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landscape architecture

undergraduate portfolio 2013


CHRISTOPHER MAURER the pennsylvania state university bachelors of landscape architecture 2014* cjm5433@psu.edu cargocollective.com/chrismaurer cfe: penn state arboretum

spring creek cultural greenway

youngstown, oh


corridors + connections

traverse

flex


CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENT Penn State’s new arboretum includes plans for a Center For the Environment, which is intended to act as a place that not only showcases a restorative regional landscape but also illustrates the university’s commitment towards developing environmentally healthy and sustainable facilities. These facilities are intended to meet the educational and outreach standards of a Land Grant University while also establishing themselves as places for research in environmental conservation. The space should push environmental education to a new level of ecological thinking that establishes a strong connection between human activity and its effects on various environmental systems. The CFE is intended to provide a rich, contemporary learning experience for the visitor. In order to truly learn about and understand the environment, one must become immersed in their surroundings and gain a better appreciation for the land and how we affect it. The site is designed to connect to its surrounding environment, immerse the user, provide a unique and exciting experience for the visitor, and push the boundaries of environmental education to new levels. Through the CFE, one can gain a greater appreciation for the world around them.

Location:

University Park, PA

Semester:

Spring 2011

Instructor(s):

Eliza Pennypacker Gary Kesler


LEFT Images of natural Pennsylvanian forest/prairie ecosystems provided inspiration for the project, highlighting the beauty of the natural environment. These are the characteristics that the design frames, contrasting them with the build environment.

BELOW Conceptual development sketches of the parking/entry area and the core of the CFE campus


PROGRAM

CONTEXT

Adjacent Neighborhoods Existing Structures Perscribed Entry Road

“Rocky Top” Site Closed Depressions + Sinkholes Existing Vegetation

Restored Prairie Restored Forest Entry Road

Rails to Trails Ped + Bike Path Entry Road


CULTURAL GREENWAY The goal of this focus study was to establish a new, mixed-use trail system that establishes connections between various historic and cultural sites found throughout the Spring Creek Watershed. The plan links various points of interest along a linear system of corridors, which work together in order to prevent the fragmentation of cultural, historic and natural resources. This new system of corridors will provide residents and visitors with new means for recreational activities while also raising awareness for the protection of the environmental and cultural resources found throughout the region. The proposed trail system connects to existing access points and corridors in order to preserve the integrity of the existing systems found within the watershed. These auxiliary connections allow the system to function as a part of the larger, existing framework of the region, expanding upon the range of places one can experience.

Location:

Centre County, PA

Semester:

Fall 2011

Instructor(s):

Larry Gorenflo


WATERSHED ANALYSIS Various geologic and geographic conditions of the Spring Creek Watershed were analyzed with GIS software in order to understand how the land functions and interacts


SUITABILITY ANALYSIS Multiple layers of GIS data were created, analyzed, weighted and layered on top on one another in order to identify areas of land that were most suitable for greenway development.


UNDERPASSES + ECOPARKS The cultural trail crosses paths with Interstate-99 on two occasions. At these points, the trail continues, passing under the highway overpass, parallel to the adjacent roadway. In these spaces, the trail is elevated and offset from the roadway, creating small, ridge-base sub-corridors that run along the manmade hillside. These elevated pathways or linear “eco-parks� allow the user to experience a truly unique space within the larger framework of trail systems and corridors. While most sites such as this would go relatively untouched, these spaces could be ideal places to mitigate damaged landscapes and riparian buffers. Bio-swales are incorporated into the site design and patches of native, non-invasive vegetation and forest cover take the place of degraded, exposed topsoil or grass-covered sideslopes.


LEFT Potnetial trail experience BELOW Underpass EcoPark cross section


YOUNGSTOWN Focusing on three individual community projects, work was made to improve the sites in increments which can be implemented over the long term. This project focused on assessing the issues at each site and developing ideas that are believed to have the most positive impact on the community framework. After focusing on small scale projects, ideas that could benefit the entirety of Youngstown were examined. A site was selected along the river near the downtown core of Youngstown that would bring impact to all Youngstown residents. The areas aim to promote community engagement, personal ownership social interaction through the implementation of ecology, recreational opportunities, and details of Youngstown’s history in hopes of inspiring Youngstown residents to become involved in Youngstown’s revitalization effort. The project also serves as a basic strategy for implementing small scale projects that would eventually form what would become a large-scale project.

Location:

Youngstown, OH

Semester:

Spring 2012

Instructor(s):

Sean Burkholder


“WHEN YOU GIVE PEOPLE GOOD THINGS, GOOD THINGS WILL COME” - WALTER HOOD


Phase 2 of the Rail Line is implemented Rail Line is complete

2050

Phase 1 of the Rail Line is implemented Includes Amtrak station upgrades and Rail Line Gateway Plaza

2045

Canal Park is complete

2040

Amtrak Gateway

Phase 2 of the Industrial Park is implemented Industrial Park is complete

2035

Phase 1 of the Industrial Park is implemented

2030

The Bessemer Recreation Fields are complete

2025

Phase 2 of Covelli Park is implemented Covelli Park is complete

2020

Phase 1 of Covelli Park is implemented

2015

Project Evolution


RECREATION

SPATIAL PROGRAM

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RECREATION

The masterplan is broken into four distinct spaces, each with it’s our unique character and user experience.

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CORRIDORS + CONNECTIONS This project examines the potential for a wildlife corridor through the Magombera Forest, linking Selous Game Reserve and Udzungwa Mountains National Park. Magombera is a particularly fragile forest segment, home to the Udzungwa red and black/white colobus, among several other regionally endemic species. This stretch of land characterizes movement between the two identified areas and highlights the need for actual habitat connectivity. Human-wildlife conflicts (namely elephants) also pervade the area and continue to result in damaged crops. The case study determines the feasibility of a sustainable Magombera corridor that incorporates simplified design elements to generate ecotourism based revenue, but is unobtrusive enough to maintain an effective wildlife connection. A larger system then positions the Udzungwa Mountains National Park within a larger system of ecotourism. Five national parks and protected areas compose the structure for a new “southern circuit,� with particular emphasis placed on the fragile corridors that connect them. These areas are geographically close enough to be marketed together as a tourist experience. The concept serves as a biologic link, but also as an economic equalizer, aiming to bring more revenue to lesser-known parks such as the Udzungwa Mountains.

Location:

Mang’ula, TZ

Semester:

Summer 2012

Instructor(s):

Brian Orland Larry Gorenflo


RELINKING ECOLOGICAL HOTSPOTS The goal of this project was to re-establish a wildlife corridor between the the Udzungwa Mountains National Park and the endangered Magombera Forest. As the magombera forest continues to be threatened by local village sprawl and increased amounts of commercial sugar cane development, the possibilty for establishing an effective link between these two ecological hotspots greatly diminishes.

Mikumi NP

Udzungwa Mountains NP

Magombera Forest Selous GR


SUITABILITY ANALYSIS

PROPOSED LAND USE

In order to determine which areas can support a renewed wildlife corridor, a suitability analysis was conducted.

After the completion of the suitability analysis, a swath of land was identified as being supportive of wildlife corridor establishment.

Information such as the location of existing forest patches, agricultural land, and population centers were assigned values on a scale of 1 (-) to 3 (+). These values were then layered, allowing for comparisons to be made and aiding in the determination of land to be used for a future wildlife corridor.

Our proposal identifies land which will be minimally effected by agricultural displacement and proximity to population centers. The proposal calls for "arms" of adjacent, protected lands to be formed, eventually meeting in the middle of the parcel, effectively creating a singular, protected wildlife corridor which links the Magombera Forest and Udzungwa Mountains National Park. Buffer zones [green] surround the portected areas and population centers in order to minimize human/wildlife conflicts.


view of corridor from sanje falls

magombera forest walk

ruipa corridor - kilombero river safari

mngeta corridor exploration trail


SOUTHERN CIRCUIT BRANDING


TRAVERSE Erie Pennsylvania has long been separated from the bayfront that once brought it economic prosperity. Over the past decade Erie has been working to reinvigorate its downtown area and n doing so the bayfront has become the incubator to jumpstart Erie’s economy again. The bayfront was once viewed as a dirty industrial zone; however, it is now seen as an amenity that everyone should be able to enjoy. Unfortunately, the Bayfront Parkway is standing in the way of reconnecting the downtown with the bayfront. This project aims at overcoming this obstacle through a series of pedestrian connections along the bayfront bluff that help traverse the bluff and the parkway while still maintain the atmosphere and views along the bluff. This new parkway system keeps people up along the ridge of the bluff so that they can take in the spectacular views of the bay. There are three main pedestrian bridges that allow for easy access to the bayfront. These pedestrian bridges are located at three distinct areas where the majority of activity along the bayfront takes place helping to promote movement between downtown and the bayfront.

Location:

Erie, PA

Semester:

Fall 2012

Instructor(s):

Sean Burkholder


BAYFRONT PROGRAM The area along the bluff that separates the bayfront from Erie Pennsylvania consists of a good mix of uses. Residential housing is very prominent along the bluff with hospitals following closely behind. The bayfront has been transformed from an industrial zone into a recreational zone. There are now convention centers, hotels, restaurants, landmarks, and lookout towers.

early conceptual designs


design development + function


design development + function


design development + function


FLEX Energy consumption is steadily increasing, coupled with a political drive to identify affordable domestic sources of energy has lead us to exploit our finite resources with little consideration for long-term economic and environmental sustainability. The extractable Natural Gas found within the Marcellus Shale deposit provides us with a unique opportunity to meet the energy needs but also provide a bridge to greater reliance on renewable energies. In the short-term, its economic, environmental, and social longevity is limited by the characteristics of finite resources. Natural gas cannot fulfill all our long-term energy demands, but it offers us a secure capital resource that other energy sources individually cannot. Single source energy production is not the solution to our long-term energy, social, economic, and environmental sustainability; however, the combination of energy sources within a flexible framework, offer the ability to solve the problems associated with our energy demands over the long term, through responsible planning, placement and implementation of Marcellus drilling within the future alternative energy landscape.

Location:

Sullivan County, PA

Semester:

Fall 2012

Instructor(s):

Brian Orland Tim Murtha


External Forces

TRADITIONAL ENERGY Traditional energy systems are static, rigid, and unable to react timely in the market as demands increase and decrease. The result is blackouts, increased energy costs, and excess energy is often discarded useless and wasted.

External Forces

FELXIBLE ENERGY Smart grids allow for the flexible generation and distribution of energy at various scales as the market demand increases and decreases


ENERGY SOURCES A graph showing the annual kw/h production vs costs of alternative energy sources (wind, solar, biomass) and natural gas. The light brown represents startup cost relative to cost per annum.

wind potential

solar potential

BIOMASS This graph shows the annual kw/h production vs costs of bviable biomass energy sources. Many of the biomass crops currently utilized in america have a fairly low yield compaed to other available sources.

biomass potential


ABOVE

BELOW

A visual model of the land conversion process. Marcellus is planned for and implemented on previously identified sites with alternative energy potential. Wells are drilled and fracked. Land and pipelines are reused for alternative energy development.

A phased implementation strategy for the Lake Mokoma watershed. Suitable lands for alternative energies were identified and drilled. These areas are then reclaimed for smart alternative development.


conceptual “energy farm� land re-use

visual impact of large wind turbines and rapeseed implementation


christopher maurer undergraduate portfolio 2013 C.Maurer.PSU@gmail.com http://cargocollective.com/chrismaurer


Christopher Maurer Landscape Architecture Portfolio 2013