The Community Center for Communal Urban Living is an exercise in representation and the self-referential feedback loop. The Center uses the city, in this case Chicago, as a space for the study of communal living within an urban environment. Using techniques discovered in the case study experiment, the Community Center warps the traditional sense of place and develops the institution as a space within the city and the city as a space within the institution. The Center is both the building and the city and contains space for communal living, working, and recreation.
The works of Étienne-Louis Boullée and Zaha Hadid are used as stylistic framing devices for the American “utopia” case study, Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti, a communal desert living experiment designed for the study of urbanism and architecture. A drawing of the case study is created in both styles. These are then “combined” and represented as a single composite model. Conceptual and physical characteristics of this model, a community that studies community represented in both two and three dimensions, are extracted to design the Community Center. This process abstracts and transforms the initial drawing set into the self-referential community, a spatial construct of both city and architecture that exists at both scales.