context full (1).jpg
 Post-Industrial Ruin Porn became a mainstream fetish and obsession of artists and designers around 1990. It could be said it is a modern version of the picturesque movement popular in the 18th century, cycling back after about 200 years. This design was quickly  drawn on a napkin from Mike’s Chili Parlor, an old Ballard business a few hundred yards from the pit.  The decay at the pit is in absolute terms just transformation and change. What has decayed is centralized societal forms, e.g. buildings, industry, etc. What has thrived are blackberry, sand pipers, willow, and numerous insects. In brief, this design thinks about what would happen if we ironically treated the pit similar to a wetland as an endangered ecosystem to be enjoyed but preserved?  For a recreational green space, the pit already has gardens, pools, wildlife, provocative topography, and found sculpture... These may be crack gardens, pools over asphalt, and old foundation walls, but does it matter? The design has a boardwalk and viewing platforms spread around and over it. On either side are two social spaces offering varying vices (beer, coffee, and marijuana) and spatial experiences for various populations (shelter vs. patio). These liberated vices bring people and families together when properly tailored to user needs, think about where you last saw family and friends outside of your home. The pit, the nature preserve attraction, would change as it has since 2009: E.g. succession of species, seasonal wildlife, varying plantings, and hydrologic changes.  Management would not be ruled out, but it would likely create some heated community meetings. Perhaps the crack gardens would be pruned; the pools planted with supplementary wetland species; or the walls when crumbling be rebuilt...
history (1).jpg
ICON 1.jpg
prev / next