stained Morgan Mangelsen
4 introduction 8 water Perceptions 12 chicago water history 16 chicago present 24 south works 36 development plans 42 design proposal 46 receive record respond 58 liquid gathered 64 site plan 70 experience 80 stain plaza 88 water court 94 wet pool 104 dry pool 110 remnant room 118 lakeside park 122 conclusion 124 references 129 appendix
When I envision the future of our cities, I imagine a city I would like to inhabit. A city that I would prefer to work towards rather than one I see as an impending doom. It is not the current hard edges, defined by the buildingâ€™s wall and width of pavement. I imagine something more variable, soft, and alive. Though one may argue that cities are quite alive, the only traces of life I see are the bits of vegetation fighting through a crack in the sidewalk and the birds bathing in a random puddle.
The real life of the city is flowing beneath it. The pipes, the drains, the gutters; they all contain it. The water that falls upon the city and washes the dirt and waste into the massive networks of pipes beneath our feet is what I deem most essential. Miles and miles of pipes transport a substance so valuable that in some places it is worth more than gold. Yet, we wash it away, use it to carry off our wastes. In my vision of our future cities, I see a massive network of ecosystems, with different characteristics defining each neighborhood. The water flows openly, providing life for more than just humans. The rain events become incorporated into daily life. They begin to determine when and where you can occupy a space. The hydrological cycle begins to shape the city cycle and its residents are respondent to where the water flows and gathers. To achieve this vision, I would like to challenge the centralist organization of water infrastructure in a way that encourages alterntive water experiences. In order for our cities to thrive in the impending epoch, their water systems must operate in a structure closer to that of an ecosystem where water is managed within its own micro-watershed. The resulting structure is then composed of multiple water districts with water stewardship being closer to its source. Through not only the implementation of alternative technologies and systems but also intentional design, this proposal seeks to address the social perceptions of water within cities to potentially change the current water paradigm. By taking cues from the historical evolution of water and society, future design practices can affect the way people perceive all types of water, no matter its source or destination.
Paris: Map collector sewers of Paris, 1870, Data from: University of California, San Diego
An analysis of the relationship between water and cities reveals a deeper issue in expressing the importance of integrated water management. Though the role that water has played in societies has evolved through time, there has been a growing separation between humanity and the hydrological cycle. Quantity, quality, and location are the consistent themes that force cities to make decisions about their water management; however, there have been points in time when decisions were made that lead society further from seeing water systems as integral components of cities.
Cities located on major water bodies have generally flourished by benefiting from trade routes, adequate water supply, and in some instances, military advantage. The Roman Empire is an excellent example of water acquisition, where water possession was a way to establish and exert power. Massive aqueducts could be seen carrying water across the landscape from springs into the city, symbols of a powerful empire. Within the city, water was located in public bathhouses. There, water was an important part of social gathering space for more than just flushing waste. Because of the constant running water, the sounds of traded secrets were suppressed. In the ancient cities, water was evaluated by taste, clarity, and abundance. The modern cities saw a different dilemma: disease. In the 1800s, cholera and typhoid were at the forefront of concern and it was identified that contaminated water and human waste were the sources of illness. It was the rise of the “bacteriological city.”(Gandy, 1999) During this time, water access within the home was becoming more prevalent. Increase in scientific understanding of pathogens as well as the introduction of the private bathroom lead to a different mentality towards personal hygiene. Along with this came a stronger divergence in the view of water within sewers and within the home. The water within the home provided the means to cleanse oneself and typically came from a pure source. The sewer water, however, was used, dirty and even the sewers themselves became associated with negative sentiments. In response to the aforementioned issues along with increasing importance found in public health and sanitation, new, centralized control and distribution infrastructure emerged as the predominant form of potable water and wastewater management. Rapid urbanization was straining the existing sewers and new systems were to be employed. In Paris, the sewers Haussmann had intended solely for storm water were being used to move human waste because separate systems were too costly.(Gandy, 1999) The “organic city” was no more. The modern city was now in control of its water systems. This control had larger social implications within the public realm. The sewers were viewed as dark, unseen, and dangerous places and became an analogy for “untamed nature.” (Gandy, 1999) With this view, water took on a role of disposal and cleansing for both the body and the city and its infrastructure allowed humanity to grow increasingly distant from water. The pollution of water bodies through sewage disposal continued until the concept of environmental decline reached public awareness. At this point, water bodies had been heavily polluted by the industrial revolution. The demands for water treatment resulted in the first water treatment facilities. In their introduction, cities became further detached from nature. Being able to send their waste to a treatment facility and receive their drinking water through pipes, removed all visual connections to their water source as well as the destination of their used water.
Basilica Cistern, Istanbul, Turkey
In recent years, the increased amount of heavy rainfall events and water shortages has brought water back into public light. We are reaching a point of decision once again. There is the opportunity for society to choose an alternative to the current management strategies. Water is a necessity to sustain life; however, within cities, water is only thought of when there is too much or too little of it. Historically, the water cycle was more incorporated into daily life because water management was not as advanced. People also did not consider themselves separate from â€œnature.â€? As the infrastructure evolved and water management took a different approach, water became more of an issue to solve by diverting it under or around cities. This new impending crisis of climate change is forcing a reconsideration of our current infrastructure. This is a point in time where we can chose to advance a new dialogue regarding urban water instead of perpetuating an old ideology.
chicago WATER HISTORY
This proposal takes place in Chicago, IL, a city with a long history of implementing large scale infrastructure in order to manage its urban water. Chicago was established near Lake Michigan and the Chicago River in the early 1800s. The city’s adjacencies to easy trade routes resulted in population growth that exceeded both their water supply and sanitary systems. Because of the consistent water crisis, often decisions were made hastily without regard to external consequences. The history of Chicago’s water systems has positioned the city in a vulnerable place that affects not only it but both the Great Lakes and Mississippi watersheds.
Master Plan, scale 1”=400’, Forest Preserve District of Cook County, John Barstow Morrill, landscape architect
The Sanitary District of Chicago is established.
Local drinking water sourced through privately owned Chicago Hydraulic Company. The water supply was not enough for the growing demands of the city, and the company was incorporated into a public supplier. The water supply would be taken from Lake Michigan as it was viewed as a source of “pure and wholesome” and also “infinite” drinking water.
Work begins on Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal so that the city can send waste into the Des Plaines River.
Chicago River is used as an open sewer, taking the city waste and sending it back into Lake Michigan.
Water pollution due to industry and waste was interfering with the quality of the drinking water. The Board of Public Works was established to manage Chicago’s water.
The canal is completed and water is now being diverted from the Great Lakes into the Mississippi watershed. The city health improves.
Typhoid kills 90,000 people, 10% of Chicago’s population.
A two-mile tunnel was dug through Lake Michigan lake bed to obtain cleaner drinking water.
Population Pressure Environmental Pressure
Refusal to permit Chicago any additional lake water to flush effluent results in a need for alternative ways to treat sewage.
Droughts in the Great Lakes brings the Chicago diversion to the forefront of conversation and results in numerous suits from area states. The increasing environmental movement also grew during this time period, raising concern over pollution entering the Great Lakes.
Chicago, still heavily relying on dilution as a treatment plan, is required to revise their plans for sewage treatment and build treatment facilities as they are limited in diversion amounts by the Supreme Court.
Missouri, worried about the quality of the St. Louis drinking water, files suit against Chicago. The court rules in Chicagoâ€™s favor.
Clean Water Act is passed in 1972 to regulate discharges of pollutants into U.S. waterbodies.
Chicago finishes long awaited wastewater treatment facilities.
Droughts draining the Mississippi watershed enable Chicago to request increased diversion amounts which is welcomed by southern states such as Missouri in order to raise Mississippi water levels.
The events listed above correlate with the expanding population. Upon the completion of the drinking water tunnel, the population began to rise dramatically. The increasing population forced water management to deal with disease and sanitation through massive infrastructure changes. Once disease was reduced, the population could continue to increase. Every decision had to be made quickly due to population pressures.
Chicago Midway - Annual Precipitation 55
The average annual rainfall amounts over Chicago have been increasing. (Illinois State Water Survey)
It is demonstrated in the previous graph, that experience can cause change quite rapidly. As more and more infrastructural changes were made, the separation between people and the water that runs through their cities began to grow. The presence of water became one of frustration unless it was controlled to specific edges or sent deep underground. By continuously choosing to push water beneath and away from us instead of working with it or making room for it, we made large statements about the importance of our water. These decisions have had a large influence on water experience as a whole. Continuing with the trend, Chicago is facing a lot of environmental pressures to deal with their excess water issues as of late. Heavily rainfall events and sewer overflows shape many of the cityâ€™s experiences with water. Often the water they experience comes as inopportune times and in poor locations. This ingrains the idea that water does not belong within our cities. There are three factors affecting the urban experience of water within Chicago. The first is the massive amount of infrastructure used to move water beneath the cities or to store it in times of excess. The second is watershed migration, a by-product of utilizing a system that sends water to point locations prior to it being released into a major water body instead of its respective aquifers. The third factor is flooding, which is an effect of climate change and the inadequate infrastructure. These three factors not only disallow for a positive variable experience with water, but also reinforce the current paradigm.
TARP Storage Versus CSO Events 25
Billion Gallons of Water
CSO Overflow Volumes
The first factor, infrastructure, is the result of a long process in the wrong direction. There are currently 4,400 miles of pipes moving water throughout the city. Many of these pipes are extremely outdated with some being still made of wood. The city has been changing some of its policies to incorporate green infrastructure; however, it is still sinking money into ideas that are not in the right frame of mind. The Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP), also known as the Deep Tunnel is an example. The deep tunnel is a $3.8 billion dollar project to deal with excessive storm water during heavy rainfall events. (MWRD) The water that enters the Deep Tunnel is held and later sent to a treatment facility for processing. As the above graph indicates, the tunnel has not been effective in capturing all storm water as the MWRD has had to release untreated sewage into Lake Michigan to deal with excessive flooding. The tunnel, located 300 feet underground in some areas, is expected to be completed in 2029. By then, the tunnel will be able to accommodate 17.5 billion gallons of water. (MWRD) In order to address these climatic and population pressures, Chicago has the opportunity to invest more in alternative water management strategies. Through the implementation of decentralized water infrastructure, Chicago can begin returning its used water to Lake Michigan. This becomes a closed-loop water system where Chicago is no longer the largest strain on the Great Lakes Watershed.
Treatment Facilities Watershed Diversion Deep Tunnel System Combined Sewer Overflow Interceptor Pipes Sewer Lines
Diverted Watershed - 673 sq mi
Watershed Diversion Chicago Metro Region
The second factor, that of the diverted watershed is 673 sq miles of water intended for the great lakes watershed or surrounding aquifers. It ends up in the Mississippi watershed because the treated water gets sent downstream of Chicago and the Chicago river, which once flowed into lake Michigan now flows the opposite direction to move city waste. That is the hyper-scale of absence. It is not currently experienced, but has the potential to shape future experience. Water scarcity is something not thought of in the Great Lakes region. Part of this is due to the seemingly constant flow of water, but also due to a large visual connection. Lake Michigan is perceived to be this massive, endless supply of water. Parts of the U.S. are already experiencing water scarcity. It is an unfortunate way to experience water, but it is anticipated that there will be a mass migration of people from water poor environments to those of water rich in the next coming decades. Currently, Chicago is diverting 1.7 billion gallons of water withdrawals per day. With the extending suburbs beginning to draw down their ground water sources, more water may need to be diverted to meet the expected population growth in addition to sustaining the existing population. (Calkins, 2013) The city is currently limited to 2.1 billion gallons of water per day and is only using 88% of that limit. With population rise, the water demand may rise. (CMAP)
Flooding Claims (Left) 2000 Claims
10 Claims Chicago Metro Region
Continuing the discussion of experience, the third factor of experience, flooding, has the largest impact on how people experience water in Chicago and is the driver of major infrastructural change. As previously mentioned, a large majority of Chicagoans experience flooding. The cause of the flooding is largely due to inadequate infrastructure. The flooding affects a majority of Chicago, and it is not from living near flood plains but a combination of impervious surfaces and poor infrastructure. The Chicago-based center for neighborhood technology noted that 177,000 local flood insurance claims, worth 660 million occurred over the years of 2007 and 2011. This covers 96 percent of the zip codes in cook county. Whatâ€™s happening is that the pipes are too small to handle the heavy rainfall events that are occurring more frequently and the water has no place to go other than peopleâ€™s homes and streets. These heavy rainfall events are anticipated to rise, resulting in a rise in frustrating experiences with water. But perhaps, this flooding, all of this excess water that cities are anticipating, is an opportunity. It is an opportunity to adapt a new type of space that allows for the presence of water and creates a fluctuating experience for urban inhabitants. The variability seen with flooding can become a positive experience. It can be something that is anticipated and hopefully begin to change the way we feel about water in the urban environment.
The issues previously mentioned, all shape our current experience with water. Though our water is usually an invisible thing, when it is present, (flooding) it becomes a negative experience. It does not have to continue to be this way. Urban flooding can be a positive thing. Pictured below is one of the vernal pools on my family’s farm. Every spring my brother and I knew that the ponds were filling and the vernal streams were running. And every spring, as the snow melted, we would throw on our barn boots, and we’d go trucking out to the back forty, to see how high the pond had gotten. Was the route we took flooded over? Had it hit the edge of the trees yet? My parents still send me photos when the pond is particularly high that year. The point is that we looked forward to this flooding, because we knew the water would be there, and we knew which sites to visit for this experience. It wasn’t an unpleasant surprise, and it became a yearly ritual for us. There is opportunity to bring components of this experience to the urban environment. We can begin to change our views on where water belongs within our cities and we can begin to look forward to our excess water.
Carnegie Illinois Steel Corporation, South Works, Brubaker, C. William, c. 1969
“South Works is the biggest missing piece in terms of completing Burnham’s vision for the lakefront.” - MarySue Barrett President Metropolitan Planning Council
The concept will materialize itself on the former South Works site located in South Chicago. It was initially opened in 1882 as the North Chicago Railway Mill Company and later renamed the U.S. Steel South Works. Its adjacency to the mouth of the Calumet River allowed for the easy transportation of materials and goods. For a large amount of the 1900’s, the site “was the largest employer on the city’s South Side with upward of 30,000 workers.” With the consolidation of steel activities to the site in Gary, Indiana, the site was incrementally shut down over time with the final closing occurring in 1992. (Kaplan, 2008)
The absence of the industry left a large void in the community. Presently, the site sits â€œvacantâ€? with spontaneous vegetation and remnant ore dock walls existing on the site. There is a large canal cut directly through the center with the sheet piling still intact. Another remnant of the industrial past remains in the soil. The contents consist of a steel byproduct called slag. Surrounding the site, the neighborhoods had previously been home to many of the steel plant workers, but there are many descendants of workers living there still. The historical character of the site is only acknowledged through remnant structures and in the Steelworkers Park located along the river edge on the site.
A 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
The beauty of the site is achieved through scale and emergent vegetation. Walking the length of the site is an experience in itself. Stretching thirty feet high, the ore dock walls lead you from the site entrance to the waterâ€™s edge. If you choose to walk between the walls, you suddenly find yourself isolated from the surrounding context. There are only random tires and trash littered sporadically through the wall canyon. The center of the site feels ominous because the surrounding area has little to no height. There are acres of emergent vegetation consisting of grasses, wild flowers, and a few clusters of trees. The surrwounding neighborhood is largely one to three story homes. The disconnect between the neighborhoods and the site creates a feeling of seclusion that is seldom found within Chicago.
C6 - Beautiful remnant structures are accented by spontaneous vegetation.
F6 - The point at which the canal meets the lake edge.
E6 - The rail track remains on the site and wraps around the eastern edge of the ore dock walls.
C6 - The end of the canal terminates into old infrastructure.
F6 - Seen are a few instances where the walls have crumbled and the large strip of concrete meeting the ends of the walls.
D6 - Massive, concrete ore dock walls run the width of the site, creating an ominous space between.
F6 - The edge of the Steelworkers Park meets the break in the walls.
B1 - The view from Rainbow Beach towards the South Works Site.
C2 - The vegetation on the site occurs in large sweeping masses.
F6 - The end of the ore dock walls.
F8 - The water edge meets land via a large rock barrier.
Looking further out from the site, the demographics of the surrounding neighborhoods differ from the city averages. Houses within the 60649 zip-code are largely renter-occupied. The household income is lower than the Chicago average, but the average age is fairly close to the city average. There is a clear distinction between the racial makeup of the surrounding neighborhoods and other portions of Chicago. (City-Data.com) In driving through the surrounding neighborhoods, there are numerous businesses along the major road networks (see appendix for transit types). One metra line currently services the area and limited bike routes are located on major streets as well. There are quite a few areas of open space, but the only major park is Rainbow Beach, located just North of the South Works site.
Black White Hispanic Other
Natural Disasters 3
The South Works site has current development plans that hope to reconnect the surrounding neighborhoods to the downtown area. Lakeside is a development partnership between McCafferty Interests, Inc. and U.S. Steel. They are referring to the site as a “catalyst for a New Chicago,” as it will be a model neighborhood for the 21st century. The development plans to incorporate modern technologies in order to make the new neighborhood more future-focused and resilient. The development is divided into six different neighborhoods: Market Common, US 41, Lakefront, Central Park, The North Slip and Ore Wall. The intent is to create a walkable community with easy access to amenities. The plans suggest that through both street connections and transit access to Southside, Lakeside will bring “resources and city involvement to this historic neighborhood.”
Home | Lakeside. http:// chicagolakesidedevelopment. com/.
Facts 50,000 Anticipated Residents $4 Billion in Estimated Cost 17.5 Million Square Feet of Retail and Commercial Space 13,575 Market Affordable Homes
125 Acres of Lakefront Parkland
General Programming Market Common Lakeside Residential Retail and entertainment destinations
Home | Lakeside. http:// chicagolakesidedevelopment.com/.
Lakefront Residential Ideal for higher densities
Central Park Residential Organized along centrally located park
North Slip Boat access and docking Range of uses
US41 Range of uses Housing variety
Ore Wall Mixed use
Research & Development Innovation Zone Living Laboratories Energy test field
Phasing starts in the northern area of the site and progresses downward to meet the intended Calumet Park.
Home | Lakeside. http:// chicagolakesidedevelopment. com/.
Home | Lakeside. http:// chicagolakesidedevelopment. com/.
Home | Lakeside. http:// chicagolakesidedevelopment. com/.
Home | Lakeside. http:// chicagolakesidedevelopment. com/.
The development of Lakeside will serve as a transit connector for the Southside neighborhood with the intent to drive economic growth through increased access. Lake Shore Drive will be extended south and CTA bus service will be expanded. The Metra train service will be improved and there is an anticipated new light rail train service to increase transit capacity. The most interesting aspects of the future development plans are the water systems. The intent is to return 90% of the site water back to Lake Michigan through the utilization of alternative water infrastructures such as bio-swales, green roofs, and the Living Machine (See Appendix for further details). Much of the water systems planned for the site include pipes to move water into areas designated for infiltration. The treated water is then returned to the lake.
For this proposal, the general site organization from the Lakeside Masterplan will be accepted. The areas that will be examined in further detail are those reserved for water infiltration and treatment. How the site water is experienced will be demonstrated within these areas on the development plan. For water calculation purposes and systems, the area outlined in yellow will be designed in further detail. The selected area contains a variety of typologies and open space for potential programming. The area covers approximately 80 acres. About 30 acres of that is building footprint or road. By focusing on a specific area, I will be able to fully detail the experiential qualities of integrated water management. With this approach, I hope to demonstrate the potentials for water management and experience. The ideas generated can become precendence for water experience and demonstrate that water management does not have to consist solely of infiltration basins and retention ponds. Space can become a place of water first, but still serve the public needs in times of water absence.
â€œHome | Lakeside.â€? Home | Lakeside. Accessed December 23, 2015. http://chicagolakesidedevelopment.com/.
Overland Flow and Infiltration
Water Collection Area
Design Proposal Areas
Through the use of the teal open parcels, the site will treat itâ€™s storm water. The spaces were originally intended to just be wet meadows and infiltration areas and the wall was not utilized much in the original design plans. There is potential to increase the user and water interaction while maintaining function. The map to the right shows the major features of the new development. Because the site was heavily programmed and accommodated many residential activities, it permitted the design of the infiltration areas to be largely focused on human and water engagement.
Commercial and Retail
Restaurants and Retail Canal
School Athletic Facilities
Receive respond record
The design proposal revolved around three main ideas: to receive, respond, and record as it relates to water experience. Though water can be experienced in multiple ways, the hope was to develop a site that encouraged users to be more aware. Through these three goals, the design could change the way urban water is viewed. Each word relates to experience. Receiving water is about creating an environment that welcomes and embraces water. Respond relates to the wall, and how it can become a potential device in the experience of water. Recording water occurs through water amounts but also water stains from everyday occurrences. The historical character of the site is also preserved. The wall is given a new purpose. It is sometimes holding back water or allowing people to view water in a different way. The stains are created by a steel product. The wall itself is covered in stains created by water. When these elements are combined, the site becomes responsive to water in an alternative way. Water becomes the actor and the site the stage. User experience is largely based on when water is or is not there. The amount of the water changes the shape and movement through a space. The variability can be welcomed event. It can also create much needed conversation.
Receive is best realized in the same way that the vernal pools manifest themselves. The edges of the interior water retention and treatment areas are not definitive except in cases of overflow. Surface water is able to flow freely into the site and collect in a series of pools. Because the site is relatively flat, a series of pools create the experience and allow for water to move without drastic changes in site topography. The idea is that water flow is not an entirely hidden process. Rainwater can collect on the site surfaces and be present. The site is seen as a place of water first and the land arises out of it to shape space and meet programming. The plumbing diagram on the following page shows the general movement and containment of water on the full site. The site incorporates green roofs and cisterns to contain excess water prior to its release within the central space but to also reuse the water in site fountains.
Surface water can freely flow into site
Infiltrate and be collected for storage
Areas of Pooling
Water System Green Roofs transpire stormwater and excess is collected and brought into the site
Biotreatment and infiltration areas are used to filter water prior to storage
Hydro-dynamic separators are used for the removal of sediments and other debris
Cisterns collect and store excess treated water for reuse in site features
Ultra Violet treatment is used to purify rainwater before is it reused for site water features
Black water treatment wetlands cleanse building water before it returns for final filtration and reuse in toilets and cooling systems
Stormwater storage occurs at the surface in areas designated for overflow events prior to treatment
Treated rainwater is used for circulation and aeration of stormwater pools
Biotreatment and infiltration areas are used to filter water prior to storage
Excess rainwater is discharged into Lake Michigan after treatment
Water from streets is collected and infiltrated in tree wells, while excess enters the central spine for infiltration and treatment
The wall was a challenging component to designing the space, but it became a device for experiencing the water within the site. Modifications were made in various ways to respond to the experience within that room of the site. These varied from shallow cuts to full slices through the massive structure. Some of the wall treatments allowed for direct influence by water. In “Capture”, cuts are made horizontally on the wall surface to catch falling rainwater and encourage growth of moss or lichens on the wall. Other treatments are complimentary to the program of the space. In “View”, stairs are attached to the wall so users can climb up and view the lake horizon. The last treatments are those that create space through the use of the wall. The “Shelter” diagram shows how the wall can be used to create a sheltered, more intimate view of water. By intentionally using the wall as a device for experience, the wall becomes an integral component to the site. The history of the site is preserved in its ability to stay a wall and still run the length of the site. The actions performed on the wall enhance the experience and at times, create moments of contrast through scale.
Feature Capture Through Through
Cuts are made horizontally across the surface of the wall to catch rain or sediments and permit growth
eature Seat Wall Capture Through
Cuts are made through the wall so users may pass freely
Seat Through Wall
3 foot wide slices are made in the wall to permit the movement of water or user
The catwalk allows users to view the pooling water or water stains from an elevated perspective
Water View Feature Capture Throu
Water runs down the face of the wall to encourage interaction and connection
View Through Capture
Through the attachment of stairs, the wall becomes a viewing spot to the lake horizon
Through Shelter Water FeatureWater Canopy Seat Catwalk Feature ThroughThrough Sound Falling Water Water Treatment Rainwater Treatment
Seats are carved out to create more interaction with the wall and provide setting
Space is extracted from the wall to allow an alternative water-viewing experience
Shelter is attached to the wall for and to experience rain
There are multiple variables that affect the way water marks and affects a surface. The slope of the surface can influence the strength or pattern. The depth and shape can change mark appearance as well. Following form, material choice is the dominant visual cue. A mud puddle evaporating results in a dry, cracked surface. A concrete surface can become jagged and divited. A grassy surface may mask subtle water amounts but large periods of wet and dry can begin to determin what areas become brown or super green. By taking inspiration from the historical component of the site, metal was the material chosen to create stains on the hard surfaces. The stains created by copper and corten are simple but strong in their ability to record water presence. Corten and copper are seen as the paint while concrete and limestone are the canvas. The site fixtures such as benches and light poles, are covered in these surfaces to allow water to catch on them as it moves into the site. These metal fixtures combined with site grading allows the stains to become shapers of space and experience. Recording the constant fluctation of water results in an experience that changes over time. Year after year, the stains become more apparent and stronger and the experience of water can exist even when it is no longer there.
The program goals of Receive, Respond, and Record are illustrated in the adjacent perspective. The modification of the wall allows for both human interaction and alters the flow of water. The benches are wrapped in copper to encourage the staining of water on the limestone surface. The site has no curbs so that water may flow freely into the basin area.
In keeping with the goals of Respond, the wall has 3â€™ wide cuts made through it. It alters how water flows into the space but also can serve as a recording device for water height.
Receive manifests itself in a curb-less environment where water is allowed to freely flow into the landscape and pool in specific locations.
The copper wrap on the benches permits the ability of the site to Record water through storm water flow, and stain direction.
In testing ideas about recording water, a series of study models were developed They were ways to understand how a space can be occupied by both human and water. They also were a way to contemplate how the staining or recording could occur. Starting with the idea of a pool, the shapes began to evolve. They were created while considering how people would move through the space and how that movement could change based on water level. The water level in some would be shallow in some, creating extreme changes in occupiable space. Other models where the water level was deeper, resulted in spaces where water was present longer. In the model pictured below, water fills each side and becomes one solid pool. As the water level declines, the path emerges and the water splits into two pools on either side. Thus a way to experience presence. After the water had completely evaporated from the models, these rings gave away the subtle topographies. They also gave away depths, as the deeper pools had more time for the pigments in the water to drop out. What resulted from these studies were beautiful marks determined by both shape and amount of water and a way to experience absence.
The pictures below demonstrate the opportunities for space and stain creation. For example, in Steps, the stains left behind are an interactive feature. People can walk and observe the surface, knowing that water once occupied that space. The strength of the stains also tell a story of frequency. In Path, the space could be completely filled and act as a single pool. In that instance, people use the space through walking along its edges. As the water begins to evaporate or infiltrate, two paths emerge in the center of the space. The change in water level allows users to cross the pool and be surrounded by water. When the water is completely gone, the space has one more experience to give. It is a series of raised paths, perhaps moving through infiltration gardens.
The first area of the site begins on the West end. It is the more commercial and retail oriented component and us also the more lively area. As you move East, the water park connects to blackwater treatment areas. The main road running North to South carries the majority of transportant from shuttle to bus and personal vehicle. The site ends by meeting Lake Michigan where residents can walk along its lake edge. The site is organized by layers of use and functionality. Because most people will be spending time in the spaces near the shopping areas, it is important to accommodate potential markets and influx of people. The areas further in the site that treat water are positioned where the site is largely residential. The lakeside parks were left largely open to allow for multiple activities and events while keeping the focus on the major water body. Because the larger development plans incorporated heavily programmed areas, it was more appropriate to keep the project solely about the experience of water. The adjacencies of each â€œroomâ€? are determined by functionality, but also adjacencies of the development. The floodable rooms are much quieter and are intended to provide a break from the more active bookends of the site.
1 2 4
Dry 1 Entry Plaza
6 Wet Pool
2 Water Court
7 Dry Pool
3 Blackwater Wetlands
8 Remnant Pool
4 Mid Plaza
9 Lakeside Park
5 Open Flood Park
10 Lake Plaza
1 2 4
Flooded 1 Entry Plaza
6 Wet Pool
2 Water Court
7 Dry Pool
3 Blackwater Wetlands
8 Remnant Pool
4 Mid Plaza
9 Lakeside Park
5 Open Flood Park
10 Lake Plaza
Through Through Water Feature Water Canopy Feature
CanopySeat Wall Seat Wall
0 -1 -2 -3 -4’
Floodable Area Constant Pools
Water Treatment Rainwater Treatment
Feature Shelter Slice Through Water Feature
WaterSlice Feature Capture Through Through Slice
Water level increases towards lake.
The water park allows for a more lively experience of water through site features. It becomes a place for people to experience the recycled rainwater.
A large metal canopy allows water to be experienced through sound. Residents can sit beneath the structure while watching the rain make shallow pools and rivers across the site surface.
The water plaza becomes an ice rink in the winter time. In doing so, the plaza is consistently activated through playful experiences with water.
The wetland treatment areas are constantly running with heated water from site buildings. What results is a consistent steam arising in the colder months of the year, creating an atmospheric fog.
The edges of the pools change and vary based on water amounts. This results in varied spaces overtime determined by hydrologic events.
The paths crossing the site become water edges when the site is at full capacity. The paths appear to float over the water pools.
One path cuts through the space with water on one side of it. When the water begins to fill the space, the user becomes surrounded by water in a closer experience.
Smaller pools of captured rainwater create intimate moments with water in a wooded area. The pools record water through growth of organisms.
Catwalk Vanishing Walk
Plaza Picnic Area
The site program makes use of the spaces in the absence of water, but also works with water presence. The cat walk is an active part of the site where people can go on morning walks or jogs and view the pooling water from above. The vanishing walk is a component of the site that changes based on recent rainfall. If the water level is particularly high, then the walk will disappear. The great lawn usually has people laying around or flying a kite near the lake. A weekend yoga can be held there or other fitness clubs. The active field in the southern portion of the site, usually has kids playing soccer while water from the streets is treated in its northern and southern edges. Though daily activity constantly occurs, water is still a present component.
The areas occupied vary based on week day and time. The lake edge is very active during weekday evenings and weekday afternoons. The water park is very active during the weekends and most used during the summer and winter. The central area of the site near the main transit road is usually busy during the weekends and rush hour during the week. The flooding area is usually occupied in early mornings or evenings. Most of the spaces meant for events are those at the far West and far East ends of the site. The plaza to the West and the water plaza can accommodate weekend markets. The parks near the lake edge can hold fitness activities or miniature festivals.
A Day in the Life of Site Residents Program Areas Weekday Weekend
Waits for bus to downtown
Ice Ska t
in p laz
er levels aily wat d s k c e Ch
Visits water park
g rnin Mo
Transit and Treatment Area
ol scho o t s s bu
k Morning Wal
ha nd so nw
s aft er r
Crun ches ic
The diagram below shows the typical events of a day in the life of the residents. The orange lines correspond with the typical weekday while the blue are weekends. Each user encounters a water experience at least once during their typical daily routine. For example, the elderly couple that lives across the street might wake up one morning and walk to the water plaza to drink coffee and observe the people heading to work. Afterwards, they go to the blackwater treatment wetlands to see how high the water usage (or low) it has been that day. They might end their day by taking their daily walk along the lake and watch the birds floating on the water. On summer weekends, the family that lives next door takes their kids to the water fountains. The parents chase their kids through the fountains and sit on the benches while their kids run along the ore wall. In the afternoon, the family travels to the park along the lake. They have a picnic in the shade of the trees and head home after the kids get tired. The site is meant to incorporate water more in the daily life of the residents. It creates a series of positive experiences. Over time, the value of water increases through the positive reinforcement. Daily life becomes complimented by water rather than ruined.
Nig ht w
alo ng la
People Watchin g Picnic near l ake ed ge
ogs r fr s fo
At ten ds fes tiv Yo al ga in th ep ar k
ee Throws frisb
Water Storage Zone PM
Blackwater Treatment Wetlands Storm Water Treatment and Infiltration
The first room, the stain plaza, is about interactive mark making. There are subtle depressions in the surface. These depression collect rainwater and as it slowly evaporates, it causes concentric rings to gather over time. Some rings such as those from winter salt, are less permanent than the ones created from the rust washing down from the lights. Kids are able to play in the water moments left over from the rain, becoming participants in the mark making. The section on the following pages shows the relationships between spaces and materials. The Stain Plaza is where market stalls can be placed during warmer months. The grove of trees offers shade and is also a permeable surface that moves water into the adjacent treatment area towards the east. In the perspective, you can see the gathering stains of rust. In the background, the stain promenade carries users through the space into the water plaza. The rings are a consistent presence even though water is not a dominant feature of this plaza.
Mixed Use Residential
Mixed Use Residential
Corten Light Post
Corten Pavement Inlay TS 589.5 BS 588
Concrete Pavers 588.59
TS 589. BS 588
4â€? Depressions in Pavement
588.44 588.59 2%
The adjacent plan demonstrates the use of materials and site grading to create markings. The plaza is sloped towards the grove of trees with a 2% slope. As the water moves across the surface, it catches on the various site fixtures such as benches or lighting that are clad in corten. The main promenade through the site is edged in corten as well. Over time, the water continuously running across the surfaces results in stains being pulled across the concrete pavers. The stains illuminate the direction of flow and presence of water. The promenade is graded so that the water stains move across the path and denote the space. The depressions in the plaza create concentric rings as water evaporates over time. Lighting that is located within the depressions acts as a dye, similar to the way the watercolor paint stained the models.
589.6 TS 591.66 BS 590.16
TS 589.5 BS 588
SL OP 2%
TS 589.5 BS 588 TS 589.5 BS 588 2%
TS 589.49 BS 587.99
TS 591.09 BS 589.59
TS 590.4 BS 588.9
Swamp White Oak Quercus bicolor
2% Slope across pavement
Rings from salt during the winter
Corten lighting Rain washes rust down from lighting
Micro Water Flow
Rust stains collecting in depressions on pavement
The plaza connects to the more active water court. The space is frequented by people in the summer wishing to evade the heat and splash in the site water. There is a large canopy structure for shade near the blackwater treatment areas. The wall is an active component of this space as it is part of the major water features. Treated rainwater is cycled out of the top of the wall and runs down the length of the wall. As you walk past the wall you canâ€™t help stretching your arms up to touch the rough texture of the wall while the water runs over your hands. The sound of the falling water compliments the lively character of the space. In the winter, the plaza is transformed into an ice rink. As people skate around, the rink moves underneath the wall. The water is no longer running down the wall and the historic surface provides a backdrop to the space.
er Feature Water Canopy Feature Through Through Seat Wall Water Feature Slice Canopy CatwalkSeat Wall
Treated rainwater falls through the wall
Treated rainwater runs over the surface of the wall
Serviceberry Amelanchier canadensis
Blue Fescue Festuca glauca
The next room falls within the pooling area and is called the wet room. The site welcomes water to fully inundate it. This area treats much of the site water through retention and infiltration prior to entering into a cistern. A major feature is a falling wall of water that people can move beneath. Within the wall, users can sit and listen to the falling water. The wall is used in multiple ways. It is a space of shelter, it holds the catwalk on its surface, and also has water moving vertically down it. The wall also serves to hold back water gathering on either side of it, resulting in horizontal stains marking depth on its surface.
eat WallCatwalk Water Feature
Through Through Catwalk
Slice Shelter Through
Water Shelter Feature Capture Through Water Feature S
Wall Multifamily Residential
Canvas Space Filtration
nent Pool and Overflow
Wall Multifamily Residential
Canvas Space Filtration
nent Pool and Overflow
Excess Surface Storage Volumes
Normal Water Level
Treated water overflows into collection pipes Water in fountain is used to cycle and aerate water in pond
Sediment is removed through hydrodynamic separators
Rainwater enters pool after moving through biofiltration areas
Excess water flows into Lake Michigan Water undergoes ultraviolet treatment prior to being recycled into site fountain
As seen in the section, people are able to walk along the top of the wall and view down on the pooling water as well as within the wall behind a smooth wall of water. On a typical morning the sound of the falling water creates a peaceful atmosphere. Some mornings after a recent rainfall, the water level is just a bit higher. And during heavier rainfall events, the space becomes a site to behold as the water has fully consumed it. Figure 1 shows the general diagram for the water collection and treatment process within one of the pools. Water first flows into the pool through pipe or surface flow into a sediment collection area. It then overflows into the main pooling area and is filtered through a treatment wetland. The treated water is collected and excess sediment is removed through hydro-dynamic separators. The water then enters the cistern where it is held and recirculated through the site fountain in order to aerate the standing water after being treated with ultraviolet light. Any excess water is returned to Lake Michigan. Figures 2 and 3 show the change in experience based on water amounts. In Figure 1, the water was at its base level. The area of occupation was larger. In Figure 2, the water level is slightly higher, changing the experience of the space as the user is positioned between the water encroaching from the large pool but also the sediment collection area on the other side of the berm. Figure 3 shows the pond at full capacity. The water level is breathtaking as it consumes the entire space. The edges of the water are redefined as is the idea of occupation. Water is permitted to be a variable experience without hindering the experience of the users.
The next room, that of mark making, is the dry pool. Most often this space only contains a small, more linear pool that moves along the path, but when inundated, results in the path being a place between two large pools. It creates a closer experience and feeling of being engulfed. This act of slicing is seen again, where the wall is cut through, 3 feet wide. Water and people are able to pass through it depending on who has command of that space. In the dry periods, on the surface of the pavement, the receding water, pulls on the materials, marking the surface, generating curiosity in those passing by, wanting to see where those marks are leading to. Those on the top of the wall, are able to look down and observe a cadence of stains.
Wall Slice WaterSeat Feature
Permanent Pool and Overflow
Pictured to the top left, is the space fully flooded. The water gradually increases in depth as one moves towards the wall. The benches are inundated and water leaves marks on their faces. The bottom right shows the space after the water as receded. The water pulls the oxidized copper across the limestone surface. What can be seen from above are the stripes of stains, patterning the surface. The section shows the fully flooded site. The trees used are river birch and swamp white oak. They are able to take levels of inundation without issue.
The final flooding room, my personal favorite, the remnant room, results in a different experience of the presence of water, through it’s ability to cultivate life. The space is set at a slight slope. If you watch the horizontal bars, you can see that the space, though accommodating for water, is not just depleting the space humans occupy, but changing the general character of occupancy. The back and forth movement of occupation offers a different experience of the space each rainfall. Within this space, these massive concrete dishes are catching falling raindrops, or holding onto residual water that hasn’t yet evaporated from the last this space had flooded. And one you’re passing by this space, you see kids investigating the remnant pools of rainwater located on the slope, and maybe there is something growing in there. Perhaps one day, they’re trying to catch frog. They’re interaction with water is one of discovery, where they get off the bus and run to see if something new is transpiring in these water dishes.
Lawn Wood Concrete
1 Foot of Inundation
2 Feet of Inundation
3 Feet of Inundation
4 Feet of Inundation
The final room, the lakeside park, permits users the ability to move upward to view out on the lake, but also to move down to the lake edge. The park in the lower portion is more shaded and intended for lounging with a book or having a picnic. The areas more open to the lake are more active. Large groups of people can gather for organized activities with the lake in the back ground. The last fragment of wall is used as a viewing platform. One can walk up the wall and look out on the massive lake or take pictures of the people running through the open spaces. Standing 30 feet above the ground, the users can see nearly to downtown. The final step on the lake edge is set 1 foot above lake level. When the lake level fluctuates, sometimes the final step is covered in a thin layer of water, enough to invite people to walk in it and be surrounded by the glowing sheen of the moon on the surface of the water.
Viewing platform on top of wall
Northern Catalpa Catalpa speciosa
Lowest step is often inundated with lake water
CorTen coated bench
The role of the landscape architect is not to force change, but to design spaces in which change occurs. By designing cities to embrace their excess and used water, ingrained public perceptions about water can begin to dissolve. The growing separation between humanity and the hydrologic cycle can begin to convene once again. This proposal offers an alternative way to experience water. It embraces variability through anticipation and positive engagement. The water is a compliment to the urban environment and daily life. Even material choice becomes a way to capture and experience the movement of water through our cities making the current invisible more present. Through creating spaces that allow for the presence of water to be enjoyable or anticipated, it encourages a better relationship with the water in our urban environments. Allowing water to influence our daily experiences through positive intervention, shows respect for something that sustains our existence. My hope is that people can fall in love with their water, and that future cities can fully embrace water in both its presence and absence. Some day, the water cycle will be a celebrated component of city life. Cities will become habitat for species other than human, and they will participate in the larger ecosystems they inhabit. Someday, humans will no longer be considered separate from nature.
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BLACK AND GREYWATER FILTRATION PROCESS
CLOSED AEROBIC REACTOR
OPEN AEROBIC REACTORS
“ECOLOGICAL FLUIDIZED BED”