Landscape and memory : transformation of an urban river's edge
Author(s)McHugh, Eileen T. (Eileen Teresa), 1966-
Transformation of an urban river's edge
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I grew up in Philadelphia. The waterfront and its urban character motivated my original focus combined with architectural interests in dealing with public spaces. The search began for a site which was a locus of intensity and contained elements of time, sense of place, the character of the city and a particular relationship with the waterfront. Venice Island, located in the Schuylkill River at Manayunk, a Northwest neighborhood, was chosen due to its intimate scale, localized community and richness of natural and manmade environment. The equal strength of the context pushed the thesis to explore the transformation of the site using the influence of these existing forces. The site contains physical boundaries that include river, island, canal, and Main Street. These suggest threshold and propose a journey or passage to connect the Main Street to the river. Thus the importance of memory and identity to the formation of place combined with that of a journey incorporates existing remains on the island and interventions that intensify the experience. By introducing aspects of the city to the island and further connections to the river, I propose it is a place for people to learn about the environment as an integration of existing forces through the physical forms and sense of place generated by the transformation. The thesis is organized into three parts, which follows the development of the exploration, the first being the urban waterfront and examining ideas relating to public space, inhabiting the edge and the important of the River. The second part outlines the early ideas and study of the site and the city and issues of built and natural environment and design approach. The final section documents the design and transformation of the site related to landscape experience, journey and the urban rivers edge.
Thesis (M. Arch.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1998.Includes bibliographical references (p. 107-112).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology