ACKERMAN’S CORNER: A STUDY OF SUBURBAN RETROFIT, ADAPTIVE REUSE, AND SUSTAINABLE REDESIGN TECHNIQUES AT 65 SYCAMORE AVENUE, CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
Marolda, Kenneth G.
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The site at 65 Sycamore Avenue in Charleston, South Carolina, along with two adjacent parcels 81 and 83 Avondale Avenue, are the product of successive waves of suburban development and development that are socially, environmentally, and economically unsustainable. Uncontrolled low-density development has created innumerable urban planning and design problems which must be solved through attuned and attentive redesign efforts. Adaptive reuse, sprawl repair, and sustainable urbanism are tools for handling the immediate issues, however in order to invest in this site – and the surrounding area’s future, long-term tactics must be utilized as well. The site must engage its context in a healthy way, and in turn perhaps it may enable residents to live healthy, more sustainable lives. The ultimate goal is to cultivate a sense of community among a spectrum of diverse ethnic, economic, and social demographics through mixed-use structures that help localize daily activities and take strong architectural cues from the local vernacular styles. In so doing, perhaps designs such as this may help align people’s life cycles and daily activities to the cycles of nature and the local market for a more pleasant and sustainable lifestyle.