Design- looking at principles in Hometown Project
BRL 02 - 13 - 2010

When I first started to look at my project the levee/flood wall was the obstruction between the Ohio River and downtown New Albany in southern Indiana. I assumed and planned before the trip began to look for ideas and inspiration to get rid of the massive mound all together. After studying and observing principles and ideas across Europe and parts of Asia, I have come to the new idea that I should incorporate the wall, use what is there and make the most of it. My perspective on the levee in New Albany shifted when we visited the Acropolis in Athens. The transition upwards, winding through the hill inspired me to look at my project from a more respective view rather than intrusive, to make the mass that cuts the downtown from the river part of the experience rather than a road block. I also started to look at ways to draw people through site and make them want to see what’s beyond the hill. In many of the cities, plazas play a large role in drawing people through and around. The smaller streets compress, pushing the flow of traffic into relief areas, these plazas usually house landmarks that create interesting multiple use spaces which can be used as a destination or a reference point along the map. I took these ideas and thought about how a sculptural garden may be a way to get people to interact with the site. The gardens would engage the visitors and be linked with other spaces over the levee. Visual interest of "What’s over the other side?" could come into play. Different views and perspectives in the gardens could let the visitor sneak a peak at what’s just over the hill. I have been also looking at the way the waterfronts have been successful. Two that inspire me the most are the boardwalk in Barcelona and the Souk market in Dubai. Both are successful in drawing people off the street down through level change and out to the water level. The change in elevation is explored. At Barcelona there are unique entrances on the street level that lead down to the restaurants on the boardwalk below. In the Souk market the shops and restaurants above feed into spaces below at the water’s edge through terraces. This concept of terracing would be a way to draw people upwards, in an way that keeps their attention, instead of just a get-to-the-point stair case. Once atop the high point, I want the project to take advantage of the views of downtown, reflecting and bringing the person back to the city. My inspiration for this would be the Piaza di Popolo. in Rome, where avenues radiating off the plaza let the viewer see into the city. The avenues could start to lay out proportions of the site, and lead the eyes to wander back into the streets of New Albany. Left Image- exploration of volumes, the spaces between pathways Lower Image- Diagram of Barcelona street level down to the boardwalk

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