Co-Opt



As a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic, Millions of square feet of real estate will remain empty and unused long after the pandemic is over. Co-Opt explores existing building typologies that will remain vacant following the aftermath of the pandemic in order to provide interventions of occupancy through challenging the programmatic norms of purpose built spaces.

The pandemic has caused many companies to prolong their work from home orders indefinitely. Businesses have had to drastically restructure their business models in order to survive at the cost of maintaining a mostly vacant building which has resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs, using existing revenue as collateral, and ultimately the closing of many businesses. It is uncertain what the next few years look like after the pandemic. Amidst all the uncertainty remains millions of vacant square footage of prime real estate. This project aims to ameliorate the after effects of vacancy produced by covid through imagining a new type of urbanism that challenges the programmatic use of purpose built spaces.

Looking into typologies including the office, the theater, the parking garage, the library, the gym, and busses my research has been focused on addressing these spaces formally in order to understand how these businesses have been able to operate while being closed to the public. Through understanding their spatial logics, Co-Opt questions how additional work, home, and social programs can be integrated into businesses that are operating in mostly vacant buildings. Are these existing buildings typologies flexible enough to adapt to new realities? 

Each typology has a different projected time of vacancy that must be reflected in the design of each intervention. Anticipating the return of others, how can buildings simultaneously function in new ways while maintaining their traditional uses in smaller footprints.  How do we design for an unknown future?
Faculty Advisor:
Julia McMorrough