History of Landscape Architecture
Water features in gardens often form one continuous narrative. Even the smallest and most private water feature could be understood as part of a larger irrigation system. Pompeii is the perfect example of this, where water came in from one source and was distributed into different parts of town, taking various forms both in public and private realms, such as fountains, pools, baths, and euripas, entertaining the eyes and ears of its citizens. While some of the closer integrations of water and life in ancient Rome are lost in the course of history, Pompeiian example of the use of water remains as an infinite source of inspiration to architects and designers.
Seizing the Olympics and flood projection as an opportunity, Boston is understood as a continuous manipulation of topography and bathymetry. By managing the gradient between land and water through the system of locks, the project welcomes water as a positive force that makes dynamic public recreation zones, leverages real estate and brings to the fore the legacy of Boston’s relationship to water. Like most of Boston, the site itself is engineered from a mudscape to a serrated hard edge. The project continues the historical trajectory of engineering the water’s edge and maximizing water-frontage.
The project consists of two gestures. The first is a strategic canal along 1st Street bounded by a lock system that manages water level. The proposed Olympic Village is a node along this internalized waterfront. It is a “caisson” in which orchestrated water levels activate different recreational activity.
The second move creates green corridors extending from the new canal to the piers of Seaport District. These corridors break down the scale of the district into discrete islands, and with controlled flooding, increase the waterfront and amplify their individual characters by concentrating development.