Of the thesis entitled: "Hybrid Thresholds" : Redefining the Don River’s Edge
My proposal envisions the threshold between the built urban fabric and the natural environment at the water’s edge. It focuses on the development of public space at the water’s edge, and tries to transform that space into a new interface that can be experienced as a valued and essential part of urban life. Rather than subscribing to the conventional understanding of infrastructure as a service-based utility, this thesis intends to weave infrastructure and public works at this threshold. It addresses the question of how might urban groundwater filtration, normally considered a toxic function requiring separation from the public, be integrated within low-density public recreation areas involving full immersion and exposure to the environment.
Specifically looking at the Lower Don River area, the basic principle of my thesis agrees with Michael Hough’s proposal for the restoration of the Don. In addition, the proposal’s interest in creating an intimate relationship between public life, infrastructure, and ecology aligns with the ideas of architects and landscape architects such as Mohsen Mostafavi, Elizabeth Mossop, Pierre Belanger, and Douglas Farr. The design proposal tackles existing environmental and ecological issues of the Don River by envisioning a series of three programs along the Don that offer dynamic community interactions, and foster the discourse on social and environmental responsibilities. These three programs are all defined by the same design strategy, which relies on a hierarchy of water systems with different volumes to develop a corresponding architectural program. The water is absorbed, retained, and purified through different basins, water remediation cells, and soft landforms during its journey to the river, while people have the opportunity to enjoy that process within the system of boardwalks, elevated decks, and seasonally accessible walkways. These habitable landforms provide room for different public recreational activities which could foster a unique character and renewed experience of a public work along the water’s edge.
The examining committee is as follows:
Philip Beesley, University of Waterloo
Lisa Rapoport, PLANT Architect Inc.
The committee has been approved as authorized by the Graduate Studies Committee.
The Defence Examination will take place:
Wednesday September 16, 2015
ARC Photo Studio (Room 2003)
A copy of the thesis is available for perusal in ARC 2106A.
7 Melville Street South
Cambridge, ON N1S 2H4