplus energy to power all three sites for 22 hours. The pump storage hydro power will act as battery and, when there is a deficit from other on-site renewable sources, the water will be released through a turbine and fed back to a storage pond on an adjacent site.