The idea of mixed-use residential buildings is rapidly gaining popularity in urban America. The concept of being able to work within walking distance of where you live is both convenient and economical. Matthew Rosenberg, design director of M-Rad Studio, recognizes this, and has proposed a dramatic live/work design for the Downtown Project of Las Vegas, Nevada. Titled Inter-Act Residence, the building (or, potentially, series of buildings) would incorporate modular offices and apartments, strategically arranged for interaction between residents.
Rosenberg’s design has room for two options. One includes a pair of towers side by side, holding offices and apartments respectively. Residents travel between the two and interact in the public space between them, which would be occupied by shops and other businesses. The second scenario proposes one tower with a mixture of offices and apartments. The two types of modules would be interspersed enough to encourage travel within the building, ensuring that residents meet and socialize to and from work. In both cases, apartments and office space is rented or sold together.
The apartment and office modules of the towers are centered around a circulatory ramp. The decision to do away with stairs, as Rosenberg says, comes from a “striving for a perpetual visual and physical connection between residents, where divisions (such as floors and doors) and obstacles (such as stairs) are no longer the architectural norm. We are striving for serendipity.” The spiraling ramp is augmented by large balcony spaces, providing gathering spaces for residents, and disrupting the potentially insular nature of the tower.