Capstone Project - Rediscovering Two Harbors
My capstone project envisioned a waterfront parkway as a civic framework and economic stimulator that celebrates the unique history of Two Harbors, a small port city on the shores of Lake Superior. This community was the first, and at one time the busiest, port for transporting iron ore from Minnesota’s Iron Range to steel plants in the east. Though the local economy has waned significantly in the past 30 years, the community remains a working waterfront to this day. The proposed parkway looks to capitalize upon some very unique industrial artifacts, including three massive steel piers projecting up to a quarter of a mile into the harbor, and unrivalled views of Lake Superior and the Minnesota North Shore topography. Pressure from private development is beginning to threaten public access to the waterfront. The proposed parkway would preserve public access indefinitely and initiate the clean-up of brownfield sites near the piers and railroad property. The project also looks to effectively integrate more modern design features to compliment the existing historical features.
Study Abroad - Port Cities: Lisbon, Barcelona, Venice
During the spring semester of 2005, I spent time studying the unique physical and cultural characteristics of the port cities of Lisbon, Barcelona and Venice. The program allowed for independent study of the three locations based upon student’s individual interests in addition to providing a studio setting for working on specific projects in both Lisbon and Venice. The experience in Lisbon involved the redevelopment of an urban block with very difficult topographical constraints. This project paired students with international students of the University of Lisbon School of Architecture and Arts. The studio in Venice paired architecture and landscape architecture students for the purposes of creating a redevelopment plan for the Sant’Eufemia island in the Giudecca. My project focussed on incorporating sustainable development principles and employing concepts of biomimicry. Highlights include, a leaf-like canopy with PV panels, a stormwater collection and irrigation system, urban agricultural plots, conservatory, culinary school and gastronomy museum, and artisan space for metal workers, glass blowers, etc. Projects were presented to local architects and plans were published by the Venice Lagoon Foundation.
Independent Study - Urban Design
I have always had a strong interest in urban design as well as a curiosity of the history of urban form. I chose to research the modern history of urban design, covering Haussmannian Paris of the late 19th century up to the contemporary movements of New Urbanism. My focus was on urban design models and the societal problems they either attempted to address or inadvertently created. I examined each model as a precursor to the next and in most cases have concluded that while each model is a reaction to its specific vernacular, it is also part of a continuum of evolving urban design models. This continuum continually responds to flaws in previous models, is representative of unique cultures, and addresses new technologies that may enhance or detract from contemporary urban life.