Big Old Tree, New Big Easy

Project: Big Old Tree, New Big Easy
Location: New Orleans, LA
Designer: Karen Lutsky
Year: 2010
Program: University of Pennsylvania School of Design
Faculty Advisor: David Governeur, Nicholas Pevzner

Project Description: ‘Big Old Tree, New Big Easy’ is an adaptable design proposal built upon the inherent qualities and capabilities of New Orleans’ native tree species. The project explores the potential of a simple urban afforestation strategy to engage the past, respond to critical current social and infrastructural issues, and support a ‘sustainable’ future. 

The strategy begins and ends with the trees. The plan uses well-known attributes of three native tree species (the high-ground live oak, the mid-ground pecan, and the water-loving cypress) to maximize the capacity of the resulting urban canopy to manage water through evapotranspiration, to stabilize the currently sinking ground with extensive root systems, to connect neighborhoods and promote recreation with new shade and structure, to produce valued goods such as nuts and wood, and to harbor and nurture the growth of a strong community.

Maintenance-heavy areas such as orchards and community gardens are located adjacent to schools and community centers. The labor of planting and pruning trees, and harvesting fruit and wood is work that is easily managed, quickly taught, and carried out with accessible training. This allows it to be managed by a volunteer-based, multi-generational workforce without much risk, and lends itself well to larger group participation, promoting communal interaction and engagement. Utilizing the availability of the city’s post-Katrina ‘volun-tourism’ work-force provides an initial source of individuals and communities that value and have experience in collective organization.

As they grow, the trees also begin to engage the community in new ways. Early phasing of tightly planted groves in the project require that trees be thinned out over time. This management practice not only supports the healthy maturation of old-growth trees in the corridor, but also provides a ‘nursery’ source for native trees that may be transplanted into rest of the community, allowing the maintenance of the corridor to continually populate the greater neighborhood with these trees.

The key armature of the proposal is a clear, striated planting plan, in which trees are planted linearly across the site with variation in spacing and species in response to varying ground conditions. This formation creates a planting plan that provides consistency across the landscape, structurally unifying and visually connecting the entirety of the corridor. The responsive planting strategy places water-loving trees on wetter ground, pecan or harvestable trees near schools and local community organizations, and live oaks on high ground and along the main path.

The simplicity of the planting plan also allows the project to continue to function under reduced maintenance. Even if nothing is provided beyond initial planting of the trees and sufficient care to assure their establishment, the trees will still provide the much needed functions of mitigating water, creating habitat, cooling urban climate, increasing the quality of our air, and ensuring another crop of ‘big, old trees’ for the next generation. 

 

Additional Project Information:

2011 National ASLA Honor Award in Analysis and Planning

 

This project was featured in Scenario 4: Building the Urban Forest 

 

50,000 Trees

Project: 50,000 Trees
Location: San Francisco, CA
Designer: Sarah Moos
Year: 2013
Program: University of California, Berkeley
Faculty Advisor: Judith Stilgenbauer

Project Description: Freeways and highway overpasses are often seen as the epitome of environmental destruction in the urban landscape. Yet the complex spaces below and around urban freeways may be productively re-imagined as beneficial working landscapes, deploying trees en masse to buffer the harmful effects of these traffic conduits. This project explores how freeway urban forests could strategically offset a significant part of the city’s carbon emissions at the source.

In this project, a 30-acre site of underutilized space beneath a multi-level interchange in San Francisco, CA is envisioned as a productive urban forest. The design for the site has three primary goals.  First, it seeks to plant a robust forest of enough trees to offset a portion of the annual CO2 emissions from the adjacent freeway. Second, it devises an irrigation system that builds upon existing infrastructure to irrigate the forest and to reduce persistent stormwater flooding on this former marshland. Third, it establishes pedestrian pathways and provides amenities throughout the forest to create a memorable and interactive landscape. The forest is a new urban landscape that emerges over time, transforming the driving experience at the freeway level and establishing places for pedestrian interaction at street level. If the freeway is rendered obsolete in the future, the interchange will transition from a mono-functional freeway into a multi-use interchange for pedestrians, public transportation, flora, and fauna amid a dense urban forest.

The project’s design also takes advantage of innovative forest sequestration techniques, resulting in a cycling strategy that alternates phases of growth, partial removal, afforestation, and diversification. This compact planting and maintenance strategy allows for the sequestration CO2 and other emitted compounds within a significantly reduced footprint.

The estimated $1.7 million of annual urban ecosystem services generated at the interchange – including the value of trees, soil, captured water, wind energy, and jobs – can then be used over time to expand the afforestation effort to at least 90 other underutilized freeway right-of-ways throughout the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Taken together, the resulting urban forest would become a “new and powerful” sequestration infrastructure functioning at the metropolitan scale.

 

Additional Information:

The City of San Francisco has utilized the research, analysis, and design of this strategy to inform aspects of the 2014 Urban Forest Master Plan — a component of the One Bay Area Plan that is aimed at offsetting emissions through innovative solutions.

This project received the 2013 National ASLA Honor Award in General Design.

 

Featured in Scenario 4: Building the Urban Forest 

Aqueous Ecologies

Project: Aqueous Ecologies
Location: Willets Point, NY
Designer: Michael Ezban
Year: 2013
Program: Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Faculty Advisor: Chris Reed

Project Description: ‘Aqueous Ecologies’ imagines a future for Willets Point, a derelict peninsula in Queens, NY, in which new ecologies, economies, and cultural identities of the city are intertwined with landscape-based solutions for adaptive, polyfunctional, and publicly accessible wastewater management and treatment. Aquaculture becomes a foundation for an ecological urbanism.

Rather than starting with a traditional masterplan, this project proposes a productive ecology of multi-trophic aquaculture (closed-loop fish farming) as a catalyst for urban development. A 50-year process for cultivating aquaculture and urbanism at Willets Point increases wildlife biodiversity and creates cultural and economic synergies over time, at both local and regional scales. Over time, synergistic relationships between aquaculture and urbanism mature, establishing the urban core as a greywater and stormwater supply for a burgeoning aquaculture industry.

At areas of high urban density, waters flow through hard- and soft-bottom channels, from sidewalk swales to plaza basins. The alternating conditions of saturation and desiccation at these urban spaces foster a dynamic range of recreational and commercial activity. At the littoral zone of Willets Point, the character of the landscape is quite different. Biotic succession and daily tide dynamics are evident in the expansive salt marshes, while kelp cultivation groins — thriving on aquaculture wastewater — extend into Flushing Bay, becoming armatures for sediment accumulation and spontaneous vegetation. The kelp can either be exported into culinary and medicinal economies, or remain within the aquaculture system as processed fish meal.

Public access throughout the littoral zone, via boardwalks that convey wastewater for treatment, allows for immersive cultural experiences and an opportunity to experience the dynamism of succession and daily tide dynamics. Processes of sediment deposition and accumulation against these boardwalks lead to the emergence of publicly accessible habitat islands. During storm events, public activities shift to elevated civic spaces that float above temporarily flooded civic spaces. The raised infrastructure connects to existing elevated transit lines and roof gardens and allows aquaculture and wastewater filtration to intertwine at multiple levels within the fabric of the city.

 

Featured in Scenario 3: Rethinking Infrastructure 

 

CleanTech Corridor

Project: CleanTech Corridor
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Firm: Mia Lehrer + Associates
Year: 2010
Firm website: www.mlagreen.com

Project Description:  The CleanTech Corridor is a 4 mile long district on the eastern edge of Downtown Los Angeles, stretching from the Los Angeles State Historic Park in the north, to the CleanTech Manufacturing Center in the South, and includes both the east and west banks of the channelized Los Angeles River.

The 2,000-acre development zone which encompasses a mix of industrial areas along the Los Angeles River was recently designated as the “Los Angeles Cleantech district”: the cornerstone of the Mayor’s vision to put Los Angeles at the forefront of the clean tech revolution and to transform the old, downtown industrial core of Los Angeles into an incubator for green jobs, technology and the growth of LA’s economy. The Clean Tech Corridor is envisioned to bring together researchers, designers and manufacturers dedicated to the development of clean technology products and solutions to climate change challenges.

To imagine the Cleantech district, the team answered an open ideas competition organized by SCI-Arc’s Future Initiatives program, the Mayors’ office and The Architect’s Newspaper.

To move beyond industrial use and create an integrated economic, residential, clean energy, and cultural engine for the city, the team, led by ML+A, explored high performance infrastructures and innovative landscape strategies to develop a highly contextual strategy based on re-using existing and under-utilized resources on the site. The team targeted three major urban infrastructural resources for reuse: the historic bridges crossing the Los Angeles River, the industrial urban fabric, and the LA River itself.

Hypothesis

The urban character of the Los Angeles industrial corridor is a paradoxical blend of functionality and disregard. Currently most of the cities distribution, shipping and freight storage occur within this zone. However, there is no structural logic or organization to this corridor. Freight modal hubs are littered along Alameda and Olympic. This blanket of industry is now a barrier between the Eastern Los Angeles community and downtown cutting off a large residential community from accessing the economic center of the city. Due to the lack of organizational clarity to these transit systems, 20-30 percent of the ‘industrial’ buildings that populate the site are outdated with no inherent flexibility or market value – currently shuttered, and left derelict. Conversely, this is part of what makes the clean-tech corridor site so provocative – its raw space and potential for industry and innovation. However, to function within a modern metropolis, the corridor needs a systemic overhaul, a retrofitting to transition into an intermodal landscape in which systems for energy creation (including solar arrays and hydroelectric power), waste management, transportation, and water runoff are integrated.

Solutions

1. The Bridges as destinations
The team chose to perceive the heroic and monumental bridges along the river as untapped opportunities for dynamic, flexible public space. Largely overlooked, the series of concrete bridges traversing the LA River are a major urban element that imposes a unique identity to the corridor. Major pieces of urban infrastructure, the bridges are an iconic remnant of a once useful and coherent transit system, before the freeways and cars, when the Los Angeles population moved in a less nodal, disparate fashion. The architectural bridges are programmed to integrate the community east of Los Angeles into the site, and formally stitch the two sides of the river.

2. The re-use of existing industrial fabric
The “high performance ruin” is one such strategy of remediating the current vacancy of the site and propagating the development of an interior small business corridor. By editing elements of existing building stock down to elemental form (and retaining a connection to the utility grid) new uses can be integrated with minimal investment. Ideally, the urban ruin is a flexible building platform allowing for different uses to be installed facilitating an adaptive, urban flexibility responsive to shifting business models and volatile markets.

3. The recalibrated LA river
The clean-tech corridor has a symbiotic relationship with the river channel and the periodic events of storm water. The district is re-envisioned as a water filter and percolation zone, while the river itself is redefined as a waterway to support ecological services and social recreation. Also addressing the current inadequate preparation for a 100 year event flood, flood pockets and open space have been introduced along the river as flood control devices to relieve the river in periods of excessive storm events.

Additional Information: Sponsored by SCI-Arc and The Architects Newspaper, 70 entries were received from architectural firms and students in 11 countries. The competition asked architects, landscape architects, designers, engineers, urban planners, students, and environmental professionals to create an innovative urban vision for the CleanTech Corridor. Entrants were encouraged to challenge conventional wisdom and move beyond industrial uses—creating an integrated economic, residential, clean energy, and cultural engine to re-invigorate the industrial district into a thriving mixed-use center. This design is a winning submission.

Project Team Members: Mia Lehrer + Associates (landscape architect)
Astrid Diehl
Zhihang Luo
Buro Happold (engineering)
Steve Chucovich
Ron Elad
Krista Flascha Laney
Jim Suhr (economist)
Elizabeth Timme (architect)

Perimeter City 238

Project: Perimeter City 238
Location: Lincoln, NE
Designer: Andrew Ferentinos
Year: 2012
Program:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Faculty Advisors: Alan Berger, Alexander D’Hooghe

Project Description: Even though the U.S. metropolitan area population is an expanding suburbia, most research on cities is focused on high density, compact urban areas. Metropolitan horizontal scale has largely been neglected even though it is likely to remain the model for many years to come. Lincoln, Nebraska is taken as a model to research innovative models of suburbanization that can be applied to other U.S. cities.

The issues Lincoln face are common to many cities. Majority of inhabitants share the suburban desire to have both city and country at their fingertips. Unfortunately, under the status quo of concentric-ringed expansion, the peri-urban edge—the interface where countryside and city meet—is constantly unstable and fleeting. It is only a matter of time until the edge is consumed by expansion, turning it into a massively thick, low value middle ground, neither city nor country. Agricultural land is constantly consumed, pushing food sources further from their demand.

PERIMETER CITY 238 provides an alternative. It accommodates a doubling population—an increase of 250,000 people by 2050—into a plan that achieves three main goals. It stabilizes, protects, and maximizes the highly sought after peri-urban edge. It distributes a network of relatively higher density urban nodes easily accessible to the low/mid density peri-urban edge. It minimizes and eliminates low value, unwanted middle ground.    

This plan is achieved by using infrastructure to focus growth into eleven new linear cities, or Fingers, that link Lincoln’s satellite towns to the existing city. The result is a new asterisk shaped city that maximizes perimeter and radically increases contact between city and agricultural land from 107 to 228 linear miles. This plan maintains Lincoln’s scale and character as a mid/low-density city, and ensures the continued presence of the agriculture, industry, and prairie landscapes that define its origins and productive future.

Finger-Structure:  The particulars of local topography serve as an organizing principle for the plan. Each of the Fingers, roughly 7 miles long by 1.5 miles wide, contain a population of roughly 25,000. These linear footprints are aligned roughly along ridgelines, leaving lowlands and floodplains to the areas in-between serving as agricultural and prairie habitat.

Transportation: A new continuous parkway, the Cornbelt, traces the outer edges of all eleven Fingers, clearly defining the boundary between city and countryside. An Interior Belt marks the threshold between Lincoln’s existing urban fabric and the new finger extensions. Another highway, the Ring Road, runs perpendicularly across the center of each finger and provides a cross connection between each Finger.

Nodes: Three types of architectural and landscape interventions organize the structure of the Fingers. First, within each Finger, a centrally located Civic Node acts as a growth magnet and center of economics, commerce, entertainment, culture, and civic space.  Second, Water reservoirs and constructed wetlands are located at the junctions between each Finger. This helps block suburban expansion into farmland. It will comprise a significant element of the future city’s water infrastructure, improving regional water quality as well as providing wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities. Third, land that is excavated in the process is used as fill to raise the elevations of the terminal ends of each Finger. Upon these terminal mounds, ethanol plants and Waste-to-energy facilities are located.

Open Space:  Each linear city will have a network of linked open spaces and natural areas that preserve features such as floodplains and forest while connecting existing parklands. A Constructed Central Park culminates at each finger’s Civic Node. Ringed with higher-density housing, this park accommodates a variety of public activities. The large areas of land lying beyond each finger will be preserved as a mix of productive farmland and prairie, maintained as a publicly accessible landscape preserve.

San Juan Island Development Network

Project: San Juan Island Development Network: Microcosm of America
Location: San Juan Island, Washington
Designer: Joshua Brooks
Year: 2012
Program: Louisiana State University, Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture
Faculty Advisors: Lake Douglas, Van Cox

Project Description: This project proposes a process-oriented planning framework, focusing on built works, policies, community programs, and funding strategies, for the San Juan Island National Park and the supporting rural community of San Juan Island. This process-based approach can help the island absorb future growth, foster the unique local culture, and protect and enhance the native ecosystem as its population doubles over the coming decade.

Theory: By employing three theoretical strands—1) systems thinking, as synthesized by MIT’s Donella Meadows, positing that the understanding of the relationship between entities offers a greater understanding of the larger system; 2) Chris Reed’s “curated ecologies,” which proposes that designers can establish a series of interactions over time between humans and ecological processes to produce desired outcomes; and 3) Rem Koolhaas’s process planning concept from the article “Whatever Happened to Urbanism,” in which he points out how modern planning efforts often don’t result in the intended end-product because of the reliance on the planning of permanent objects, instead of the planning of the processes themselves—this project attempts to challenge traditional top-down planning and unlock the potential of engaging process and complexity.

Project Goals: Five project goals are proposed within a 35-year framework: (1) connect island ecosystems through restoration easements, conservation policy, and a network of trails (2) diversify housing options and add user amenities to increase year round livability (3) support local agriculture and decentralized renewable energy production (4) structure an efficient transportation infrastructure with minimal disturbance to the existing system; and (5) foster island culture, art, research, tourism, local businesses, and natural and native history.

Design (Pilot Projects): Phase One (HIGHLIGHT): American Camp Visitor Center | As part of phase one, the American Camp parcel of San Juan Island National Park receives several upgrades, including a viaduct on an eroding cliff, several public art projects, and new visitor facilities which serve as a catalyst and demonstration for sustainable building practices and resource management across the island. Housing a theater, research laboratories, rental space, administration offices, and a large display area with views to Mount Rainer and the Olympic Mountain Range, this building serves the National Park Service, the University of Washington, and the people of San Juan Island.

Phase Two (INCENTIVIZE): Harbor CO-OP and the Island Agriculture Initiative | A biointensive urban farm and farmer’s co-op is built in conjunction with Friday Harbor grocery store, University of Washington Horticultural Research Laboratory, and the Friday Harbor community center. Using best management practices the construction of this farm will turn a fallow urban lot into an eighteen acre productive landscape with onsite packaging and propagation facilities, encouraging sustainable farming practices, combating the inflated price of food on San Juan island, and growing the local economy. To further support the growth of local farming, a harvest pickup service is offered along a selected route which connects areas of the island that are deemed best for farming.

Phase Three (GENERATE): How to build a Green Corridor Network | A network of open space corridors is grown across the island, creating an interconnected trail system, while simultaneously promoting the protection and restoration of wetlands, streambeds, estuarine habitat, and rare prairie and savannah ecosystems, as well as increasing water infiltration and curbing aquifer drawdown. A tax break program offers incentives for landowners to create ecological corridors within their property, with incentives being weighted by ecosystem type, parcel size, and proximity to existing open space.

Rather than relying on closed systems, this project offers a flexible, design-driven and process-based approach to planning, providing guidance to the National Park Service as well as the county and towns of San Juan Island on how to deal with its projected development without sacrificing culture or ecology.

 

City Life Urban Park

Project: City Life Urban Park
Location: Milan, Italy
Firm: PROAP, Landscape Architecture
Firm website: www.proap.pt

Project Description: The plastic expressiveness of this project expresses a coherence and capacity for synthesis, based on a pragmatic reading of the territory, in a weighted resources economy and in a clear operating action.

The radial structure emerges from space and context. From this horizontal spatial stratification are created different ownership niches, visual basins that put us apart and compartmentalize the space and, therefore, punctually revealing, the rhythm of the space, its division and continuity. The stratification also appears in the vertical plane, dissected into three levels: the urban matrix (the city floor), the modeling complex (morphological wrinkle), and finally the trees leafy (the roof of the park).

The first level, the urban matrix, ensures the territorial continuity of the city, while the second, the morphological wrinkle, introduces the notion of distance – distance between private and public space, but also distance regarding the architecture – working as scenic device. But this level is also a conjunction with the third, the trees leafy that at distance opposes the revelation – revelation of the visual axes and architectural volumes, places of interest, approaches and departures.

The reasoning planning has focused, in procedural terms, in the intermediate level, since the morphological wrinkle is the tool through which is guaranteed a single morphological solution able of effecting a coherent spatial partitioning, adequate the load capacities, the potential uses and to manage the delicate relationship between human life in the Park and ways of life, as disparate as sensitive, from the plant and animal communities.

We are faced with a morphological solution that takes from the complexity the fundamental condition to operationalize the ecological activation in a dense urban environment. The morphology vibration creates collection and water distribution spaces, promoting its retention and making it available in necessary quantities for life to happen there.

From the horizontal stratification, which is basically an operational partitioning, the vertical stratification, distributed in three levels of continuity, distance and revelation and, finally, the morphological wrinkle as the required vibration for life, we achieve the reinterpretation of the spatial identity – the transformation of this space into a place.

Project Team: João Nunes (author), Iñaki Zoilo, Carlos Ribas, Andrea Menegotto, Ana Marques, Sílvia Basílio, Margarida Henriques, Marta Palha, David Fonseca, Helena Palma, Tiago Torres-Campos, Bernardo Faria, Sofia Bray, Raquel Coutinho, Giulia Tettamanzi, Piera Carcassi, Clara Guedes, Paulo Câmara, Rui Sequeira, Laura Pisanu, Luca Baroni

Line | Point | Field – Reimagining Shougang

Project: Line | Point | Field – Reimagining Shougang
Location: Beijing, China
Designer: Max Gerthel
Year: 2011
Program: Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture
Faculty Advisor: Niels Grønbæk

Project Description: A park that incorporates change

Beijing is a city of axes. Originally, the main axis in Beijing appeared not in the form of wide tree-line boulevards as in Paris, but as a cosmological system around which the city was organized. Throughout the 20th century, the traditional Buddhist north-south axis that once dominated Beijing lost its significance to the new economic east-west highway, Chang’an avenue, constructed by Mao in the 1950’s. Symbolic of China’s entry into the industrial age, the giant Shougang steelworks was placed at the avenue’s west terminus alongside one of Beijing’s major waterways, the Yongding River.

As we now are entering a new age of transition in China, the steelworks is being moved to the coast and the vast site and surrounding peri-urban landscape will soon lie vacant. This thesis project is a strategy for how to redevelop Shougang using the ancient logic of the axis – as an organizational tool rather than simply connecting dots with infrastructure. The area along the axis is transformed into a public park through a gradual process of reconfiguring the site and refurbishing its main industrial structures.

On the ground, a new layer of vegetation is created: Phytoremediating plants which extract heavy metals and pollution from the soil, rotated every year allowing new patterns in the landscape to emerge. The plants vary in height, colour and texture, creating a complex weave for the visitor to discover. In between the islands of green are pathways that allow slow movements through the mass.

Along the axis stand towers as points of orientation and viewing platforms. From there, the visitor can observe the transforming landscape and its relation with the cosmic space – the mountains, the Yongding river and the axis connecting it all with the rest of the city.
A number of existing structures are refurbished to accommodate the park’s functions: A large hall is transformed into a greenhouse becoming a multistory food production facility; A gas holder is opened up to become a space for food market, where the local community can meet and thrive on its new organic produce; The neighboring village is developed by allowing new residents to lease land and implementing building codes for controlled construction. Finally, the dried riverbed is preserved and carefully redesigned as a grass/marshland, a space left to nature to procure itself in its own pace.

Infiltrated Cultural and Ecological Urbanism

Project: Infiltrated Cultural and Ecological Urbanism
Location: Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
Firm: Maxthreads Architectural Design
Year: 2011
Firm website: www.max-threads.com

Project Description: Kaohsiung Ecological District lies on the edge of the Kaohsiung city, along the Wan Shu mountain. The project represents an example of infrastructure-led gridded planning resulting in a cohesive network of new road systems and urban landscape along Kaohsiung port station.

The proposal draws inspiration from the grid of the historic train tracks and uses it as a planning base. A leaf-like spin channels through the site, lending a distinctive identity of its urban planning system. The proposal also exemplifies essential aspects of sustainable urban planning including an integrated mixed-use community that encompasses living, working and leisure within a compact city form and is complemented with a balance of civic and natural spaces.

Further, the development is inspired by the culturally and biologically responsive between the new city urban fabric and existing old town Yen Chan district. The guiding principle of the master plan proposal is to inspire a meaningful sense of community and a shared commitment for social and environmental responsibility. The proposal also introduces a series of urban agriculture farming and historically integrated parks. The strategy is to infiltrate and to conceal the community and biological diversity from the nearby Wan Shu mountain. It also reflects the historical transformation of Kaohsiung city from industrial city to a contemporary cityscape.

Presentation animation material: http://vimeo.com/31656812

Project Team Members: Max Yang, Eve Lee, Amy Millar, Wayne Chang

Reclaiming the Shoreline: Redefining Indiana’s Lake Michigan Coast

Project: Reclaiming the Shoreline:  Redefining Indiana’s Lake Michigan Coast
Location: Michigan City, IN
Designer: Dane Carlson 
Year: 2011
Program: Ball State University, Undergraduate

Project Description: The NIPSCO coal generating station in Michigan City, Indiana is one of a series of industrial complexes which have dominated the shoreline of Lake Michigan for decades, bringing with them pollution of ground and water and crippled shorelines. This design solution utilizes the framework of industrial infrastructure to return the site to ecological and community function; as ecological processes develop through a series of phases, human inhabitation brings the site to life.

Program: The program consists of three primary components: ecological development, creation of a public realm and spatial network, and community development. Rather than creating the site as a destination, the program intends to extend all surrounding elements directly into the site design.

Ecology: Reestablishment of tiered dune ecosystems is the primary component of ecological restoration. The introduction of new sediment flows through littoral drift and longshore current, in addition to the creation of a semi-permeable jetty, allows for the accretion of sand along the shoreline, and this process is accelerated by the staggered formations of sheet pilings driven into the lakebed. As a new layer of dunes form here, landward sand becomes stabilized by pioneer vegetation, allowing it to host new and varied plant communities.

Four intradunal wetlands, also known as pannes, and one coastal wetland replace the series of ash settling ponds along the shoreline. The remaining layer of sheet piling, together with a sub-grade sheet of clay, forms a waterproof barrier leading to the accumulation of water at the bottom of each depression. The wet feet of each depression make them uniquely suitable to host rushes and sedges which form the basis of panne plant communities.

The creation of dune forests inland of the shoreline mimics the natural progression of successional dune ecologies. The ini­tial layer of dunes begins organic matter accumulation with cottonwood and dunegrass. Jack pine forest and oak savannah inhabit the layers of dune beyond this, and oak/hickory forests beyond these. Introduction of these tiers of dune evolution creates the basis for a permanently evolving, functional ecological system which mimics that of the national lakeshore to the south.

Community: Introduction of dense residential development allows the site to be a place of inhabitation as well as a destination. Located directly north of an existing neighborhood, this new community provides pedestrian connections to existing streets and al­lows residents from surrounding communities to access pedestrian circulation routes into the heart of the site. Community development lies on the site’s southern portion, maintaining the northern reaches as a place for ecological growth, ecotour­ism, and education. All homes front on open space and residents can easily access woodland canopies or recreational hotspots through aerial circulation systems. A central node makes basic services, such as daycare and grocery, within walking distance of homes.

Public Realm: The most iconic features of the generating station, in addition to most of the auxiliary structures, are adapted into public amenities. In the west, the cooling tower becomes a hotel, providing a viewing platform for the public and creating an anchor for the aerial circulation system. This system extends eastward through the community, carving a path for the creation of a green avenue defined by woodland plantings. To the east, both boiler houses host sport courts and adventure recreation due to their proximity to the creek’s waterfront. Here, an extension of the Franklin Street corridor forms the primary com­mercial and open public space on site. Access extends northward, connecting this attraction to the public beach through a series of woodland and waterside pathways open only to pedestrians.