Will Parasite Pre-fab Infect Your City Soon?

{prefab parasitic architecture by Lara Calder Architects}

So it may be unlikely to extremely unlikely that we’ll see something like this in St. Louis or any city less dense than say Boston or San Francisco. Prefab parasitic architecture aims to take advantage of unused and nearly unusable urban sites. The premise is that with the movement to the cities we need to find as many options for housing and just as many locations. Of course there was a time when St. Louis was dense enough to support something very similar and there is plenty of evidence still remaining from that time.

I’m talking about storefront additions, an earlier form of a “parasitic architecture.” Michael Allen over at Eco-absence has photos of a number of examples from St. Louis. And, indeed, examples can be found all over the city. There was a time when there simply wasn’t enough commercial space to serve the 900,000 residents of the city. Not everyone is going to love each result, but storefront additions are part of our architectural heritage. And maybe, just maybe there will be a time when demand for space in the city forces creative architecture again.

{a storefront addition on Manchester Avenue in The Grove}