Day 26 was entirely dedicated to working on our design project. We decide to focus on a couple key components for our re-design of the park. The first thing we focused on was phytoremediation, which is the process of directly using living green plants to remove contamination in the soil. This was important because of all of the contamination in the soil that was present due to the site being used for the steel and transportation industries. Our next focus was decreasing noise pollution in the area. This was part of the overall theme of our project because of the active train track on the site and the proximity to a residential community. Our last focus was flow through the space. We wanted to designate paths and areas for visitors to walk in to promote safety, due to the active train track, and to protect the plant life present on the site.
We started by making maps of the data we had collected from the site. These maps included biodiversity, biophonics, NDVI, contamination, and more. These maps helped us analyze the site, figure out which parts of the site needed more attention than others, and figure out suitability for different features. After doing this, we started brainstorming. We sketched out various possible path systems, thought of features we could include at points of interest, looked at ways to re-design the entrance to draw more people in, and more.
After several iterations, we finally settled on a design. We decided to include a path system that created several possible ways to move through the site. The paths would be sitting above the site so that plant life would not be disturbed. In addition, we created a bridge that would allow people from the residential community to safely cross over the active train track. We also decided that one of the paths would actually be a mining cart that loops around the small hill on the site. Visitors can sit in the mining cart and pedal their way around the site. This is a fun, unique activity and also hints at how the site was once used for industrial purposes. On top of the hill, we would have an elevated viewing deck. We would also have an undulating corten steel fence that runs along the paths. This is to keep visitors on the path safe, to provide a visual barrier, and to also reduce noise pollution. In addition, corten steel is used throughout the park, so using this material ties our site into the rest of the park.
After figuring out our overall concept for the re-design the previous day, Day 27 was used primarily to create graphics, finalize details, and put our presentation together. We created plan and section drawings, perspectives, plant palettes, and more. We organized our work into a PowerPoint presentation. The second half of the day was used for everyone to present their work and receive feedback. The presentations were really interesting; many of us had similar themes of phytoremediation and safe pathways through the space, but in the end we all ended up with very different ideas. It was fascinating to see how groups took the same assignment in very different directions.
Day 28 was simply spent recovering from the fast paced, two-day studio and exploring the area around our hostel. We found a really nice park nearby, that seemed to be very popular with the local crowd. We also ventured to a nearby university. The buildings had a very similar vibe to university buildings in America, but the architecture was really cool and had a unique color-coded system.
Next week, we’ll be getting back to our usual schedule of visiting various notable sites. I’m excited!