Friday, July 31, 2009

mMigration Research and Recreation Center Proposal

Our proposal for an architectural addition to the iHotel Conference Center and a site owned by Ameren in Champaign, IL has finally been "released," meaning the poster and model of the proposal are currently on display in the iHotel. Below is a brief summary of the proposal, more info and images here. is necessary to examine the social relations that the means of mobility afford and not only the changing form taken by the forces of mobility.
-- John Urry, Mobilities

For we live in the maps that the colonial surveyors bequeathed us.
-- Paul Carter, Dark Writing

One of the problems in studying "cancer clusters" - statistically high rates of cancer in a given area due to environmental conditions and contamination - is the increasing rate of migration of people over the course of their lives.
-- Richard Huggett, Fundamentals of Biogeography

The mMigration Research & Recreation Center will be a multi-use entertainment and educational facility serving the greater Champaign-Urbana area, and would be focused on various forms of migration. Multiple narratives of human, animal and geological movement in the region would be explored and documented through a media library housing videos, books, oral histories, photographs and digital archives.

The form of the mMigration Center will further visualize and encourage thinking about migration and mobility. Its primary facility will be prominantly located over the current iHotel and Conference Center South of the University of Illinois's flagship campus. Entry to the center will only be available through a satellite portal, located approximately 2 miles to the North, in a lot at the intersection of 5th and Hill Streets. From there an underground walkway and elevators will take visitors under the city and up to the center's 120 ft high facility.

The structure of the main building itself, hovering over the iHotel and Conference Center, is based on soil samples that document ground contamination of the lot at 5th and Hill Streets, where the entrance to the center will be located. This lot was once a manufactured gas plant that operated during the first half of the 20th Century, supplying lighting for Champaign and powering its interurban rail system.

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