Architectural Fundamentals of Design 

ARCH 471 | Fall 2015
Assistant Professor Carl Lewis 

OVERVIEW:  Design of a Mixed-Use Infill Building for Downtown Champaign 

Although Main Street is a small portion of Champaign’s downtown area, it is a vital part of its urban fabric. With its eclectic streetscape, it is an excellent example of a mid-size, mid-west urban environment. As city centers tried to compete with suburban shopping malls in the 1970’s, they fell prey to the ideology of the period which mandated buildings being torn down rather than being maintained. The vacant lots scattered throughout the downtown area are often used for parking, the open spaces unfortunately providing a fragmentary sense of something being missing. With the increase of people wanting to live in pedestrian friendly environments, it becomes economically desirable to infill these sites with mixed-use buildings.

Your second project this semester will require the design of a new “infill” building to be located in downtown Champaign. This mixed-use building will have a commercial rental space on the first floor and residences above. As is often the case in urban shopping areas, the first floor will be designed as a nonspecific space with maximum flexibility.  This will allow it to be rented by a diverse number of businesses, stores, or even a restaurant.