Drop and Shop! Just add Corten Steel!

18 Nov

Here on RR we’ve talked a lot about how you can use ISBUs to create “Community Based Commerce Centers”.

We’ve done it before.

Where once there was bare asphalt, all of a sudden there were “seasonal” trade zones”.

In fact, I’ve been in talks with several developers in places like San Antonio, TX, Prescott, AZ, Las Vegas, NV, Fort Myers, FL and Atlanta, GA to do exactly that again. It’s a small part of the work piled on my desk as I type this.

Let’s face it;

The economy isn’t just crushing American Families… it’s crushing “development dreams”.

Our cities are dying.

How many of us drive past abandoned strip malls and seemingly endless fields of asphalt that used to be bustling parking areas for people racing “to and fro” doing day to day shopping?

So again I say;

WHY not use that available space to allow “NEW commerce” to be cheaply and safely created?

Despite what the current administration tells you… Government doesn’t “create” jobs. Entrepreneurs do.

Why not use a building method that would actually allow you to create and then even MOVE these commerce zones as the cities fortunes rebound after all that hard work? Hmmm?

Why not use ISBUs to create “commercial space”?

I mean, I’ve asked this question about a hundred times. And the results in many places is the same.

Lots of goofy grins and rolling eyes from people who claim to be smarter than I…

“Oh crap, Klein’s gonna go on a rant again…”

Some of these “Goons on the Hill” are actually calling me “The Corten Colonel” behind my back.

It’s because these self-aggrandizing poltroons can’t see past their own delusions of grandeur to see COMMON SENSE.

It’s easy;

If you can’t “repair the economy”… “repair the building process”.

Step One:
Find an empty parking lot.

Step Two:
Take a series of “ISBU Pods” and then place them to allow individuals to become everything from food vendors, store-owners to service providers.

Step Three:
Revitalize a neighborhood.

Hello! It works!

They’re even doing it in (gasp!) California!

Meet “PROXY”

From the website:

“A placeholder for a more permanent building, proxy is a temporary two-block construct that imagines a vibrant focal point for commerce and community. proxy is conceived in relation to the realization that, due to the economic downturn, the sites left over from the path of the former Central Freeway, which slice through San Francisco’s Hayes Valley, will be left undeveloped for several years to come. In the meantime, we contend that these sites can be occupied by temporary inhabitations of retail, restaurant, art gallery, garden and community-based uses that add to the richness and diversity of Hayes Valley.

Envisioned with a lifespan of two to three years, proxy is an investigation into the potentials of impermanence. At the same time, the project seeks to re-establish the urban fabric through a combination of frame, fabric, mesh, wall and volume. As a temporary architecture, proxy makes visible many normally concealed aspects of architecture: power distribution, garbage and recycling collection, composting, water storage, and the objectification of individual spaces of habitation. Qualities of transparency, veiling and illuminance not easily achieved with more solid building materials are inherent to more lightweight and temporary structures.

The retail and food component of the project will be comprised of local San Francisco businesses and vendors primarily through small and portable “pop-up” style retail pods. These small scale, 180 square foot, spaces can be individually inhabited or…”

Read more about PROXY – HERE:


Image Credits to:  Envelope A+D

Thanks Heidi, for putting me onto these guys!