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ASU urban village shows future of sustainable design for Tempe

Scale models on display at Tempe History Museum

Post Date:05/03/2013

An algae farm, a biodiesel station, an elementary school and nine other buildings make up the vision that fourth year architecture students at Arizona State University have for the future of the Ash and Farmer avenues area in Tempe.

People can see models of the sustainable urban village they designed displayed in the lobby of the Tempe History Museum until June 2. There is no plan to build full-scale versions of these. They are the concepts and ideas of students.

model 2“A goal of the Tempe History Museum is to show how our history and our present may affect our future and to be a welcoming place for discussion. We encourage people to look at these models and let us know what they think,” Tempe History Museum curator Josh Roffler said.

Reid Johnson, adjunct faculty at ASU and design associate at Tempe-based firm Architekton, led the project. The village contains 12 buildings, each designed by a different student and each with a different purpose. The idea was to create a place where sustainability is a key component in building design, transportation and energy.

“The freedom of the design studio at the University lets us explore new ways to assemble cities without the typical development constraints. This studio used this freedom to experiment with ways to create a self-sustaining urban village near downtown Tempe,” Johnson said.

Johnson said they chose the Farmer and Ash avenues area between Rio Salado Parkway and University Drive because it is a bridge between the dense, high rise area of downtown Tempe and the single home and low rise apartment neighborhood.
model 1
“While none of the buildings will actually be constructed, it is fascinating to see what the next generation of architects envisions for our community. The models are intricate and beautifully made,” Roffler said.

Learn about the exhibit and hear Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell
Johnson will give a brief presentation on the project before turning over the lecturn to Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell at the Third Thursday lecture series. Mayor Mitchell will talk about trends in Tempe's economy and culture. Those attending are encouraged ask questions to both presenters.

About the Tempe History Museum
The Tempe History Museum explores Tempe’s identity and builds connections between residents and their community. The museum comprehensively shares Tempe history through exhibits, activities, speakers, collections, research services, music and programs that captivate, connect with and delight audiences. The museum is located adjacent to the Tempe Public Library at 809 E. Southern Ave., just west of Rural Road. Admission is always free.

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