Some may see route 676 in Philadelphia as a fissure that divides the city negatively, but it presents a positive site for an architectural intervention. Urban Culture is a ~50,000sf housing project geared to activate the vacant void directly over route 676 between 11th and 12th streets, formerly the throughway of the Reading Viaduct.
Urban Culture is not just a general reference to city life, but an industrial plant processing algae biomass from CO2 emissions of autos travelling on the expressway underneath. In this, the project incorporates one part housing, one part industry, and one part urbanity while exploiting three cyclical themes in its execution- urban flows, green flows, and water flows.
Conceptually, the building is a vector connection between north and south, center city and the adjacent north neighborhoods, and a vertical and horizontal extension of urbanity -- an architectural threshold welcoming travelers, visitors, and locals.