The Ribbons Project - Racetracks and trick areas for BMX bikes, unicycles, and pocket motorcycles are combined with program functions like an alternative film theater, acupuncture and chiropractic clinic, martial arts center, circus, and fortune telling. The site is the Albany Bulb, a waterfront landfill/dumpsite plot in Albany, CA.
The Ribbons Project - This project was inspired by the design of the nearby freeway. Different widths of concrete "ribbons" make up the pier system and connect the different programs as well as deforming to accommodate program functions and circulation, while including panels of glass or wood where needed, providing access points and day-lighting.. The width of the ribbons is decided by the amount of traffic that would traverse it.
The Ribbons Project - A view of the ractracks, viewing areas, and trick areas. The trick area's ramp extends to touch the Bulb itself, so that the existing concrete and landfill can continue to provide a customizable trick area as well. The co-opting of space, as is currently seen so often around the Bulb with dog-walkers, graffiti and sculpture, and bike riders, is preserved, since the pier system does not disturb the existing land, and the Bulb continues to provide a setting for a variety of activities.
The Ribbons Project - The fortune teller's building, as viewed from the pier. Ribbons of concrete also make up the pillars that support the pier.
The Ribbons Project - Views of the project
The Ribbons Project - Views of the pier and program.
Research I - When the Bulb site was analyzed, it was found that because it was made of landfill over estuarine mud, it was very highly prone to liquefaction during an earthquake. Liquefaction of the ground material would cause massive damage for any construction directly on the site, thus, the Ribbons project is constructed around the site instead of directly on it, only resting on the site in two places to provide access to and from the Bulb itself.
Research II - Unicycles, pocket motorcycles, and BMX bikes were studied in order to understand and properly construct the ractracks and trick areas.
Evolution of Form I - The pier originally extended along the length of the Bulb before the decision was made to arrange it as a closed loop. The program areas were originally conceived of as inverted bowl-shaped concrete shells before being re-imagined as curving ribbons.
Evolution of Form II - form studies with bent wood led to new forms utilizing the "ribbon" concept.
Evolution of Form III - Interior and exterior spaces in the form studies began to be considered as habitable space.
Evolution of Form IV - A mock-up of the fortune-telling space in wood.
Evolution of Form V - A mock-up of the martial arts space in wood.
Evolution of Form VI - A mock-up of the circus space in wood, including "glass" panels and movable door.