Circuit City

by landingarchitecture

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‘Date: November 2009

Occurrence: CircuitCity Corporation Declared Bankrupt

One country…forty-five states…six hundred four suburbs affected. Left behind in the aftermath of retail economic implosion, six hundred ninety-four big box stores lie dormant awaiting our radical reoccupation, a reoccupation in keeping with ecological succession. Once a viral human ecosystem, the sprawling American suburb, now hollowed by the extraction of its retail core, plays host; terrestrial and aquatic biomes return to subsume the areas of human destruction. No matter how devastated a land may be, in time it will always return to a forest. A secondary succession is among us — an emergent ‘circuit city.’

CircuitCity’s communal location provides the stage for the successive systematic regeneration of ecology, both human and natural. Tree-dotted asphalt fields besiege the CircuitCity big-box in the vapid suburban landscape, a landscape where ecologies are innately intension. Interface between truly ‘natural’ ecosystems and human systems is realized through CircuitCity as ecotone. Scripted deconstruction of CircuitCity big-boxes provides prosthetic ecotones through which an interface of biomes (flora, fauna, and human) may converge. CircuitCity as ecotone, though inherently different from each system, is highly dependent on all. Slicing through the deconstructed CircuitCity, phased eco-vectors extending local ecologies to larger regional biomes blanket the suburban landscape. Whether temperate forest, grassland, desert, chaparral, or wetland, each eco-vector maintains a localized edge effect either blending gradually or abutting sharply with the existing landscape.

Geospatial Information Systems (GIS), parametric modeling (Grasshopper), and prefabrication combine to generate a model for a more sustainable suburbia, deployable across vast landscapes. CircuitCity, though radical in its inception, should be viewed as a catalyst for further exploration in the ecological reoccupation of hollowed suburban retail centers. Viral suburban retail sprawl that once affected area ecologies is now infected — by ecology.’