Revitalizing Urban Barriers

TEAM: Sarah Beaudoin (American), Ahnaf Chowdhury (Canadian), Syracuse University School of Architecture


Revitalizing Urban Barriers: A catalyst for urban growth

This project responds to the urban barrier that the I-81 viaduct has created in the city of Syracuse, NY. The removal of the I-81 viaduct gives the site new potential, allowing for a more sustainable, walkable and engaging urban setting. The project is located at an important intersection between Downtown Syracuse and the University area. As a result, it was important to implement key programs that would engage the diverse demographic and serve as a catalyst for urban development. Combining commercial programs with recreational programs responds to the economic and social factors of the site. Retail spaces are allocated on the perimeter of the building, allowing for direct street access while acting as a threshold between the recreation center and dynamic landscape. The landscape is sculpted to host various activities such as table sports and children’s games. This gesture is continued throughout the building, eliminating any “back of house” conditions and providing several small fields for spontaneous activities. The programs of the sports facility are organized around a rock climbing atrium and suspended track, all of which rest on top of the pool using a unique structural truss system.

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