Infrastructure: Emergent Form

Kurtis Nishiyama | Senior Research Studio

Marc Boutin | Faculty Supervisor


Infrastructure is a place of movement, communication, and exchange, which organizes and manages complex systems of flow; however, it is the rapid construction and under conceptualization of these systems which becomes the problematic to our urban spaces. Infrastructure is too often based on linear systems-principles of separating movement and minimizing conflict, rather than existing as one element on a fluid, dynamic network.

This project embraces infrastructure as a sense of place, utilizing ‘bundling’ as the key operation to yield new programmatic and spatial experiences. Through a process of ‘emergent form’, revealed the capacity of infrastructure to perform on an architectural level and engage the public realm.


The intervention is located between 5th and 4th St SW along Calgary’s CPR Corridor. Mapping, design strategies, and resolving the design to a high resolution, were the steps taken in the development of this project. To augment the ordering of movement and recalibrate infrastructure as an open, adaptive, and responsive environment, this project performs on four interdependent scales:


Global Scale: The Infrastructural Network

The intermediary of global access with local interest


City Scale: Systematic Efficiency

Vehicular, rail, and pedestrian efficiency in two terms; optimization of flow and optimization of engagement


Block Scale: The Mixing Box

Bundling systems and wrapping mixed use to optimize engagement through an evolutionary process.


Building Scale: The Social Condenser

Places of high density with the ability to adapt to residential or office space, while generating social ‘friction’