Congratulations to Tahoora Alimohammadi, a Mitacs researcher at Masri O Architects, who has successfully defended her Master of Architecture thesis entitled “Urban Design and Development of a Public Space at the City of Kitchener’s Intermodal Transit Hub.” Tahoora’s research at MORe and the University of Waterloo School of Architecture has focused on sustainable and people-oriented strategies for buidlings, urban design and city building, and was co-supervised by Reema Masri and Professor Val Rynnimeri of UW. Read on for more images and the thesis abstract.
Thesis Abstract: “Urban Design and Development of a Public Space at the City of Kitchener’s Intermodal Transit Hub”
by Tahoora Alimohammadi
This thesis uses a case study design approach for the proposed Transit Hub for the City of Kitchener. It focuses on opportunities for a high quality public space or square to better integrate a new urban LRT line and a new regional GO/VIA rail station into the surrounding city. The conceptual framework of this thesis seeks to create a public space at a new transit hub in the city centre of Kitchener and to transform that space into a new place where people can experience a fulfilling public urban life. This design proposal seeks to create an intimate relationship between public life, infrastructure and people. This proposal also envisions a series of diagrams drawn from Edward T. Hall’s proxemics strategy, a non-contact communication that experiments with the adequacy of all defined social spaces.
Within the City of Kitchener, much has already been done to establish the presence of urban design at the human scale, to integrate contemporary ideas into the design of buildings, and to enhance historic natural retreats like Victoria Park. Little has been done, however, to integrate the expanded opportunities for the new design of work and living opportunities in the city center, with the proposal of a new intermodal transit hub in the heart of that growing downtown core.
The design case study and its combination of both of those aspects will seek to create a healthy, people-oriented public environment, one that will also transfer people from one mode of transit to another. With the new surrounding mixed-use developments, and the heritage architecture of Kitchener’s industrial past, the case study demonstrates the typical situation facing most urban centres undertaking LRT and BRT transit expansion in Ontario.