Travelling Scholarship Travelling Studio
Image from winning Rotch 2009 project. Boston Ice Storage building.

Image by Brandon Shigeta

Joshua Simoneau, 2008 Rotch Scholar

Problem

Develop a community arts center for Dudley Square.

Solution

Live Wired

Most cultural institutions serve only part of a population. A majority knows their exterior shape, only a minority knows what happens inside.

This project addresses the connection between the Community Arts Center and the Public by considering not only the building itself, but its relationship to the master plan as a whole.

A dense mosaic of programmatic elements including performance theaters, internet cafe, gymnasium, and classrooms will attract a diverse population to Live Wired, a new community arts center at Dudley Square. Ideally situated between residential neighborhoods and public transportation, Live Wired has a tremendous opportunity to bring a sense of identity and coherence to not only the Dudley Square area, but the larger metropolitan area of Roxbury as a whole.

Although the creative program offered by the center provides a certain energy and creativity that is currently lacking, it is essential that it provide a public gathering space in order to strengthen community pride and create a successful urban place. In order to accomplish this, the visitor is treated as if a character in a performance. The building reveals its contents to the city without being didactic; at the same time the city is exposed to the public inside in a way that has never happened before. A comprehensive public route connects all public functions around a central space by means of stairs, terraces and passages: the building becomes an architectural adventure. Not only is this realized through visual connections between different programs, but most importantly by means of the "Urban Stage" at the heart of the project. This iconic public space enables the possibility of accommodating virtually any type of program on a twenty-four hour basis. The strategic location of this space encourages impromptu performances as well as scheduled events.

A number of smaller workshops, labs and studios, will also encourage exploration in the arts, through a variety of media. However, the ultimate goal is to create a social center enriched by multi-generational interaction which reinforces existing retail business and promotes economic growth, making the adjacent neighborhoods more desirable.

Final program

Preliminary program

Past winners