THE SEEDING SEQUENCE Establishing Resilient Civic and Environmental Systems in the Gravel Mines of the Amite River
THE SEEDING SEQUENCE Establishing Resilient Civic and Environmental Systems in the Gravel Mines of the Amite River Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture Louisiana State University Spring 2019
Kristopher Palagi Caroline Arbour · Henry Bein · Saul Belloso James Bergeron · Grayson Boullion · Nicholas Bradley Marie Comeaux · Jordan Farho · Jorge Galdamez Cecilia Gomes · Jeremy Gremillion · Merideth Hebert Anne Kellerman · Rachel Lagrange · Madeline Luke Julia Scheuermann · Kaitlin Schuette · Brooke Strevig Annan Wang · Christopher G. Washington III
THE SEEDING SEQUENCE: Establishing Resilient Civic and Environmental Systems in the Gravel Mines of the Amite River
STUDIO ARCH 5001 : COMPREHENSIVE ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN
TEAM The design team, led by Assistant Professor Kristopher Palagi, included the following B. Arch students:
This publication and the semester-long design studio it represents were made possible through grant support from the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, as well as a generous gifts from the Chevron Gulf of Mexico Business Unit and the Charles Lamar Family Foundation. The LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio brings together disciplines that frequently conduct research independently —such as design, science, engineering, and planning—to intensively study and build integrated design applications that respond to critical issues of coastal settlement, restoration, flood protection, and economic development. The CSS builds university capacity and transdisciplinary teams that work to solve coastal and deltaic problems through an integrated design and systems thinking approach. Research helps inform decision-makers, public policy, and efforts to plan for the future, such as the State of Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan.
Caroline Arbour Henry Bein Saul Belloso James Bergeron Grayson Boullion Nicholas Bradley Marie Comeaux Jordan Farho Jorge Galdamez Cecilia Gomes
SUPPORT LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio National Academy of Sciences Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Chevron Corporation, Gulf of Mexico Business Unit Charles Lamar Family Foundation
Jeremy Gremillion Merideth Hebert Anne Kellerman Rachel Lagrange Madeline Luke Julia Scheuermann Kaitlin Schuette Brooke Strevig Annan Wang Christopher G. Washington III
CSS LEADERSHIP Interim Managing Director Traci Birch, PhD, AICP Assistant Director Mary Bergeron Executive Committee Chairman and Interim Executive Director Robert Twilley, PhD Executive Committee Members: Sam Bentley, PhD Mark Boyer Craig Colten, PhD Marwan Ghandour Margaret Reams, PhD Clint Willson, PhD and PE Graphic Design Lindsey T. Henriques Allie White
THE SEEDING SEQUENCE: Establishing Resilient Civic and Environmental Systems in the Gravel Mines of the Amite River
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRO: INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIO STRUCTURE
INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIO STRUCTURE This book presents the process and final results of an Integrative Fifth-year architectural design studio. Drawing from a Systems Thinking approach to understanding relationships, this critical design approach engaged architecture as an emergent, complex system by trading the designer’s fixation of the architectural object for one of a complex adaptive system. Set along the Amite River, this Comprehensive Architectural Design studio’s project draws from Assistant Professor Brendan Harmon’s Fall Master of Landscape Architecture Studio, The Hungry River, for the development of a Recreational / Disaster Relief center. The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Built2Last Resilience Design Competition was adopted as the design prompt for the semester. This competition is focused on “the opportunity to design an environmentally responsible Recreation Center that integrates a secondary purpose of post-disaster neighborhood support for community through the inherent attributes of concrete applications.” (ACSA) Schools of Architecture, like all professional degree programs, must achieve accreditation standards. NAAB, the National Architectural Accreditation Board, has established a litany of areas for a curriculum to demonstrate success. Arch 5001 Comprehensive Studio is LSU’s 10th and final studio in the Bachelor of Architecture curriculum and has been assigned C-2 Integrated Evaluations and Decision-Making Design Process and C-3 Integrative Design of the NAAB criteria. These two criteria represent an intense, holistic, and yet quantifiable spectrum of obligations. Today, all fi lds of academia have come to value interdisciplinary learning and research opportunities. With that in mind, under the umbrella of the CSS (Coastal Sustainability Studio) the School of Architecture and Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture have recently focused on exploring unique approaches to interdisciplinary project-based learning. These collaborations must navigate their ability to maintaining Student Learning Objectives for their disciplinary accreditation, while fostering professional awareness and respect between the student bodies. Four initial schemes were proposed to begin an investigation into the efficacy of the structural organization of these collaborations. These four are jovially identifi d as; Best Intentions, The Relay, Traditional Blend, and The Frog First. 2
THE SEEDING SEQUENCE: Establishing Resilient Civic and Environmental Systems in the Gravel Mines of the Amite River
The studio presented in this book followed The Relay framework and is the second collaboration between the Landscape Architecture and Architecture departments at LSU that I have been involved with. BEST INTENTIONS: Principle course material is supported by a faculty member of the course listed school supported by a collection of interdisciplinary lecturers. Spring 2018_ Arch 5001, A Comprehensive Architecture studio, tackled a building program which focused heavily on the unique site characteristics. To accomplish this, multiple Landscape Architecture faculty frequently visited and participated in reviews throughout the semester. THE RELAY: Work from a professional studio is developed and completed in one semester and then is presented to a diffe ent professional program’s studio the following semester as a basis for investigation. Spring 2019_ Arch 5001 + MLA 7004. Through the Fall of 2018 a graduate MLA 7004 studio developed critical site strategies for a specified site. Throughout the Fall, an Architecture faculty member visited frequently and participated in the reviews. In the following Spring, the Arch 5001 architecture students were exposed to the rigor of the MLA 7004 projects’ site analysis and design proposals as the MLA 7004 students present their completed work. The architecture students discussed and adopted the site strategies presented prior to moving forward with their design work. The MLA faculty and students frequently visited and participated in the studio reviews. CROSS-LISTED STUDIO: A design studio is cross-listed in multiple profes-
sional school in which students of each profession are enrolled together and instructed by faculty of each profession.
Fall 2019_ Arch 5000 and LA7004 are cross-listed studios which combine Landscape Architects and Architects students for an interdisciplinary team projects. These cross-listed studio’s are instructed together under a full-time Landscape and Architecture faculty. THE FROG FIRST: In this scenario, two professional studios run parallel. After an cross-course introduction to the scope of the design project, disciplinary specific Student Learning Outcomes are accomplished independently in the first third of the semester. A cross-course review assembles the work from both studios. The work from both professions are presented, discussed, and interdisciplinary groups are formed. The remainder of the studio is instructed as a cross-listed studio. Proposed Spring 2020_ In the first week of Spring Arch 5001 and MLA 7004 will meet to discuss the proposed semester project and course objectives. During the first month of the semester the architecture students will develop Adaptive Assembly strategies and precedent studies which respond to the project and objectives. During this time, through a rigorous site analysis, the Landscape Architecture students will develop site design schemes. A clear appreciation of what each profession brings to the table is established prior to the selection of the interdisciplinary teams.
Instructor: Brendan Harmon
Research Accomplished by: LA 7031 Water Systems Studio
SITE ANALYSIS HYDROLOGY Rivers are incredibly complex systems, but become even more so when human activity disrupts or alters hydrologic processes. Centuries-long resource extraction from the Amite River and its floodplain have significantly influenced how the river reacts to changes in water volume and velocity, especially during high-water events. This section will help explain how improper practices in floodplain sand and gravel mining have altered the Amite’s morphology, aff cted its response during high-water events, and caused rippling impacts throughout the watershed.
MORPHOLOGY Morphology refers to changes over time in the physical nature of a river channel, including length, width, depth, and sinuosity. A 2007 report by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) concluded that since the 1950s, the Amite River has been shortening and straightening, causing the river’s flow rate to increase.1 The Corps indicates that stream length, “upstream and downstream of the mined reach, between 1953 and 1998… decreased, respectively, by as much as 5 and 29 percent” Increase in water velocity increases the water’s erosive capacity, leading to deepening of the channel bed and streambank degradation.2 The Corps also found that the channel width downstream of the intensively mined reach has “increased by 40 to 60 percent” since the 1970s, especially at Denham Springs, and attributed this change to sedimentation from mining activity.3 1. Hood et al, ii. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid, 107.
GRANGEVILLE PIT CAPTURE Fig. 1. Google Imagery highlighted to show a pit capture occuring over twenty years
AMITE RIVER Fig. 2. USGS Topo Maps edited to reveal growth in mining activity along the Amite River and impacts to morphology CONTEXT
Instructor: Brendan Harmon
Research Accomplished by: LA 7031 Water Systems Studio
MINING AND MINING OPERATIONS
A NATIONAL PRODUCT, A LOCAL INDUSTRY
Sand and gravel play a vital role in our everyday lives, and are used in applications such as concrete, buildings, highways, glass making, soil amendments and more. Nationwide, the sand and gravel industry generated $27 billion in sales in 2017, producing 890 million tons of construction sand and gravel. 4 Sand, gravel, and crushed stone are referred to as “natural aggregates” and, together, they “make up the largest component of nonfuel mineral materials consumed in the United States.”5 Although in demand nationwide, aggregate is typically used within 50 miles of extraction, making it a highly local industry. Aggregate does not travel far because the shipping costs quickly exceed profit margins of the material. This consideration diffe entiates sand and gravel from other high-value quarried materials, such as marble and granite, which may be shipped overseas. The 2017 Aggregates Industry Scorecard published by the Phoenix Center reports that transportation costs of sand and gravel are $0.22 per mile and cites two diffe ent studies that confirm “the delivered price of a metric ton of sand and gravel doubles at about 23 miles” from the extraction site.6 With such high transport costs, “90% of aggregates are consumed within 50 miles of the place of extraction and imports and exports are near non-existent, amounting to only about 1% of production and consumption”.7
RISING DEMAND Extraction of these materials is closely tied to the “construction and maintenance of residential, commercial, and government buildings, as well as transportation infrastructure including roads, highways, bridges, and railroads”.8 Demand for aggregates will rise as the nation’s infrastructure deteriorates and requires replacement. Many of the roughly 4 million miles of roads and more than 45,000 miles of interstates and highways in the United States are reaching the end of their lifespans.9 In 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) reported that only 36.4% of Federal-Aid Highways were in good condition, with 19.7% in poor condition. This report also found 66,749 bridges to be structurally deficient nationwide.10 As the nation’s roads, highways, and bridges are rebuilt, contractors will use local sand and gravel for the base of new roads and for concrete and asphalt causing rippling impacts on the local ecological systems. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
George Ford and Lawrence Spiwak, “Industry Scorecard: Aggregates,” Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy Studies, March 2017, 16. Daniel Sullivan, “Materials in Use in U.S. Interstate Highways,” United States Geological Survey, 2016. 1. Ford, “Industry Scorecard: Aggregates,” 6-7. Ibid. Ibid, 1. Sullivan, “Materials In Use,” 1. Anthony Foxx, “2015 Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges, and Transit: Conditions and Performance,” U.S. Department of Transportation, 2015, 154, 160.
Fig. 3a. ‘Mineshed’ Fig. 3b. ‘Encroaching on the Amite’; Impervious Surface Growth in the Region
Fig. 4. Diagram of flight path and data f om drone research
To select a project site, the studio utilized a dataset of sand and gravel mines provided by the Gulf Restoration Network (GRN). The organization compiled information from the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR) and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) to create this dataset, which contains information about the land owner, mine operator, current status (abandoned or active), and approximate mine age. The studio analyzed this dataset using GRASS GIS, Google Earth and Google Maps satellite imagery, and historic USGS topographic maps. In selecting an appropriate site, the studio prioritized and filtered mines by: • Abandoned status (per LDEQ or LDNR records) • Mining pit proximity to the river channel (less than 100 feet from river channel) • Accessibility (from river through pit capture or by land with owner permission) • Notable features (evidence of or potential for pit capture, significant changes over time, proximity to residential areas and infrastructure, etc.) • Ability to contact land owner and/or mine operator • Size (no more than 300 acres for study feasibility and drone battery life) Through this process, the class identifi d six potential sites, two of which were active mining operations, which could serve as backups in case contacting abandoned mine owners proved infeasible. Future site selection should consider some of the following challenges: • Establishing contact to obtain permission to access a site (determining whom to contact, where to find contact information, and acquiring permission within time constraints of semester schedule) • Having only one opportunity to visit the project site • Accounting for potential technological glitches The studio made contact with two landowners and received permission from one to access a former mining site for survey and data collection. The studio visited the selected site, at the intersection of the LA Highway 10 bridge and the Amite River, east of Clinton, on October, 8, 2018. The class divided into three teams to collect various data and site observations. One team conducted an aerial drone survey, collecting imagery which was later processed to create a 3D model of the site. Another team explored the site on foot and documented plant species, communities, soil conditions, signs of wildlife, and ecological processes. The third team explored the site’s large remnant gravel pits and nascent pit capture in a canoe, collecting geolocated water samples, water temperatures, and soundings. CONTEXT
Research Accomplished by: LA 7031 Water Systems Studio
Instructor: Brendan Harmon
The Parasite Lodge Students: Caroline Arbour, Anne Kellerman, Brooke Strevig & Christopher G. Washington III Faculty: Kristopher Palagi School: Louisiana State University
Juror Comments This top winning project, The Parasite Lodge, is an inhabitable wall which is part of a larger infrastructure system. The submissions is conceptual on many different levels and scales. This project showcases a long linear structure as a concrete mass with other components, programs and materials latching onto the primary concrete structure. The submission is wonderfully drawn and presented with great restraint.
COMPETITION BRIEF Design an environmentally responsible Recreation Center / Disaster Relief Center, focusing on inherent material attributes through architectural design to preserve tomorrow’s resources. This building should be designed in a way to function as a shelter in place and disaster command center during and immediately following natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or wildfires. Buildings should incorporate post disaster resources, such as temporary housing, auxiliary power, community communications, food and water distribution, sanitary services, minor medical services, etc. to support relief operations after the event.
As a group, the class defined 20 key characteristics of the site and building program to research. Diving into each of the subjects, students collected detailed poignant information in an attempt to establish a compelling narrative of the Amite River watershed. This constellation of relevant information was cited, shared and expounded upon by the students throughout the semester.
KEY SITE FACTORS
A thorough understanding of building code and adjacency requirements were documented in a Spatial Matrix diagram. Once this due diligence was completed, students began their design process by prioritized unique relationships that they discovered within the program. After researching various community activities -- a kayak park, fishing hatcher, to aquaponics -- the students explored several spatial massing schemes.
Scheuermann, Luke, Boullion
ARCHITECTURE 2030: PALLETTE Students selected architectural precedent structures from Architecture 2030’s online Palette. The digital database presents a wide breath of unique planning, landscape, and architectural solutions to the growing environmental challenges we face. Students identifi d characteristics of multiple precedents to approach Passive design strategies from a holistic view.
THE SEEDING SEQUENCE In the sciences, models are discussed as simplifi d representation of “real” phenomenon. Appreciating that all models are wrong, but some are useful 11 we recognize the need to acknowledge the focus or benefit of one modeling method over another. Within architectural design, if we consider this idea of modeling the “real” as methods of drawings, diagrams, physical and computational models, we can appreciate each represent inquires into the “real” with varied benefits. In both studios presented, the instructor specifi d the two methods for their ability to complement -- not necessary coordinate -- each other. By introducing these methods as a competition for leadership in the design process, students develop the ability to identify for themselves the benefit of each method. Pitted against each other in a recursive cycle, a modeling method explores the impact of structural logic and material characteristics at the Adaptive Assembly level, while a drawing method facilitates the exploration of emergent behaviors at the macroscale. In each studio, the Adaptive Assemblies are developed first. Once the Adaptive assemblies have been constructed in one modeling method, a diagram of the Adaptive Assembly is deployed on a site in the competing method of investigation. (It is important to note an act of translation at this stage, the modeling method is not “rendered” in the drawing method, rather, the structural logic of the assembly is diagrammed. This allows the Adaptive Assemblies’ compositional qualities to remain in the domain of the modeling method and enables the drawing to pursue emergent behavior.) Emergent behavior forms as the diagrams are allowed to rotate, repeat, and scale in response to internal system relationships (logic between assembly to assembly) and the external system opportunities of the program (circulation, spatial adjacencies, views...) and site (topographic, environmental, historic relevance...). In both studios, as the student adjusts the priority of various qualitative and quantitative elements of the project, the emergent behavior of the complex system responds accordingly. After multiple emergent scenarios are nurtured, the behaviors are assessed through Inductive reasoning. This bottom-up approach allows for the discovery of an unpredicted intent or general concept. With the concept clear, a deductive process of design research refines the project efficacy. A recursive folding of this macroscale intent returns the designer to question the Adaptive Assemblies. How can the emergent order influence the evolution of the Adaptive Assembly? How in turn can the evolution of the Adaptive Assembly refine the macroscale results? 11.
Box, G. E. P., and Draper, N. R., (1987), Empirical Model Building and Response Surfaces, John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY. p. 424
INDIVIDUAL PREP WORK
RETAINING WALL 1/4” = 1’ - 0”
LEVEL 5 41' - 0"
LEVEL 4 32' - 2"
LEVEL 3 23' - 4"
LEVEL 2 10' - 0"
F.F. LEVEL 1 0' - 0"
+/- -10' - 0" A.F.F.
GRAYSON BOULLION, MADELINE LUKE & JULIA SCHEUERMANN Between the building’s exterior and interior, a double wall system holds kayaks, tent platforms, and fold-out beds. Under everyday conditions, it performs as an occupiable recreation zone, while in emergency conditions, it provides adaptable flotation, debris protection, and shelter. A metal grate structure provides easy access for the family coming to visit the site to enjoy a day outside kayaking. The strap system connecting the kayaks together swing upwards by floating during rising water. The final system provides comfort for visitors throughout the year with wall contained beds and storage in the largest, well connected space. While the museum space educates users about Louisiana natural resources and local history, the classrooms allows newcomers and veterans of Louisiana outdoor culture alike to have a more hands-on experience. In the indoor classroom, adults and children can learn skills and safety techniques related to camping, hunting, outdoor safety, and utilizing the resources prevalent to the area. The outdoor classroom, a fishing platform and cleaning station, becomes an active learning experience to show the possibilities in utilizing the resources the landscape of Louisiana provides, through fishing, rainwater collection, and organic composting. A system of green roofs and walls carries the outdoor experience of the landscape into the architectural design. A young child visiting to exploring the depth of her homeland can seamlessly transition from bermed earth to the green roof that cultivates blueberry bushes, young oak trees, and wild persimmons all native to the area, valued for their use and providing resources to her and wildlife surrounding her. When trees surpass allowable roof growth (10-12 years), they will be relocated from the roof to the site to combat land erosion from floods and high river levels, protecting her and her neighbors when refuge is needed during a fl od. COMPETITION ENTRIES
1ST PLACE Built2Last
Resilience Design Challenge
THE PARASITE LODGE
CAROLINE ARBOUR, ANNE KELLERMAN, BROOKE STREVIG & CHRISTOPHER G. WASHINGTON III The Parasite Lodge siphons water away from the Amite River to perform as a mussel propagation center. The act of drawing water out of the Amite to allow the heelsplitter mussels to reproduce not only reintroduces a population that acts as a food source and stabilizes the banks of the river, but also takes built up pressure off of the river banks that would prevent flooding downstream, thus protecting the people who live further down the river. The building is dependent on the river for its functionality, and in return the building provides stabilization back to the Amite. The dual function of the Parasite Lodge as a disaster relief center and educational youth camp functions year round in a singular shell, the retaining wall. This two-part structure of the pour-in-place concrete retaining wall and the attached steel porous walls allows for users to be help in a protected space which enjoying the beauty of the surrounding landscape. Within the concrete form, tunnels are carved out to navigate through the site while steel enclosures push themselves through the building to open up space that allows for the inhabitants of the wall to gather. The connection of the steel porous walls to retaining wall acts much like a parasite; the attached structure cantilevers off of the concrete form, relying solely on the load bearing retaining wall for support. The 400’ long concrete building can withstand strong hurricane winds and would remain fully functional during a 100 year storm. Also performing as a year round recreational lodge, secondary wall types and a green roof system attaches to the larger mass creating areas of recreation and resiliency. Inside the 15-foot wide concrete form, voids are carved out to allow for passage, rest, and refuge within the wall. Apertures pierce through the thick concrete to allow for light and wind to comfort those residing in the wall. Traveling within the tunneled voids, users arrive at open spaces that are flooded with light and allow for visual access to the surrounding landscape previously hidden by the wall. COMPETITION ENTRIES
AMITE RECLAMATION CENTER
(C.A.$.H ARCHITECTS) HENRY BEIN, SAUL BELLOSO, CECILIA GOMES & ANNAN WANG
The Amite Reclamation Center is the hub for organized research and rehabilitation eff rts in the Amite River Watershed as well as the primary disaster center in the area. Situated in one of the many abandoned mining facilities along the Amite River, The A.R.C. is the premier case study into the controlled rehabilitation of natural resources, contaminated by industry, and aims to be an educational and research center teaching its visitors the importance of ecology as a natural resource and mitigator of natural disasters. The overarching idea used to achieve this goal is: Reclamation Through Education, offe ing the users a personalized and lasting experience of the Amite Watershed. By providing recreational and educational activities, the user begins to interact with the surrounding ecosystem. When a natural disaster occurs, and the Center begins to shift its purpose to protect its occupants, the educational aspect becomes internalized. 40
The Digital Library is the “Brain of The A.R.C.”. During its functions, the visitors enter through the Digital Library lobby and from there, navigates to the rest of the programs. The users can engage with interactive displays and activities that educate the user on Amite River Watershed ecology. The normal function of the researchers and scientists is to collect data on the site that would help in the reclamation process. Examples of the type of data being taken in are: soil samples, water samples, compost samples, and flora samples. Once in “Disaster Mode” the Digital Library becomes the main check in point for people displaced by a natural disaster. The Digital Library collects the information of the incoming users, offe ing the public knowledge of each person’s location. The Digital Library also collects record of the atmospheric conditions like rainfall and wind speed. The Composting Corridor acts as the underlying organizational system for the A.R.C. It performs as an link for the various programs and its users. The Composting Corridor is a vehicle used to, not only collect data, but to help pave the way for reclaiming nutrient-deprived land. The all that remains in the abandoned gravel mine is sand which has no organic matter, preventing any plant growth. The goal of the corridor is to help create a ecological strategy that can be implemented on other sites that has also been stripped of its nutrients. By bringing back the nutrients of the land, other components of the ecosystem would follow. The Composting Tray System is the basic system being implemented in the corridor. It is a simplifi d method of recycling our waste, whether that is food waste, or human waste. The system is broken down into three parts, the decomposing, the solidification, and the liquid excess. The first “tray” stations the main activity, where worms are used to break down the materials for compost. The second portion is where the excrement from the worms are collected. The excess liquid from the worm’s excrement, also known as Worm Tea, is then filtered down and collected. The two types of fertilizers would allow for three testing zones. One is where the main nutrient is the compost, the second, just dilute worm tea, and the last, a combination of the mixture. This would allow the Digital Library to determine the most beneficial mixture of nutrients for the land. The Arboretum is the main indoor activity center for The A.R.C. during normal operations, teaching its occupants the possibilities reclaiming abandoned gravel mines through agricultural means. The Arboretum hosts the beginning stages of plant growth, allowing for the early stages to be in a controlled environment. The types of trees grown in the Arboretum were selected specifically to grow in the gravel mine. Along with the trees for reclamation purposes, the Arboretum also houses edible vegetation for everyday and emergency purposes. When in “Disaster Mode”, the building is able to hosts cots for displaced people. The compost toilets are still able to function without traditional plumbing. The kitchen’s main function in a disaster is to store food and water, as well and distributing the resources. COMPETITION ENTRIES
MERIDETH HEBERT, RACHEL LAGRANGE & KAITLIN SCHUETTE Located on the banks of the Amite river, our proposal, the Amite Wetland Observational Lodge & Shelter, aims to embrace the systems of the water and environment around it. Focused on research, education and environmental engagement, the Amite Wetland Observational Lodge & Shelter becomes a prime location to study and understand the Amite River at a personal scale. Students from Pre-School to PHD can come and engage at multiple scales. Whether they are planting sapling willows or analyzing the data stored in the Research library, this center provides those opportunities not removed from the Amite River, but engaged right next to it. Wind shakes the panels, and rain seeps inside. The storm is coming through the wall, giving a firsthand taste of the power of a hurricane. After the storm subsides the walls are lifted, and the physical boundary between outside and inside disappear. The permeable panels of the porous wall create a blurring between built and unbuilt and fosters a connection to the environment through attenuating the climate, and growing plants within its very columns. Structural bays made to hold vegetation help retain stormwater, delaying any flooding of the main structures that may occur during a hurricane. Grates make up walkable areas inside and out on top of a folded-plate roof structure made of cast-in-place concrete. Custom bio-trays of various sizes and depths help to continue growth of wetland seedlings whose growth began on the columns of the porous wall. Once full grown, the plants can be re-homed into their natural environment of the area to help retract the consequences of the gravel pit. Staff, students, and locals all can walk along the winding, built-up wall of earth supported by the snake-like skeleton of the retaining wall system. Anyone can use the raised pathway to access the terraced seating near the Amite Wetland Observational Lodge & Shelter, as well as get to the public fishing docks that are close to the Amite River’s edge for all types of recreational use. The retaining wall raises the building, as well as creates a channel of space underneath to allow flooding from the Amite River to reach the wetland area created in the original master site plan by Elizabeth Peterson. This also allows everyone in the Amite Wetland Observational Lodge & Shelter to get a good view of when the flooding is happening, as well as see where all the plants being grown in other parts of the building’s structure will ultimately be trans-planted to. The program of the Amite Observational Lodge & Shelter is all hosted beneath large overhangs and roofs. While not enclosed completely, this building provides the opportunity to feel sheltered and protected but allows for the various environmental systems to engage with the building and the people who come. Through a water channel that allows flood waters from the Amite River to rush in to a porous wall that filters sunshine. This building doesn’t want to block out the environment but embrace what is there. COMPETITION ENTRIES
REGROWTH & RENEWAL JORGE GALDAMEZ & JEREMY GREMILLION Given the existing site and research conducted by our predecessors, they were able to create a solution of restoration, engineering a plan to reclaim the land lost due to gravel mining in the region. Using agroforestry, their plan aims to utilize trees grown on-site in a regular cycle to re-populate surrounding areas that have also been damaged by storms and mining. Moving forward as architects, our goal is to utilize the groundwork laid by our predecessor and adapt this site for use in both humanitarian and environmental maintenance. To do this, we’ve created a local hub that is able to transition between enhancing local reclamation eff rts through civic engagement and harboring those same civilians in the case of severe natural disaster. This structure aims to utilize the visibility of the site to create a local landmark that people could quickly identify and route in the event of a widespread disaster. The building itself draws local attention by providing a mixed use facility equipped with a boat launch, allowing local hunters and fishermen to launch into the calmer lake waters before transitioning to the rougher waters of the Amite River. The building’s program also utilizes a series of small greenhouses that would be maintained by both the community and those supervising the agroforestry elsewhere on the site. These spaces are designed to expand into spaces for habitation in the events following a major storm, with rooms remaining compact during storms to utilize the structure’s massing to their advantage and sliding out afterwards to expand the floor plan, turning storage space into living space for those with nowhere else to go. The ground floor is designed with structural elements that work passively to keep out floodwaters, ensuring the structure remains a safe evacuation point, while the structure’s green roof is built with permeable parking to protect the vehicles of civilians utilizing the shelter. COMPETITION ENTRIES
RECLAIM / REVIVE JAMES BERGERON, NICHOLAS BRADLEY, MARIE COMEAUX & JORDAN FARHO Take a look at any Louisiana license plate, state map, or tourist attraction and you will undoubtedly see the phrase “sportsman’s paradise” on it somewhere. Since New Orleans was first established on the banks of the Mississippi River, the natural features of Louisiana have attracted countless people for the bounty that our great state offe s. Bayous, rivers, and forests harbor wildlife of all kinds, from deer and ducks to fish and crustaceans. Even those who do not take part in hunting and fishing still utilize the natural beauty of Louisiana, through hiking, kayaking, and canoeing. There is truly something for everyone in our beautiful state we call home. Despite this, Louisiana’s natural beauty has become secondary to the interests of industry and commerce. Petrochemical extraction, salt mining, and countless other methods of harming the natural world have left scars across our great state. Erosion runs rampant, pollution is nearly everywhere, and the ugly marks of human greed have taken a severe toll on Louisiana’s rivers and waterways. In the Amite River this is especially evident, as gravel mining has shortened the overall length of the river by over ten miles due to erosion. On top of this, heavy metal and fertilizer pollution has made its way into virtually all forms of aquatic life in the river. The goal of this architectural intervention is to reconcile the Louisiana’s love for the outdoors with the burgeoning threat of erosion, pollution, and disaster. During normal operations, this building serves as an educational recreation center. After hurricanes or other natural disasters, this building serves as shelter for displaced people forced to evacuate. The building itself acts as a structural reinforcement for the failing banks of the river, with retaining walls holding back sediment and soil to prevent erosion. Eventually the river’s edge will grow up around the building, cementing its place in the landscape. An intensive green roof will filter rainwater, removing pollutants such as mercury before it enters the river. In addition, porous walls with water retention louvers will help to periodically water local flora, while also generating backup electricity through rotation once the louvers are full. On top of all of this, the intervention seeks to draw attention to the natural beauty of Louisiana. Bicycles, kayaks, and fishing gear can be rented and used in the river and nearby forests. Classes will be held to teach visitors how to clean fish or how to properly pilot a kayak. In addition, visitors can bring their own recreational belongings to use for private use. COMPETITION ENTRIES
This book presents the process and ﬁnal results of an Integrative Fifth-year architectural design studio. Drawing from a Systems Thinking approach to understanding relationships, this critical design approach engaged architecture as an emergent, complex system by trading the designer’s ﬁxation of the architectural object for one of a complex adaptive system. Set along the Amite River, this Comprehensive Architectural Design studio’s project draws from Assistant Professor Brendan Harmon’s Fall Master of Landscape Architecture Studio, The Hungry River, for the development of a Recreational / Disaster Relief center. The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Built2Last Resilience Design Competition was adopted as the design prompt for the semester. This competition is focused on “the opportunity to design an environmentally responsible Recreation Center that integrates a secondary purpose of post-disaster neighborhood support for community continuity through the inherent attributes of concrete applications.” (ACSA)