Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences [Dept. of Landscape Architecture]

Exploring the Salt River Bay Marine Research and Education Center, Fall 2010

During the 2010 Fall semester the Rutgers Landscape Architecture design studio was engaged in the exploration of a conceptual sustainable site design for the Salt River Bay Marine Research and Education Center that could be located on NPS land on St. Croix.  The MREC mission entails the preservation, protection, and interpretation of nationally significant natural, cultural and historical resources while providing for long-term scientific research, conservation, resource monitoring and restoration for terrestrial, marine, and archeological resources.  Because the site is rich with environmental and cultural resources, it could be an excellent location for visitor and student education about ocean stewardship in the 21st century as well as the effect of climate change on fragile coral reef and estuarine systems.

Rutgers Students visiting St. Croix
The Fall 2011 design class visited the future site

Student Work Samples From Over the Fall 2010 Semster

Students were initially asked to draw the site; drawing and paintnig the landscape deepens the engagement with the partcular qualites of place. Students abstract landscape qualites into diagrams that may inform their designs for the park. "It helps to draw‐‐ not 'arty impressionistc sketches,' but literal primitve force one to notce details that might otherwise go unseen" Lucy Lippard, (The Lure of the Local)

By Christine Rung

Wash of Hills
By Steve Somers

Wash of slope
By Zeina Zahalan

Waves and Rocks
By Zeina Zahalan and Chistine Rung



Site Inventory and Analysis Review

Site Analysis
Benthic mapping

Review of Site Analysis

Review of Site aNAYSIS

Conceptual Maps: Students "married" their site analyses with their findings about people and place to create a map that embedded a design concept that they would further develop into a park design.

Sarah K. Nitchman ArtView Sarah Nitchman's YouTube video exploring how a landscape designer might map St. Croix. Each design studio member speaks about their own sense of space and place on the island.

By Steve Somers

8 Eras
By Hany Hanafy

Triangle World
By Jenna Gatto

By Christina Rung

Student's Conceptual Site Designs (PDFs)
Woltz Review Thomas Woltz Review
"Yesterday (11/19) Thomas Woltz of Nelson Byrd Woltz, Landscape Architects came to Rutgers to speak to the senior studio about their conceptual site designs for a marine research and education center in St. Croix.

He talked about how landscapes can tell a strong story. You can use the landscape as a narrative. Landscapes are fragile places. What will make someone want to take care of a place?

He described how his firm designed the Endeavor Garden in New Zealand. Named after Captain Cook's ship, The Endeavor, the garden contains the plants catalogued by Cook's expedition to New Zealand. They got the 1769 plant list from the Royal Horticultural Society in London, collected the native plants from the site, and designed a ramble garden that told the story of a particular place. When the local municipality needed to replace a sewer line that ran under the garden, the community rose up and fought to have them protect the garden intact.

He continued: What is the idea behind your garden? What touched you about the place? He entreated the students to retain the sensitivity to place that he saw in their projects and to continue to "look at things as if you were from another culture" in order to see even ordinary things more clearly.

He told the studends to layer onto that a mission of stewardship and to allow their designs to become a vehicle for positive change. Restoration ecology, a relatively new field, will become increasingly important in the practice of landscape architecture. It can be part of what makes a powerful and beautiful landscape. "

Come see the final designs December 13rd at 2:00PM, Treyes Hall, Doulass Campus, Rutgers.


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