Each year, Studio Outside interns participate in a week-long project where one element from the Deep Ellum Vision Plan toolkit is chosen and analyzed, criticized, and emphasized. We use this week as a way for the interns to build camaraderie and become more comfortable working with each other. The interns are tasked with creating guidebooks for their selected site. This year, as the third annual intern project, they investigated the “gateways” of Deep Ellum.
The project began with a tour of a few historically significant “gateways” to the City of Dallas and Deep Ellum led by Outsider Isaac Cohen. After the tour, the interns had little time to collect their information and begin working. For the first exploration, the interns were tasked with the following:
Investigating a single “gateway” into Deep Ellum and a single concept/theme that you closely identify with. Developing a conceptual design for the gateway that is driven by your selected theme. Creating 2 conceptual images describing your gateway (and yourself) and what one might hope to find/experience when passing/visiting your gateway.
Exploration 1 images below:
For the second and final exploration, the interns were tasked with the following:
Investigating a single “gateway” into Deep Ellum and a single concept / theme that the group closely identifies with. Developing a conceptual design for the gateway that is driven by your group’s selected theme. Creating a guidebook to this gateway as a primary means of presenting your gateway. Expanding the concept to the entire gateway network of Deep Ellum.
They were encouraged to think wildly and be experimental in the ways they visually communicate their ideas, but more importantly be clear about their idea and how they communicate it.
The interns synthesized their process work into the final product: Compression.
“Gateway: a means of access or entry into a space; a means of achieving a state or condition; a device used to connect two different networks; the introduction to the essence of a place
In the process of studying the divisive history of the connection of downtown Dallas and Deep Ellum, the group chose to create a distinctive edge in between the two neighborhoods through the means of public space. The use of a gateway to differentiate and demark the physical differences of place while vastly improving mobility, walkability, and safety in between downtown and Deep Ellum is the overall goal of the space.
The new gateway to Deep Ellum seeks to connect the downtown core of Dallas to the east side of the unique historic neighborhood. Located beneath the interstate 345 overpass, the chosen site boundary had a distinct set of challenges to be able to create a comfortable public space. Throughout design elements of the gateway, a sense of entry into Deep Ellum is created by physically compressing users to the pedestrian scale of the neighborhood. The use of hardscape, vertical elements, and reducing road width aids in the transition of the large downtown streets to the distinctly gritty, tactile, and urban landscape of Deep Ellum. The experience of moving through the gateway will create an introduction to the essence of Deep Ellum, representing the rich culture and unique urban landscape of the neighborhood.”
Exploration 2 images below: