“A Breath of Life” – Weerwater, Almere, Netherlands

22 Apr

The main elements of the master plan consist of a new marina to activate the underutilized surface parking, a museum to draw visitors to the waterfront, and an extension of Lumiere Park into the Weerwater that acts as a transportation network while functioning as a blue green infrastructure.

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The key moves in the western section are changes in circulation and stratification of levels. The combination of moving the road and elevating the path provide various access routes and connections to the residential Stedewijk on the west. The lower level provides recreation opportunities and could be used in conjunction with cASLA or the new water museum. The second move is a new museum and pier. The museum sits on the water, and the roof of the building is even with the elevated paths. This provides access to the green roof and a new view across the lake.

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The fundamental principle behind the new harbor in the central section is the layering of public space over retail, vehicular and watercraft parking. The form of the harbor was derived from existing conditions and strengths of the site. The plaza on the water will serve as a viewing platform for the boats that will enter the harbor.

The eastern section of the lake consists of an extension of Lumiere Park towards the city center as well as out into the Weerwater. A series of green fingers will extend out into the lake all along the eastern waterfront form the park to the city center and then through the city to the western edge. This “green ribbon” creates a sense of continuity throughout the three sections. The green fingers in the ribbon also provide a base infrastructure to support an additional transportation infrastructure for bikes and pedestrians.

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My responsibilities in this project included design of the western edge of the site, all graphics related to it, section for the east end, and creation of the digital presentation.

 

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“Eco-Reaches: Connecting ecology through the Markermeer” – Marker Wadden, Lelystad, Netherlands

22 Apr

The Marker Wadden project has been a dream of the Natuurmonumenten for quite some time.  Our class was issued the task of designing the islands and trying to figure out how to collect the silt in the Markermeer in order to turn it into ecological islands off of the Houtribdijk.   My group focused on a pragmatic concept, sensible phasing, and cost reducing silt collection to make this dream a reality.

The Marker Wadden will be approximately 7 km from Lelystad and is quite close to the Oostvaardersplassen.  Our idea is to extend existing ecological reaches into the Markermeer. We took forms from the Oostvaardersplassen and decided to design the water of the Markermeer rather than just designing the forms of the islands.  As the islands are built, they will change in elevation as well as ecological structure.  They will go from forest to salt marsh to mud flats, encouraging variety in species.  Zebra mussel habitat will also be incorporated to aid in the filtering of water and reduce the turbidity in the lake.  We also utilized a silt curtain that will collect silt in the shipping lane which will be used in the formation of the islands.

In this project, I was responsible for the master plan and design of the island form, phasing of construction and graphics explaining both of these.

 

Plans and sections for phasing of Marker Wadden.

Eden Prairie Golden Triangle Redesign – “Trace the Past”

9 Jan

The goals for my redesign of Eden Prairie’s Golden Triangle are to return the site to its roots, use the landscape as art, and engage the community in the transformation.  In order to really understand a site, we must look at its history.  The Golden Triangle was once vast open land inhabited by Native Americans.  In the 1860’s, European settlers moved to the area and very small amounts of development occurred.  Eden Prairie was coined as “the Garden Spot” and also once produced the most wheat in all of Hennepin county.  In the 1940’s and 50’s, farmsteads were introduced and the entire site consisted of farmland.  By 1980, only one farm existed (and still stands today) and the rest of the site is as it is today:  office buildings, warehouses, parking lots.  Huge, out of scale, impervious materials, and most of them are either totally vacant, for lease, or have space available in them.  Despite SuperValu and the Vikings training facilities being in the Triangle, parking lots are largely empty, even in the middle of the week.  Three major highways (494, 212, 169) border the site and disconnect the Triangle from the larger Eden Prairie community.

Return the Golden Triangle to its Roots

In “Trace the Past”, a farm trail cuts through the site and traces the outline of the Triangle’s historical farmland back to 1945.  The trail serves as a catalyst between the community and the transformation of the Golden Triangle.  Using the concept of contour farming, the rest of the site is converted into farmland.  In the first few years of transition, it would be owned and maintained by public entities, then as the community becomes more involved would be opened up to privatization.

Use the Landscape as Art

The planned LRT route in Eden Prairie’s current comprehensive plan would be re-routed to go through the middle of the site.  A current vacant building will be retrofitted into the Triangle’s main LRT stop.  The area around the stop would be developed minimally to include a pedestrian mall based on Copenhagen’s Potato Rows, greenhouses with retractable roofs to allow for year round picking, and urban lofts in retrofitted retail buildings.

Detailed Site Schematic Plan

The rest of the site will be developed throughout the years.  The northern zone will integrate cattle, sheep and wind farming.  Residential development will continue in the south section of the Triangle, while the west will be dedicated to hybrid poplar groves to be used for fuel production.  A secondary LRT line will be introduced and be used exclusively as a farm line to transport animals throughout the site for fertilization and weed control.  Rainwater irrigation systems will also be incorporated.

Big Marine Park – Re(Connect)

15 Aug

As part of a team of four, we worked to develop a piece of land adjacent to the current Big Marine park in Washington County, MN.  Our concept of (RE)connection facilitates site users to connect or reconnect to themselves, nature, and others.  I was responsible for site analysis and synthesis, program development, spatial development, hand drawings, individual larger scale development of one section of the site, and presentation board design.

Big Marine Presentation Board

NSP Island Station ABOVE/BELOW

15 Aug

Design of Northern State Power’s decommissioned power plant, located on an island in the Mississippi river near the West 7th neighborhood of St. Paul, MN.  Using site analysis, synthesis and design charettes, I came up with three design concepts for the site, then pushed one forward to a master plan.

Concept:  ABOVE/BELOW

Above/Below uses existing tunnels to allow the user a fresh perspective on the island.  Arc and arc form vocabulary was used to mimic the shape of the underground tunnels.  Phytoremediation fields are incorporated to aid with soil quality.  Floating barges are used as a cafe and fishing pier and railroad car gates frame walkways to acknowledge the industry which was once on the site.

Above/Below Master Plan

Concept #1:  Eco Art Park

Concept #2:  Into the Wild

Gallery

Walker Art Center Redesign – Field of Convergence

23 Jul

The grassy field on the west side of the Walker Art Center currently serves several purposes.  To name a few:  it covers a parking garage which services the Walker and a church across the street, acts as an amphitheatre for an annual outdoor concert, and plays host to a summer long exhibit called “Open Field.”  The Walker wants to maintain these uses but would also like to create a connection to the neighborhood, offer shade in the summer, and make use of the space during the winter.  Here is an overview of my design:

Field of Convergence

*opening a west wall of the gallery and extending the indoors out through the creation of a patio space accessible via a large garage door.
*addition of viewing platforms along the western edge of the site.  One acts as an informal entrance to the field and the other serves as a gathering space to capitalize on the framed view of downtown Minneapolis.
*extension of prairie plantings to various parts of the site.
*a stage at the bottom of the existing natural hill providing space for annual events such as Rock the Garden but allowing for expansion of Open Field performances.
*handicap accessible pathways connecting existing Vineland entrance, new west side patio, new west side field entrance platform, and Vineland street.
*extending the use of whitespire birch trees to outline the site, create opportunities for shade, and buffer sound behind the stage.
*minor re-design of Vineland entrance; utilization of existing wall to advertise current exhibits and events.  Alternating square pavers with native prairie plantings to lead visitors into building entrance.

Gallery

a short introduction

21 Jul

After thinking for a long time about the best way to showcase my graduate school work, I’ve decided to dedicate a blog to it.  I hold a BS degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies from Winona State University and fall 2011 will be starting the 2nd of 3 years of the MLA program at the University of Minnesota.  I am also pursuing a minor in art.

My interests lie in public art and sustainable agriculture.  I plan to use the next two years of school to figure out how to integrate these two areas and use them to educate the community.