DOWN the RABBIT HOLE
Collaboration with Juan Saez Pedraja
FINALIST in Tube Competition
"The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well." - Alice in Wonderland, Chapter 1 “Down the Rabbit Hole”
To go down the rabbit hole is to enter into a situation or begin a process or journey that is particularly unique or unusual and becomes increasingly so as it unfolds.
Our plan of regeneration is to incorporate strategic adjacent spaces into the passageway to attract activity and life. Our action is not a static one, but an experiential journey that unfolds along the way. The passageway becomes available to the public for a variety of uses.
As we walk through the passageway we discover niches and holes carved into the tube as caves and burrows in the underground tunnels. These programmatic holes are created by removing volumes from the adjacent space, like spheres and ellipsoids.
Our strategy is organized into 3 main blocks: Program, Space and Infrastructure/Sustainability.
The three bases of a thriving neighbourhood are Community, Wealth and Health. So the three wings of the passageway (East, North and West) exhibit uses related to one of these three bases. As our plan unfolds underground and carves in niches it digs the foundations of the community above it.
Community Wing (East) has a community garden, classroom, conference hall, community room and nursery. This will motivate interaction between the neighbours, and contribute to the supportive tissue of the city.
Wealth Wing (North) includes pop-up shops, workshops and roaming offices, and an art gallery to enhance economic activity, attract visitors and facilitate networking.
Health Wing (West) has a rock climbing gym, skatepark, exercise area and playground. To keep people active, bring life to the space and contribute to public health. At the crossroad, where the wings meet, a crowded plaza with a market, temporary food stands and cafeteria serves the crowd.
In order to not reduce the evacuation width, the holes are obtained by subtracting curved volumes to the space adjacent to the passage and connecting them to it. Those spaces have been selected strategically from redundant storage space in the basement. The storage space taken could be given back to the tenant by using a second level in the holes, or underneath them. The holes are connected with each other through a continuous curvy stripe on the floor that guides the user and creates these holes when it intersects the passageway walls. The interior of the niche is shiny, colorful and polished, as the minerals that show as chopping the mine, contrasting with the roughness of the concrete wall.