Conceptual Experiments
LNP 03 - 03 - 2010

Recently, we have been working especially hard on each of our hometown projects, the centerpiece of this study abroad program. We began the design process a few weeks ago by creating a collection of small drawings of things that inspired us. From there, we combined several of them to experiment with possibilities for our designs as a whole. I had the chance to record some things I enjoyed, things that inspired me, and things that may affect the way I choose to design a new downtown for Zionsville, Indiana. The hard work really set in when we were tasked with coming up with three possible concepts that to drive our designs. I am particularly interested in the first concept I put together, which involves environmental education. (The image to the right pertains to this particular idea.) In a nutshell, I want to emphasize the identities of various habitats/landscapes located along the north-south Zionsville Road corridor, including a meadow, a creek, and a forest. In addition, I hope to use the existing leach pond as a teaching tool for the community. This water body is responsible for aerating pollutants out of the soil from the former Dow Elanco property. Lastly, I hope to integrate water systems into the more urban spaces in order to combine nature and built forms. In this conceptual experiment, these environmental identities are drawn out across the vehicular corridor and are emphasized even further in plaza spaces that front the mixed use segments. They will be highlighted in order to teach important environmental lessons but they will also enhance the aesthetics of the entire development. Another concept I'm toying with involves terracing that leads visitors on a journey through Zionsville's past. These terraces radiate from a green corridor that connects the existing downtown with the new commercial node to the south. Building heights vary; however, from the street, it would appear as if all buildings are only 2 stories tall, similar to those downtown. Building foundation elevations would reflect the natural topography currently found on the site. This is the most multi-dimensional and topographically experimental of all 3 concepts and is represented briefly in the image below.

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