Advanced Design Studio: Shim, The Intercontinental Hotel
This project is located at the eastern edge of the important Stadt Park and a block to the south of the Ringstrasse in Vienna, Austria. The new hotel—which takes the form of the typical Viennese block, or Hof—establishes new public space, mediates a new social and natural landscape which connects the concert house to the park, and creates a new architectural promenade for the hotel itself. This is accomplished by allowing the solid, stone clad ring of hotel rooms to float above a dynamic landscape plane which folds up into the court of the hotel activating the interior single-loaded corridor. Space for ice skating is created—on multiple levels—for the Vienna Skating Club in the adjacent plaza that fronts the concert house. This is accomplished by the manipulation of the plane of the landscape. The hotel lobby is situated below the floating ring and the plane of landscape and acts as a point of connection for the various programs of the project.
The Colonial Common was a space of everyday interaction, a place where the layers of the city could overlap—it was a place of montage. From an urban standpoint, Boston is made up of figural green spaces that are connected into networks of public spaces. Cambridge, however, lacks such a central space as the old common has been subsumed by Harvard University. Central square—the new center of Cambridge and the intersection of three major arterial roads—is the ideal place for a new kind of public space, a new common. The overlap of people, nature, cars, shopping, and social gathering creates a synthetic environment. It is a place of the everyday. A new park that splits Mass ave into two one way streets, pulling it apart to make space for the park and pull it into the community. New development, in the form of linear towers hovering over the plinths of the parkscape, reinforce the edge of the park and give the new common a clear edge and definitive reading as a new central space for Cambridge.