IAH: Reconstituting the coordinates
Master of Architecture
"A demented amoeba [that has] turned itself inside out" (Banham) is one way to describe the living organism we call the contemporary airport. It has a habit of growing haphazardly and unplanned. It combines the infrastructure of politics, technology, economy and ecology into a single urban artifact without an urban framework. Despite their scale, very few airports have been able to define edges, routes and the nature and configuration of centers, leaving passengers and other users in a bewildering megastructure. The airport has not only enabled worldwide transit, it has also served as the "centripetal city whereby a transient population forever circles its notional center" (Ballard). "IAH: Reconstituting the Coordinates" uses program to interpose between two distinct parts of an existing airport; the terminals composed of overly systemic processes and the residual spaces leftover from the five disconnected terminals that make up Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Normally in conflict, due to scale, function and character, a resultant programmatic and spatial transformation creates an urban generator that allows new spatial links with the existing airport. This concept can encourage new and unpredictable programmatic factors that still relate to this unique site, yet fulfill programmatic demands of any variety.