MisReading the City anchors the urban condition in the paradigm of modernist fiction.
Located in downtown Chicago, the project uses James Joyce's Ulysses to interpret text and site simultaneously. It addresses the issue of literacy in prisons by hybridizing the Metropolitan Correctional Facility and the Harold Washington Public Library, both located in the South Loop.
In Ulysses, protagonists Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom can represent opposing architectural typologies -- the prison and the library -- that converge to create a new kind of hybrid public space.
Bridging the Correctional Facility and the library, the design combines an expansive floating plaza with a linear park and library annex for prisoners. Inmates and library-goers are exposed to each other through material transparency, and prisoners are offered a new kind of intellectual "escape."
A new 'L' station, horizontal plaza, linear park, and vertical book annex comprise the intervention.
Experimental representation draws from Joyce's concept of fractured perspective: multiple scales and views of the design are shown simultaneously in one drawing. However, no single drawing shows the totality of the intervention. They must be viewed together to understand the whole.
The contradiction of "continuous discontinuities" offers an insight into the text and drives the method of representation.