2010 10 10

On Monday we continued to work and finish our designs. After looking at the pros and cons of the existing gateway to the dormitory my group proposed a design that could address the existing problems. We wrote a list of some of the issues of the site: absence of wayfinding cues, poor drainage/muddy ground, lack of seating, area for smokers but not non smokers, lack of natural and artificial light, presence of graffiti and litter, lack of intentionality and cohesiveness in design, a lack of ownership between students and place and mosquitoes, mosquitoes, mosquitoes! We also wrote a list of things that were present that were good about the area: extensive deciduous tree canopy, existing social use, small aluminum structure provides some shelter from rain, church garden on two sides provide “eyes on the street”, location at the entrance means there are always people coming in and out, good early morning sunlight. After the analysis we wanted to make sure to incorporate some of the things that the dormitory students and staff as well as Ljljana, Marina, and Daniel wanted to see. Among other things this included more seating, provide a feeling of safety, use of strawbale in some way, use of a local mural artist, and ecorevelatory aspects. We also wanted to ensure our design would be relatively cheap and that we would be able to construct it.

In our design we proposed the building of another shelter that connects with the existing one and for more seating to be installed. Rainwater from each of the shelters would be revealed and then captured for use in the neighboring gardens but also covered to prevent any more mosquito habitat. Any overflow would be allowed to infiltrate in a rain garden. Strawbales would be arranged and stacked in a playful way to be used as climbable seating with plants growing in and around each of the mortar covered bales. This would also act as a focal area of the site and create a sort of destination. Bollard lighting along the sidewalk from the gateway to the front entrance would provide light, a wayfinding cue to the front door, and an opportunity for the mural artist and the dormitories student art group to get together and express themselves.