Re-presenting the Waterfront: revealing the intersection of human and natural processes

Author: Geronilla, Kristina

Advisor: Ben Johnson

Educational level: Master of Landscape Architecture

Discipline: Landscape Architecture

University: Virginia Tech

Abstract: Water and waterfronts are appealing to almost any person, as a visitor or designer. This study challenges the authorís design processes and understanding of the landscape as the sculpted meeting ground, intersecting human and natural physical processes. It progresses from assumptions through collaborated ideas of others in a literature review through case studies of various waterfront situations and finally to the design project of the Jones Point waterfront in Alexandria, Virginia. Here the intermingled aspects from cultural activities over time and local, physical movement of land by water are assessed to be revealed and enhanced for the visitorís benefit, use, and connection with place. For it is the authorís belief that the landscape and space can be sculpted, experienced, and imagined for the purpose of connecting us to a larger framework of living systems on this planet and beyond. The design extends the city to the waterfront and vice versa with an understanding of both physical processes and cultural choices to the point of being unable to distinguish action from reaction.

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Keywords: fluvial and estuarine processes, waterfront park, revelatory landscape


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