Building the urban river edge : proposed connections to the water at the foot of Boston's Beacon Hill
Proposed connections to the water at the foot of Boston's Beacon Hill
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Maurice K. Smith.
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The core of this investigation is based on the design of built form at the public urban river edge. It proposes the transformation of a portion of public park edge into public built edge. The Esplanade embankment at the foot of Boston's Beacon Hill forms the site for this thesis. The project area runs from the Longfellow Bridge at Charles Circle to the Arthur Fiedler Footbridge near the Hatch Shell. The thesis investigates built provisions for public inhabitation of the water's edge. At the size of the full project area the work explores built connections between the city and use of the river. At the building size design exploration focuses on extended public pavilion forms at the water's edge for a variety of uses. Through design, analysis and critical assessment this investigation seeks to test the following hypotheses: -- 1) The urban water-edge should provide direct built connection between the city fabric and use of the water. -- 2) Through provision for collective everyday use and inhabitation of the water-edge certain areas of the river bank should act as social condensers. -- 3) Built definitions of physical form along the river can manifest an urbanism that celebrates density and diversity -of use and of population- as necessary positive attributes of contemporary civil life. The above mentioned project area is well suited for testing these hypotheses. The street pattern of the neighborhood is oriented toward the river yet it has been cut off from the water by Storrow Drive. Charles St. at the base of the hill has long provided a strong core of public use. In addition this is an area in which some variety of use is already made of the river bank despite the physical barrier of the roadway. It is important to note that this thesis is an exploration of built form at the urban water's edge and not a comprehensive city planning effort. Its core thrust is directed at architecture: that is, at the organization of habitable physical definitions and their spatial and experiential implications.
Thesis (M. Arch.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1994.Includes bibliographical references (p. 145-147).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology