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El Encanto District
Project Type: Master Planning and Conceptual Design Project Status: Completed Dates: February 2020 - May 2020 Site Area: 590.75 acres Team: Castillo Arquitectos (lead) + Plusurbia Design + Leon Sol arquitectos consultores + Zanetta Illustration Client: JOR., S.A. El Encanto District Master Plan was carried out during a Design Workshop called a "Charrette." This was carried out at the El Encanto facilities in February 2020. During an intensive work session of 5 consecutive days, the designers collaborated with the client to define the project's objectives, generate consensus regarding its vision, and represent a strategy for strategic projects to be developed in different stages of intervention in El Encanto. The Charrette began with an extensive reconnaissance visit to both Phase 1, the Huizúcar area, and the 68 blocks in San José Villanueva. The resulting Master Plan that was developed responds to the needs of El Encanto and its stakeholders, providing a holistic approach to the District's urban design. It features four strategic pillars: 1) Mobility, 2) Public Space & Infrastructure, 3) Housing, and 4) Landscape & Ecology. These four pillars address the various challenges faced by El Encanto. It defines the necessary strategies to improve mobility and connectivity, as well as an overall urban development plan; it proposes a mix of housing types and suggests ways to promote climate-resilient and green housing; finally, the Master Plan promotes a comprehensive approach to landscape design, with an emphasis on restoring natural areas and creating recreational spaces. In all, El Encanto’s Master Plan is designed to help the city become a more livable, vibrant, and sustainable place for locals.
Brandon Town Center
Brandon Town Center Project Type: Master Planning Project Status: Under Construction Dates: September 2018 - February 2019 Site Area: 56 acres Team: Plusurbia Design Client: Rotunda Land Development The Brandon Town Center is a mixed-use, walkable downtown environment planned for Brandon, a primarily suburban community located east of Tampa in Hillsborough County. The project includes a variety of uses, including commercial, entertainment & recreational space; multi-family residential; single-family homes; civic & government services; parks; and public art. The project's goal was to create a vibrant, pedestrian-oriented downtown environment that would provide an amenity to the community while providing a positive return on investment for our client. The plan features a main street with mixed-use buildings flanked on either side by attached single-family houses (row houses). There is a stormwater and recreational pond and a food hall that anchors the central green space and looks out onto the pond. The design also includes public open spaces for recreation, seating, shade trees for cooling, and play structures. Innovative stormwater managing techniques will be deployed, including green infrastructure such as rain gardens, permeable pavements, and bioswales to manage stormwater runoff. Each area is designed according to the wants and needs of the community, with special consideration given to the existing landscape and ecological systems. A vehicle-free street type is used in the master plan to provide enhanced pedestrian connectivity, safety, and comfort. The streets are designed to be naturally traffic-calmed, with on-street parking, wide sidewalks, street trees, and textured crosswalks.  These streets aim to create a pedestrian-friendly environment that can host various activities, such as outdoor markets, performances, and promenades.
Village of El Portal – Design Guidelines
Village of El Portal Design Guidelines Project Type: Planning Project Status: Completed Completion Date: October 2020 Site Area: 256 acres Team: Plusurbia Design Client: Village of El Portal The Village of El Portal Council unanimously adopted the first El Portal Design Guidelines on October 27, 2020. The guidelines were developed after the Village Mayor Claudia V. Cubillos and Village Council directed the Planning Consultant to develop Architectural guidelines; these guidelines aim to preserve and enhance the Village of El Portal's unique character while allowing for change through new development. The El Portal Design Guidelines articulate design principles that guide architects, developers, and property owners in creating a built environment compatible with existing structures, open spaces, and the public realm. They intend to provide a framework for the successful execution of quality urban design and architecture in El Portal, addressing building composition, scale, and articulation to establish a measure of architectural harmony that accommodates diverse styles and uses and addresses landscaping and site design elements. The guidelines also facilitate the review process by clarifying the architectural expectations of the community. These standards aim to achieve street-friendly buildings, authenticity, climate responsiveness, and contextuality. This document sets general guidelines concerning its purposes and contents and are not meant to be regulatory.
Hialeah Heights
Hialeah Heights Project Type: Master Planning Project Status: Completed Completion Date: April 2020 Site Area: 33 acres Team: Plusurbia Design Client: City of Hialeah Emerald Bay is a Conceptual Master Plan created in collaboration with the property owners, their consultants, and the City of Hialeah’s Planning Department to encourage a mixed-use, connected walkable development. The initial research and stakeholder meetings of the existing municipal regulatory conditions and a review of existing site plans in the area showed great potential to create a traditional neighborhood-style site planning and development framework. This project aims to provide a well-knit neighborhood lifestyle in a walkable environment. It offers several green spaces and amenities such as a clubhouse, pool, dog park, fitness center, and water features. It also considers a multimodal approach by providing walkable and bikeable streets that can connect to adjacent future projects. The design is divided into two properties with current industrial use that are designed similarly and function independently. This proposed multi-family design, within the City’s annexed area named “Hialeah Heights” at the northwest of the City’s boundaries, is planned to provide an urban framework that can expand to adjacent properties connecting to the proposed streets and block structure. It proposes 900 medium-income rental multifamily units designed in 3-4 story garden-style apartment buildings with 2- and 3-bedroom units. The design creates a traditional neighborhood with diverse building types, creating an exciting and vibrant community that encourages pedestrian movement and social engagement.
Little Havana Revitalization Master Plan
Little Havana 'Me Importa' Revitalization Master Plan Project Type: Neighborhood Revitalization Project Status: Completed Site Area: 1,700 acres Team: PlusUrbia Design + National Trust for Historic Preservation + Dade Heritage Trust + Urban Health Partnerships + Live Healthy Little Havana + City of Miami Client: Health Foundation of South Florida Plusurbia led the team in the partnership, preserving the authenticity of Little Havana while creating design guidelines for proper growth and development and setting the stage for zoning recommendations. The unprecedented project was in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which named Little Havana a “National Treasure.” The effort also focused on healthy urban living, a goal of project partner Live Healthy Little Havana. Dade Heritage Trust and Urban Health Partnerships were also partners in this initiative to retain character, density, scale, and affordability in Little Havana. This is an outgrowth of PlusUrbia’s advocacy for a complete streets approach to the pending FDOT redesign of the Calle Ocho corridor (SW 7 and SW 8 streets between SW 27 and Brickell avenue). Images were created of a 21st-century Calle Ocho with multimodal transportation alternatives such as dedicated bike and transit lanes, comfortable wide sidewalks, and additional safe crosswalks in a vibrant urban setting. Dade Heritage Trust 2017 Annual Preservation Award Making Cities Livable Conference - Honor Award for Excellence - A Healthy City for All 2019 APA Florida 2019 Award of Excellence in the Grassroots Initiative category APA Florida Gold Coast Chapter 2019 Award of Excellence for Best Plan, Report, or Study         
Wynwood Steps
Wynwood Steps Mixed-Use Concept Architecture Project Type: Concept Architecture Project Status: Completed Dates: April 2016 Site Area: 1.75 AC Team: Plusurbia Design Client: Goldman Plusurbia was tasked to create an innovative way to intertwine public and private space in a mixed-use project for one of the most prominent sites in the Wynwood Arts District. The Project combines the street-level pedestrian experience, creative office, and retail space through a seamless circulation strategy. It created an outdoor amphitheater-stepped seating space using a recessed gran stair overlooking the street combined with native landscaping. The design also considered pedestrians' circulation to access public and private areas. The result is a beautiful and vibrant place that perfectly complements the surrounding district while providing a safe, comfortable, and inviting experience to all who visit. Given its location and the civic space provided, the project has an iconic identity, showing that urban design can be both aesthetically and functionally successful when thoughtfully designed. This project is also a great example of how sustainability can be integrated into design through landscape, featuring native species and drought-tolerant plants requiring minimal maintenance. The design indicates how urban design can bring communities together, create beauty in the cityscape, and positively impact the environment. It is an inspiring example of how responsible urban planning and design can make our cities more livable, sustainable, and enjoyable. Plusurbia is committed to creating resilient cities with projects like this one that demonstrate how thoughtful design can promote social inclusion and environmental stewardship.
DongJiang Gang
DongJiang Gang Master Plan Project Type: Urban & Architectural Design Project Status: Planned Completion Date: February 2012 Site Area: 17.3 acres Team: PlusUrbia (lead) + studio LFA+ LopezJaimes + Walter Chatham Client: Vanke Tianjin DongJiangGang, located on newly reclaimed land on the waterfront of the Bohai Bay in Tianjin, China, creates a new paradigm as a livable community in the region being in harmony with its environment, embedding sustainable and inherent site elements in a built and natural twine that results in a jiving environmental concert. A careful study of northern-European waterfront city-making traditions in similar climatic conditions to those of DongJiangGang led the design of DJG to become highly conscientious in its design intentions and results that promote discourse ­­between its built and unbuilt dichotomies, from the desire to create safe, healthy, and educated communities that evolve into resident-oriented and environment-friendly master plans, design results in the culmination of well-stitched patch-work between commercial centers, residential units, and waterfronts providing open water views to all residents and visitors from both public and private locations. Therefore, the wharf becomes a superb setting for this romantic idea of shared spaces and commonwealth, where people can enjoy ocean views indoors and varied outdoor areas. The master plan promotes this common-wealth idea by providing ‘shared’ views of the water maximized by willing the buildings into v-shapes that, enhanced with height, hierarchy, and variation in residential typologies, create a homogeneous array of unit types that encourage social interaction. Careful attention has been given to the shoreline design that becomes the central community amenity. This continuous linear open space makes a unique recreational space for residents and visitors alike. It protects and promotes the area's natural beauty while standing as a unifying edge that transitions from “life-by-the-water’s-edge” to a rational interpretation of traditional waterfront living. The language of the architecture attempts to bridge a contemporary paradigm of the historical precept on newly reclaimed (man-made) land. Un-served by immediate stylistic or historical context. Simplicity and elegance are paramount to creating a backdrop to the site's natural beauty, engaging the sun, water, and site edges without whimsically applying paradigms that contradict or dictate new forms or discourse. In respect to this dialogue between nature and unique form that detaches and engages the site conditions, DJG employs simple shapes and colors that are disposed and utilized following pragmatic precepts: i.e., openings to provide views, volumes to orient and terminate vistas, so architecture creates backdrops and responds to their civic duty of creating and enhancing spaces subdued by the human scale and proportion laws.
DongJiang Gang Competition
Project Type: Master Plan Competition Project Status: Planned Completion Date: March 2010 Site Area: 17.3 acres Team: PlusUrbia (lead) + Studio LFA + LopezJaimes Client: Vanke The site’s advantageous zoning and planning directives have resulted in a design closely related to the best traditions of Northern European Harbours such as Haffen City, Borneo in Amsterdam, and Malmo in Sweden while creating a new Chinese architectural paradigm. The design considers all the conditions conveyed to us during our visit to Tianjin and builds upon its relationship to the Harbor by not only being inspired by it but actually reusing shipping containers and learning from their dimensions to define the design’s form. The Wetlands have provided a very romantic story for this project where the port can disintegrate into ruins, “a memory of place” similar to the writings of J.B. Jackson. The port is therefore reused artistically within the project's architecture, both in its units and as monuments at key points. They become gateways into nature and, finally, part of nature itself, an economical and environmental way to construct architecture and the landscape - two very important aspects of any project these days. Above all, and even though this type of architecture has been attempted before, very few whose use of recycled elements is inherent in the history of the actual site, a port, and waterfront where nature intrudes and creeps into the architecture such as here.
Emergency Social Market (ESM)
Emergency Social Market (ESM) Project Type: Modular Growth Study Project Status: Planned Completion Date: April 2012 Site Area: 17 acres Team: PlusUrbia + OSKI studio Client: In-house study ESM has been designed to grow organically over time. Both the housing stock and the planning evolve with the community's needs by systematically adding modules and consolidation of parcels systematically. ESM applies to building blocks or modules to single-family and multi-family designs. The single modular house may be placed on different lot types to become detached, semi-detached, or attached (in townhouse form). A base module of 3 x 3 meters is used for housing typologies that can grow and evolve from a small one-bedroom house to a full-size three-bedroom house. Modular multifamily units are also based on a 3 x 3-meter module allowing additions and sub-division. A basic two-bedroom unit is a standard that can be increased by joining the abovementioned unit. It can also be subdivided to allow commercial uses to be part of the mix, creating live-work units that serve the community’s needs. Internal spaces are secured by gates and provide semi-private open spaces shared among the households. A 19 sm unit is designed to be the smallest possible denominator provided for a family. With an average parcel size of 100m, these basic homes can grow to 131 sm in two floors. The intent is to provide enough flexibility for a family to make the investment and make their homes a long-lasting investment in creating a community.
New Town Phoenix
New Town Phoenix Project Type: Urban Design Project Status: Planned Completion Date: May 2010 Site Area: 76 acres Team: PlusUrbia + studio LFA + OAD Client: Vanke New Town Phoenix proposal offers a unique opportunity to address the re-development needs of a vibrant city with a rich history almost destroyed during the 1976 earthquake. Located in the central area of Bohai Bay, Tangshan borders on the Bohai Sea in the south lies against the Yanshan Mountains in the north, and adjoins Beijing and Tianjin in the west Qinhuangdao in the east. The site is conveniently located northwest of the city’s central business district, in one of Tangshan’s newest neighborhoods, considered the city's heart. The site is near the old airport location and close to a beautiful set of recently designed parks and memorials. Through a recent partnership with private international companies Tangshan, it will soon become an ecological city and serve as a model for its measures to relieve the pressure on the country’s congested and polluted mega-cites. Tangshan has constantly sought to renew itself, always maintaining hope and ensuring that past prosperity ensures future success. Thanks to its residents' dedication and determination, Tangshan has become an exemplary model of the city “reborn.” Over the last century, Tangshan has emerged as a major hub of China’s modern industries. It has witnessed the founding and implementation of China’s first mechanized coal mine; the first standard-gauge railway track; the first steam locomotive; and the first barrel of machine-made cement, among others. Tangshan enjoys a first-class infrastructure and industrial capacity complemented with iron, steel, coal, electric power, building materials, machinery, chemicals, and ceramics as the pillars. The city has established itself as a critical industrial base for energy and raw materials in the country.
BAC House
BAC House Project Type: Architectural Design Project Status: Planned Completion Date: April 2012 Site Area: 3,200 SF Team: PlusUrbia + 1521 Design Studio Client: Bakehouse Art Complex Board of Trustees Bakehouse Art Complex is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to attracting emerging mid-career artists in South Florida to a workplace that provides affordable studios, exhibition galleries, and professional development opportunities. Initially built in the early 1920s as the American Bakeries Company, The Bakehouse Art Complex (BAC) purchased the property and retrofitted the facility into working studios for artists and exhibition galleries. PlusUrbia and 1521 Design Studio collaborated on this project, which attempts to redefine and upgrade their primary exterior event space and lobby, improving the circulation and visibility of both the gallery and the studios. For the exterior event space, we conceived an intervention that is endowed with a considerable level of autonomy. By clearly defining the space and providing a compatible yet distinct language, the existing and proposed intrinsic characteristics are redefined in a new choreographed space. This strategy offers a location for outdoor venues and a welcoming entrance to the BAC’s facility. The design provides a well-defined three-dimensional space that becomes the heart of the new BAC. The objective of the lobby is to create a space that captures the essence of the former bakehouse while incorporating contemporary elements such as industrial lighting, a stainless steel table, and repurposed wood.  This ensemble results in a nostalgic and elegant atmosphere. In collaboration with 1521 Design Studio.
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