Posts Tagged ‘Landscape’
Aldgate, one of the medieval gates of London, sits between the old City and the new eastern development for the 2012 Olympics. The Aldgate Aerial Park resists the binary relationship of the traditional gate typology. More than just a singular threshold between one urban zone and another, the network of vaults span multiple streets and pathways. Rather than a simple opening between one place and another, it expands out into the city and forms its own identity as a new urban park. The aerial park creates a space of relaxation and community above the chaos of the city streets. The cells of the park include amphitheaters, gardens, restrooms, and open spaces. Rather than reinforce the dividing line between new and old London, the new gate attempts to create a spatial blur that brings people together.
Description: For over 100 years, Horseshoe Cove has undergone massive spatial, programmatic, and ecological change. From its early years as grazing land to its long military use, the Cove has evolved to its current status as one of the Bay Area’s most significant cultural, educational, and recreational sites. However, the site has been developed in a piecemeal fashion that has resulted in the abandonment of the water’s edge. Although other sites such as the Cavallo Conference Center and the Bay Area Discovery Museum draw large groups of visitors, the water’s edge has remained in a state of neglect and disuse.
This proposal for the redevelopment and restoration of the water’s edge starts with the concept creating a dynamic, mixed-use site. The Cove is unique in its combination of recreational, military, and educational uses and the goal is to support and grow this programmatic diversity. This is accomplished through the construction of an interdigitated landscape between land and water. Like the fingers of two hands interlocked, the project stitches together the larger landscape into the San Francisco Bay. Land is pushed out into the water and water is pulled back into the land. Although the overall “horseshoe” shape of the cove is retained, a much more dynamic and diverse water’s edge is created. Understood biomimetically, the folding of the water’s edge increases its overall surface area and becomes a better filter between the land and water.
The folded joint between the land and water acts as the central circulation across the site. Its meandering geometry extends the promenade and connects it back with several important site features. The interior of each fold houses the primary functions of the site. From providing improved fishing piers to creating a bermed earth outside amphitheater, this project spine connects and redistributes the activities of the site. In addition to a warming hut containing restrooms and a waterfront café/restaurant, one of the new landscape piers houses a community event space that can be reserved by the public for things such as weddings, reunions, and other social gatherings. Finally, the inland landscape folds contain programs such as a National Park Service Visitor Center and Shop as well as a bike and boat rental/repair shop.
Beyond the programmatic diversity of the project, there is also a strong desire to integrate the ecological diversity of the site into the project. Several methods have been used to restore and enhance the ecological footprint of the project. Starting on western side of the site, the existing underground drainage system is daylighted, creating a new stream that would support flora and fauna as well as providing an opportunity for interpretive walks from the discovery center. This stream would exit into a newly constructed estuary on water’s edge. In the center of the site, a newly created wetland and bio-pool would process and store the graywater from the site while providing for educational and recreational opportunities. A contemporary interpretation of the famous early-20th century Sutro Baths across the bay, the bio-pool would quickly become a Bay Area icon of health, ecology, and recreation.
The project proposes two energy generation strategies through the use of wind and solar power. The Horseshoe Cove and Discovery Center parking lot will be covered with photovoltaic solar panels. Not only will these panels provide the project with energy, but they also provide shade for the cars below. Wind power is provided through a series of wind turbines sited near the historic Fort Baker bunker in a prime wind corridor. The turbines would be painted to match the Golden Gate Bridge as a reminder of the link between 20th and 21st century infrastructure of the Bay Area.
This plan for Horseshoe Cove recasts it as a place of life, energy, and education for the region. Providing much needed amenities for the thousands of annual visitors, the project stitches together land and water to create a new hybrid edge condition.
Description: In Frank Herbert’s famous1965 novel Dune, he describes a planet that has undergone nearly complete desertification. Dune has been called the “first planetary ecology novel” and forecasts a dystopian world without water. The few remaining inhabitants have secluded themselves from their harsh environment in what could be called subterranean oasises. Far from idyllic, these havens, known as sietch, are essentially underground water storage banks. Water is wealth in this alternate reality. It is preciously conserved, rationed with strict authority, and secretly hidden and protected.
Although this science fiction novel sounded alien in 1965, the concept of a water-poor world is quickly becoming a reality, especially in the American Southwest. Lured by cheap land and the promise of endless water via the powerful Colorado River, millions have made this area their home. However, the Colorado River has been desiccated by both heavy agricultural use and global warming to the point that it now ends in an intermittent trickle in Baja California. Towns that once relied on the river for water have increasingly begun to create underground water banks for use in emergency drought conditions. However, as droughts are becoming more frequent and severe, these water banks will become more than simply emergency precautions.
Sietch Nevada projects waterbanking as the fundamental factor in future urban infrastructure in the American Southwest. Sietch Nevada is an urban prototype that makes the storage, use, and collection of water essential to the form and performance of urban life. Inverting the stereotypical Southwest urban patterns of dispersed programs open to the sky, the Sietch is a dense, underground community. A network of storage canals is covered with undulating residential and commercial structures. These canals connect the city with vast aquifers deep underground and provide transportation as well as agricultural irrigation. The caverns brim with dense, urban life: an underground Venice. Cellular in form, these structures constitute a new neighborhood typology that mediates between the subterranean urban network and the surface level activities of water harvesting, energy generation, and urban agriculture and aquaculture. However, the Sietch is also a bunker-like fortress preparing for the inevitable wars over water in the region.
Credit: Andrew Kudless (Design), Nenad Katic (Visualization), Tan Nguyen, Pia-Jacqlyn Malinis, Jafe Meltesen-Lee, Benjamin Barragan (Model)
Location: Jardins de Metis, Canada
Description: Resonant Field is a self-organizing incubator for local ecologies, and a super soil generator. The Field celebrates the life of the garden and it’s ecological context, seen and unseen, by appealing to all of the senses. It will evolve and change through time, providing a visceral panorama of experience. The Field embodies and celebrates the natural cycles of life and death, growth and decomposition.
The Field will be composed of the gardens pure constituent parts: soil, sand, manure, organic debris, etc. Each material constituent will be randomly piled in the allotted space, approximately 10m by 30m, varying in height from 1m to 3m. The field of material cones will then be hydro-seeded with a mix of native seeds, selected from the many ecologies that surround the site: woodland, meadow, grassland, and ripairian.
A sequence of varied compost core-areas will be established within the field of material piles, which will receive constant material generated by the Redford Garden campus and beyond. A gravel pathway system will connect the composting cores. Native species will become established, through a process of facilitated succession, and will express themselves according to the varied slopes and exposures of the Resonant Field. The field will become a generator of biomass and a seed bank. Fauna will feast on the nectar, seeds, and nuts which will be spread to revegetate the local ecologies with native species. Upon the projects completion, plant materials can be harvested and redistributed, and the entire garden will be mixed and piled to provide fertile substrate for future gardens and ecologies, extending it’s life in the form of future fruits and flowers.
Credits: Joint submission by Andrew Kudless (Matsys) and David Fletcher (Fletcher Studio)