We perceive culture as the participation in a latent identity. Cultural Centers must be interventions built upon love; a love that is a gracious manifestation of devotion to the benefit of others in a form that is Phronetic and emits a gravity that draws our hearts to the warmest lights of civilization.
Through imagination and interdisciplinary collaboration we considered the redemptive potential of communo-centric adaptive reuse apropos to the City of Gainesville’s adaptive reuse explorations for some of its existing public facilities. Focusing on a historically Black community in East Gainesville, We noticed that the defunct Station #1 was situated within a place in dire need of love. The design approach acknowledge the laminate histories of place, and this place was a precinct of civic service, sacrifice, rescue , and compassion. The scheme accepts the bonding influences of St. Francis House to the north, a new fire station south, and the residential fringe to the west.
The urban itinerary of this site is understand through the lens of opportunities for compassion, consideration, and kindness. The project establishes a threshold relationship with Main St, and remains open to adjacent uses. More conceptually, we envisioned the treater as a social threshold, such that the design offers a theater for dwelling – open to families, individuals and people of all ages to come and have an urban meeting place. This is essentially a space of public participation, replete with kindness.
This design rethinks sedimentary past to propose a dynamic and fluid future. The C.F.C.A program offers 10,000 SF of cultural amenities including a Young Adult Treasury Theatre, covered Antetheatre, adult/ vocation education facilities, bakery/ café to serve the St. Francis homeless shelter, a teaching kitchen seasonal food garden, and the Proscenium theatre- an outdoor gathering space to welcome community activation and anchor a renewed urban fabric.