UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA ARTS PRECINCT MASTER PLAN • Charlottesville, Virginia

 


Our urban landscapes are filled with Wet Lands, spaces that include traditional wetlands but also river zones, drainage swales, and stormwater structures. Culturally they are most often considered marginal landscapes that must be simplified towards polar ends of wet and dry to be useful. Yet it is precisely their marginality that allows them to hold a healthy ambiguity, making them fertile territory for design.

The project tests these ideas in a specific design proposal for an expanded arts complex and redefined entry to the University of Virginia. The design transforms a forgotten municipal servicestormwaterinto a valued civic spacea place of public gathering and opportunity for expressing ideas.

The design is an expression of two ideas: exchanging surfaces and the ecology of stormwater. First, the design explores the definition of wetlandsthe interchange between the surfaces of water and land. Water plants emerge through constructed planes; solid grounds become bridges; and earth wedges ramp into water that reveals and screens them. Second, the dynamic ecological processes of stormwatersedimentation, vegetation growth and decay, flooding, and toxin removalare paired with uses and made spaces: Sand/Deposition Theater Marsh/Pool Classroom Entry/Settling Basin.


MODEL PHOTOS: Scott Smith

 

  Copyright Kathy Poole, all rights reserved, subject to all fair use regulations, not to be reproduced or used without expressed written permission.