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S a ra N ewey Harvard Graduate School of Design MLA1 candidate, 2012 323 821 2790 9 Bowdoin Street #2 Somerville, MA 02143


Modernizing MIT: Killian Court Light Study 2012

Willet’s Point, New York


The Program campaign


The Forest at Machine Project


South Weymouth Naval Air Station Gothic Arch at LACMA Boston Government Center Puma campaign






K I L L IA N CO URT, M I T, C A M B R I D GE, M A The challenge in redesigning MIT's Killian Court rests in the dichotomy presented between the traditional architecture of William Bosworth's Maclaurin building and the position of MIT today as a center for creativity and innovative technology. It's strong connection and proximity to the water's edge, and position as a formal entrance on the banks of the Charles however, has been diminished by the development of memorial drive. Because of this, the court has not progressed with the development of MIT's reputation. Instead, it remains stunted, and underused. Reestablishing a physical and visual connection between the court and the Charles River, and between the court and MIT's technological and creative student body would make the court relevant to the campus again, and create not a front entrance that you would pass through, but a space to hold it's visitors- from 10000 at graduation, to the single student. This project aims to create a new landmark for MIT. By creating a land bridge that connects the court, literally to the river, and developing a series of projections that maximize the presence of water in the court, MIT's Killian Court will once again become a focal point of the campus. 2011 GSD

CONCE P T S T UDIE S Killian Court sits on reclaimed land from the Charles River. It's strong connection and proximity to the water , and position as a formal entrance on the banks of the Charles however, has been diminished by the development of memorial drive. Because of this, the court has not progressed with the development of MIT's reputation. Instead, it remains stunted, and underused, except for the graduation ceremony each spring which has a very large, and brief footprint.


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Graduation Footprint

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L ANDBR IDGE DE V E LOPME N T To reestablish a strong connection to the Charles River, a land bridge would cross over Memorial Drive, eliminating the traffic that otherwise cuts the court off from being able to engage the water. By pushing the sloped topography which runs under the Massachusetts Ave. overpass to just east of the court, enough space is gained to provide a large public space with easy access for anyone walking along the esplanade and to connect with the water.



1 5



1 5



MIT's Infinite Corridor

Stage/ Installation/ exhibit space

Existing Elm Alley's Center Lawn

Shallow Pool Paperbark Birch trees Seating areas Buoyed walkways

Land bridge lawn Kentucky Coffee tree bosques Benches

N Amphitheater seating 0




K ILLIAN COURT FRON T E N T R ANCE This projection at the front entrance plays a key role in designing Killian Court as a new landmark for MIT. The large scale of the projection will allow Killian Court to be seen from the Massachusett's Ave. bridge, and across the Charles in Boston, while offering opportunities for students to interact or design various schemes in future years. The light being projected is a real time representation of the water in the main reflecting pool. The water is filmed, capturing the movement of people in the court, and projected. The projection becomes interactive as visitors within the court experiment and play with the vibrations animating the water within the main pool.

V IS I TOR IN T E R AC T ION The water in the pool is filmed and projected onto the front entrance of the court, broadening the effects of water and the connection to the Charles. The water is animated in two ways: the paths crossing the pool are buoyed -creating ripples in the water as you move across them. And, speakers installed under the pool surface will create vibrations and movement in the water- controlled by users cell phones acting as remote controls.

cell phone remote application

speaker / camera / projector

projections of water movement

PROCE SS ION AL WALK WAY S As visitors and students walk across the bridges towards the MacLaurin Building and the infinite corridor, the water is activated by the weight of the footsteps, illuminated with light, filmed, and projected at the front entrance. During the graduation ceremony each spring, students will walk towards the stage over these walkways, in a dramatic procession to receive their diploma's.








19” 30”




The faceted seating, designed for the islands in each of the side courts were inspired by crystalline structures that "conduct" light. The chairs will be cast in resin, imbedded with LED lights at their centers. The sculptural seating offers a break from the formality of the space, allowing for a more playful atmosphere to rest.



The islands that sit within the 2 side courts are planted with paperbark birches, illuminated at night by small LED lights embedded in the limestone, and sculptural chairs cast in resin with internal lights- allowing them to glow with a crystalline effect.

WAT E R' S E DGE The steps that lead to the Charles River at the edge of the land bridge also function as benches with various angles of repose.

100˚ 120˚ 125˚

INS TALL AT ION S PACE / S TAGE The steps at the entrance to the MacLaurin Building are extended out into the court, creating a stage for performances,large scale installations, and an area for students to sit off of the infinite corridor, located just inside the doors.

A R BO R E A L L I GH T S T UDY Trees each filter light differently to the ground plane creating moments of unique experiential effects for the passerby beneath it’s canopy. The series of models are a selection from a larger set examining and mimicking the light quality produced by common street trees and their leaf texture and density. 2010 GSD

Cornus kousa

Acer campestre

Aesculus hippocastanum

Gleditsia triacanthos


W ILLE T ’ S P O I N T, QUEE NS, NE W YOR K Located on Flushing Bay, and adjacent to Citi Field in Queens NY, Willet's Point is at once a forgotten piece of urban landscape and a vibrant community filled with off the grid auto repair shops. Ecologically, the area is very degraded. The absence of sewers and environmental regulation has resulted in the extremely poor water quality of Flushing Bay. In addition, the natural flows within the estuary that cuts through the site have been completely dissolved. Using ecological function as a framework for human development, the goal of this project is to create a habitat for oyster populations that can coexist with a new development plan for the area. Oyster's have historically played a large role in the area's ecological systems. Each oyster has the ability to filter up to five liters of water per hour and represent a potential ally in the restoration of Flushing Bays water quality. While oysters are incredible at cleaning water, they do have habitat requirements that are not presently being met by the bay. The sedimentation of the water in the bay has been magnified by the quality of storm water runoff flowing from the area streets. In addition, the estuary that used to exist is no longer supplying the volumes of freshwater necessary to lower salinity levels to the requirements needed for large numbers of healthy oyster larvae. This project aims to develop a plan that fulfills development requirements for a combination of high and low density housing while creating a condition that harvests area runoff and grey water. The water will function as the key input of freshwater back into the system and allow for the development of healthy oyster populations. The plan reflects a reciprocal relationship between the lives of the oysters and the people living on the point. 2011 GSD

FLUS HING BAY & R E GION AL CON T E X T Willet's Point is located at the southern most tip of Flushing Bay- an area that had previously been a healthy estuary system that would have supported large communities of marine life, including oysters. The high levels of sedimentation and the low salinity of water in the bay currently make the area inhospitable to oyster populations that would go a long way in restoring the health of the bay. The plan that follows allow for "spokes" of development to act as delivery systems of fresh water that has been harvested and cleaned from area runoff, blue roofs, and grey water. The system will supply the necessary amounts of freshwater needed to lower salinity levels and reduce the sedimentation in the bay. The system therefore creates a symbiotic relationship between the development and the oysters.

Navigational Channel

Viable Habitat Area spdes (State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) - wastewater treatment facilities CSO’s (Combined Sewer Overflow)

N 1:15000m


Stormwater runoff is funneled from area roadways to the development where it is captured and cleaned before being deposited into the bay to lower salinity levels. Deployment strategy : based on market fluctuations and changes to surrounding area drainage patterns, a flexible arrangement of development is possible. However, 40% must be high density, 40% medium density, and 20% open space. Densities must be scattered to ensure adequate water handling.

40% high density housing

40% medium density housing

High density development: self-contained, freshwater generated from harvested rainwater and recycled grey water. Water is stored and discharged into the bay in controlled amounts to ensure constant salinity.

Medium density development: less water is generated from blue roofs and grey-water recycling. Block structure breaks into smaller units, allowing bioswales to occupy interstitial spaces between buildings. Medium density spokes accept storm water runoff from surrounding areas, filtering it before discharging it into the bay.

No density development: Open space developed for recreational use and additional bioswales to accept additional stormwater runoff from surrounding areas. 20% recreation and open space

N 1:3000

T HR E E S EC T ION AL T YP OLOGIE S High density development: The high density spoke of development operates as a fresh water generator for flushing bay. The larger population requires a larger volume of water, which can be separated into grey water and recycled. The higher density also results in larger roof footprints, allowing for large volumes of fresh, clean water to be harvested in blue roof systems. Water is then stored and discharged into the bay in controlled amounts to ensure constant salinity. The presence of water and the systems used to collect it will be highly visible and serve as a reminder to use water as efficiently as possible. Medium density development: The medium density spoke generates less water but uses space to capture more road runoff. Block structure breaks into smaller units, allowing bioswales to occupy interstitial spaces between buildings. Medium density spokes accept storm water runoff from surrounding areas, filtering it before discharging it into the bay. The presence of water is ever present in this condition as well, as the open spaces serve a dual function, providing atmospheric and recreational opportunities, as well as water treatment. No density development: Open space spokes are developed for the recreational use of the greater public and the population living on the water. Additional bioswales are in place to accept stormwater runoff from surrounding areas. Tidal swimming pools offer unique swimming experiences and the chance to get close to the water and witness the effect of the tides.

High density

Low density


WAT E R S ALINI T Y & OY S T E R S Oysters at various stages of their lives prefer different levels of salinity. To ensure the largest population of healthy oysters, spawning larvae need a salinity of 17.5 PPT, while adult oysters prefer a salinity level of 22.5 PPT. In nature, oyster larvae tend to be located closer to land and fresh water inputs. As they develop, the adults attach themselves to substrates further into the ocean where the salinity is higher and less diluted by fresh water. Large volumes of fresh water would be necessary to lower the salinity of the bay to create the optimal environment for large populations of healthy oyster larvae . The bay, historically, would have been receiving this volume of water from the estuary that has been closed off. The imagery depicts the pathways designed to be accessible for limited amounts of time due to tidal fluctuations and the initial implementation of colonized oyster substrate used to encourage the oyster population in Flushing Bay.

Open Sea Water

Freshwater 0 PPT

50 PPT

Free Swimming Larvae

17.5 PPT

Adult Oyster

22.5 PPT 0 PPT


35 PPT

17 PPT



WAT E R FLOW & R E EF COLONIZ AT ION To test the effects of water flow on the form of reef development and it's effects on oyster larvae recruitment, we used Surface Water Modeling System’s Software (SMS). The reef, initiated by a rebar frame, will grow over time while illustrating the direction and speed of water flow. Oyster larvae will populate the downside of the dome, building on itself year after year. As the frame degrades over time, only shells will remain - producing viable fish habitat and cleaner water. (In collaboration with Tomas Folch)

rebar dome settled by oyster spat x>10cm


water velocity fordome larvaesettled recruitment: less rebar by oyster spatthan 10cm ˉš water velocity: for larvae recruitment: less than 10 cm -1

original dome settlements Dome settlements

estuary loor Estuary


vital habitat Vital Habitat

Structures populated by oyster spat are moved from the nursery to the reef. Currents created by the change in Structures populated by oyster spat are moved bathymetry inspire growth to favor onebyside, while from oyster the nursery to reef. Currents created change in bathymetry inspire oyster growth to extending the reef. favor one side, while extending the reef

SMS water flow model currents converge, forcing oyster larvae to populate one side of each dome. Over time, the oysters will create a ridge that follows the flow of water SMS water flow model -currents converge, forcing oysters populate one side of each dome. Over time, the oysters will create a ridge, following the flow of water.

Rhino terrain created from bitmap

B&W bitmap of water flow diagram

cm/s 0




9 12

New Hydrographic Morphology

WAT E R C AP T UR E, CLE ANING, & R E LE A S E The high, medium, and zero density development spokes all capture runoff from the surrounding area. The urban area that encircles the intervention is highly impervious and yields large volumes of polluted and sediment filled runoff, which at the moment flows out of CSO's directly into the bay. The development areas are positioned to accept this runoff and retain the water in bioswales designed to separate out the effluent before releasing the fresh water into the bay. Over time, the water quality if the bay will increase and provide a healthy location for the oysters to flourish.

Low Density Development






Low Density Development:

This type of development LOW DENSITY DEVELOPMENT: EXCEPTS AREA RUNOFF. excepts area storm water runoff. AS As BLOCK the block size decreases, SIZE DECREASED, interstitial spaces between lower density housing is used as INTERSITIAL SPACES BETWEEN bioswales- filtering water before reaching the bay.HOUSING The freshwater LOWER DENSITY ARE USED AS BIOSWALES- FILTERING is clean as it enters the system toWATER lower salinity levels. BEFORE REACHING THE BAY HIGH DENSITY DEVELOPMENT: BIO SWALES MITIGATE STORM WATER BEFORE IT REACHES SPOKE AND THE BAY.

High Density Development:



Bioswales are placed to mitigate storm water before reaching the spoke and bay. Grey water recycling and blue roof technology capture clean fresh water before depositing it into the bay.

High Density Development

Water Quality Improvement




ME DIUM DE NS I T Y HOUS ING & T IDAL FLUC T UAT I ON The character of each of the spokes of development changes with the tidal flux of Flushing Bay. At low tide, paths emerge, and oyster beds become more visible. As the water rises, the presence of water is felt more dramatically, as the reflection of the water appears on the sides of buildings, and a person is able to bend and touch the water's edge. The tidal fluctuation acts as a conveyor for the oyster larvae, who hatch in the shallower waters close to the coastline and in the waters close to the perimeter of the spokes where fresh water is being released. With the tides, the larvae is transported out to the reefs further into the ocean, where salinity levels are higher, and where they will attach themselves to the substrate of the reef.

Low Tide

High Tide

PRO G R A M SNOW BOA R D S SE T Photographer: Jared Eberhardt An indoor forest set was created for the Program snowboard company with taxidermy, tree trunks, live tree branches. grasses, dirt, moss, and rocks. The ad campaign was displayed as the inside cover of ski and snowboard magazines nationwide.

2008 Los Angeles

T H E FO R E S T M ACHI N E PROJ EC T G A LLE RY, L A , C A In collaboration with Christy McCaffrey An installation creating a surreal and immersive environment that transformed the space of the gallery. Materials included tree trunks, live branches, fiberglass tree trunks, dirt, leaves, and live plants. The installation was in place for one month, during which a series of events such as poetry readings, a bigfoot lecture, and movie screenings took place. The installation was also featured in the movie 'Greenberg' by Noah Baumbach. ( 2009 Los Angeles


SOU T H W E Y M O U T H N AVA L A I R S TAT ION (SOW E Y) W E Y M O U T H, M A As a decommissioned military base, the SOWEY site is complicated by issues of contamination, multiple county lines, and past development resulting in the disruption of wetland habitat. The project considers the current mismanagement of wildlife in the eastern half of Massachusetts by proposing a managed and conserved hunting ground that responds over time to fluctuating populations of animal species increasingly attracted to urban areas. The landscape is transformed into a 'sink', luring overpopulated species from surrounding suburbs, while simultaneously providing a haven for species that require protection. The program, driven mainly by a seasonal foraging and hunting calendars, creates unique relationships between multiple demographics. By maximizing existing site resources, facilities, and adjacencies, the new node for foraging conservation utilizes minimal operational strategies to create maximum resource and cost efficiencies. The design is projected over a period of one hundred years, focusing on the broader and longer range strategies for re-envisioning the future of the site while redefining it as a system in a larger context.(In collaboration with Emily Gordon and Scottie McDaniel) 2010 GSD

SI T E PROJEC T ION (2060 ) & PROGR AM C ALE NDA R The landscape is curated to respond to and attract overpopulated species. On a regional scale, the site will act as a prototype within a system of conserved patches. To achieve this, systems for vegetative, hydrologic, and topographic manipulation are put in place at the initial phase of the project, embracing the idea of continuous disturbance and designing for maximum flexibility. Management areas and site organization will change in response to habitat needs, layering over time. With species and habitats in constant flux, conservation can no longer be conceptually tied to the preservation of a fixed state and defies the notion of a predictable and specified site plan. The projection of the site for 2060 predicts the need for water management, to respond to increased runoff from neighboring sites and to create habitat for the over populated Canadian Geese population destined for this area of New England. Controlled burning continues to be a management strategy for encouraging the grassland habitat in the southern part of the site, while timber harvesting ensures a multi aged and healthy forest. At the same time, successional vegetation has acted upon the runways, helping to break apart the concrete which is recycled on site.

Forest management practices: 1 acre forest harvest and legacy tree selection

Landing pad succession

Damming and water management

Grassland burning and field experiments

Runway scoring and catalyzed breakdown

SEQUEN T IAL S EC T IONS : H A BI TAT T HROUGH S T R AT E GIC D I S T UR BA NC E By maximizing existing site resources, facilities, and adjacencies, the new node for foraging conservation utilizes minimal operational strategies to create maximum resource and cost efficiencies. The operations on site both actualize the curation of habitat for a continuously changing population of species, and jump start the successional development of vegetation which will later be harvested. Topographic manipulation in the initial stages of site intervention allows for the future flexibility in hydrologic levels. Responding to area runoff and species targeted as nuisances, ponds can be flooded or allowed to drain. Grassland burning in the southern half of the site is used to inspire successional growth while creating adjacencies of habitats suitable for many bird species and deer that prefer openspace near forest cover. The runways on site provide large quantities of concrete to be recycled. Following the strategy of minimal input, the runways are scored, allowing for vegetation to more quickly colonize and break up the concrete into pieces that can more easily be removed. Forest management includes harvesting trees in 1 acre square areas while selecting legacy trees that remain standing. This ensures a multiaged forest that maximizes it's hosting capabilities for biodiversity.

Earth removal and sequence of hydrologic levels

Grassland burning and field experiments

Runway scoring and catalyzed breakdown and succession

Forestry management: Shelterwood group and legacy tree selection and succession

T HR E E CROSS S EC T IONS A portion of the program designed for the site includes foraging activities and cooking related events that correspond to the hunting calendar. Walnut trees are planted in groves in the northern portion of the site and provide habitat for truffles that grow especially well around their roots. Blueberry bushes colonize the area previously used as the landing pad for helicopters. Area chef's are invited to participate in large dinners arranged on the former runways, creating a unique, local dining experience. During times when the eastern portion of the site is flooded to make room for large ponds to attract area geese, the runways become the perfect high ground for skeet shooting. Areas of contamination on the site - remnants of prior use - are capped. The areas are cleared before hand and create open spaces in the forest, creating edge conditions that lure wildlife such as white tail deer.

Walnut groves provide habitat for mushrooms and truffles. Large dinners take place on abandoned runways, surrounded by fields of blueberries

Runways become bridges while water is managed and attract over burdened geese populations

Landfill cap: luring wildlife to occupy the zone between dense forest and clearing

PROJEC T E D H A BI TAT CR E AT ION OV E R 100 YE A R S The diagram to the right traces the changes and fluctuations that could occur on the site over a period of one hundred years. Hydrologic fluctuation, runway dissection and dynamic vegetation all transform the character of the site. The imagery at the bottom depicts the cultivation of mushrooms and truffles, both of which form the basis for foraging and culinary related program on the site. The pairing of a culinary culture with hunting on site inspire the collaboration of diverse demographics.

2010 2010


Hydrolic Fluctuation Hydrologic Fluctuation

Runway Dissection Runway Dissection

Dynamic Vegetation Dynamic Vegetation


Projective Habitats

Projected habitat creation over 100 years


Mushroom propagation and truffle habitat

G OT HI C S PEE D M E TA L A RCH LOS A NG ELE S CO UN T Y M USE UM of ART In collaboration with Christy McCaffrey The sculpture was created as part of the group show organized by Machine Project gallery’s “Field Guide to LACMA.” The archway is a replica of The Doorway with Arms of the Counts of Chazay, (circa 1450) which is on display within the museum. We carved the replica out of foam and painted it to match the original. Every hour a guitarist would play speed metal guitar for one minute, acting as a clock for the show throughout the day. The piece was reviewed in the Los Angeles Times. ( 2008 Los Angeles

BOS TO N C I T Y H A L L PL A Z A , BOS TON, M A Boston’s City Hall Plaza is currently organized to accept an irregular influx of large groups of people for sporadic events. At other times, the plaza seems static and unwelcoming. This project intends to introduce dynamic elements that allow the plaza to be expressive at all times of the year while retaining the ability to host large groups of people. Vegetation has the opportunity to change over multiple time lines. Seasonally, quaking aspens and winter wheat would change color dramatically. Along a longer time line, aspens, which propagate by root suckers, are planted in open troughs under the ground plane. This allows the trees to slowly spread across the site, shifting the density from one area to another. 2010 GSD





concept diagram

Boston City Hall Plaza

seasonal change

study model

1.0” = 40 .0‘

aspen trees first planted

aspen trees in 20 years

aspen trees in 50 years






shade study and animation

PUM A SE T Director: Jared Eberhardt A single shell spelling the famous sports brands' name was designed to house four different sets promoting Puma’s fitness, golf, motocross, and running campaigns. The wooden shell, with rolling front doors, was dressed and re-dressed for the four themes and filmed and photographed in succession. 2009 Los Angeles

DIS PL AY The campaign was produced for online, video, and editorial advertising, as well as in store graphics, and special promotions.

Paris Metro Station

S ara N ewey Harvard Graduate School of Design MLA1 candidate, 2012 323 821 2790 9 Bowdoin Street #2 Somerville, MA 02143

Sara Newey Portfolio 2012  
Sara Newey Portfolio 2012  

A presentation of artwork, set design, and work created at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in landscape architecture.