Monday March 25, 2013 Day 2 Marker Wadden Charrette

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Elissa Brown, Stephen Himmerich
Today we dove into the designing the first island of the MarkerWadden, beginning with focusing in on a leading design motive, choosing the values we are aiming to express on the site, and finding programming that fits within our motives and values and also satisfies the desires of project stakeholders. Our team worked on developing ideas around:
•    choreographing a meaningful entry sequence to the island from the mainland
•    creating a landmark from without and an immersive experience from within
•    using both static and dynamic elements to anchor and catalyze a changing landscape
•    balancing human accessibility with ecological function
•    programming and phasing for construction, research, visitor experience, and ecology

We are moving into spatializing our ideas and wrapping our minds around both the huge and tiny scales of thinking that are involved in this project. One of the challenges when designing an expansive landscape that will emerge from nothing but water is that the possibilities are seemingly endless! But there are also many things that can help to guide the design of MarkerWadden – for example, cost-effectiveness off form and structure, and patterns of wind, water, and siltation in the Markermeer. Today our thinking focused largely on what the human logistics of the island could be; tomorrow we hope to integrate more on ecological functionality and turning our diagrams into a spatially-specific design.

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Montana Harinsuit, Michael Sheibe

After a busy two weeks of traveling around the country, we were ready to sit down and start designing spaces.  Our first full day of the Marker Wadden design charrette was intense but very fulfilling.  During the morning session, we attempted to figure out our leading motives, important stakeholder issues, and the values that should either be sustained or changed within the design site.  We consolidated our broad ideas into more concrete ones that we presented later in the evening.   Our main areas of focus were as follows:
·         Establishing the name and scope of our project: The Marker Wadden Eco-scape – Connecting + Creating/Ecology + Exploration.  By creating a succinct title, we focused our ideas into something tangible; the Marker Wadden project would be based upon the premise of restoring a healthy ecology to the lake with the additional benefits of allowing people to explore the island and create an unforgettable experience.
·         Developing more exact program elements of the site and how those program elements changed in density across the site.  Kayaking, floating campsites, walking trails – devising ways for people to explore the new ecology of the Marker Wadden.
·         Constructing possible island spatial configurations as well as phasing of the built design.  We examined three possible island designs, ranging from largely a habitat-centric focus compared with a balanced ecology/recreation system.  Our phasing diagram illustrates the need for careful and strategic built plans (and more research on our part) as to how such an intricate process can actually occur in real life.  Building islands from silt and sand is still very much a foreign concept to us but it has really created an engaging design environment for our class.

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Nate Bond, Solange Guillaume

Our second charrette day presented an interesting set of challenges: discovering the programming of the site through determining the site motives, values, and stakeholders of the place. We started by deciding that ecology, landmark/identity, research, ephemeral productivity and isolation were all key motives to thinking about the space. As we got further into the design, we thought that a backbone structure would be key to allowing the silt to build up on the site.

This idea of construct/construction was important to the theme of Marker Wadden: a place that doesn’t yet exist without human intervention; an ecology that will only exist with human intervention—a “constant work in progress” per Natuurmonumenten.

When we began elucidating the stakeholder interests of the space, this fairly extensive list took form in the idea of an island with two harbors that faced Enkhuizen and Lelystad. During our review, it became apparent that this was going too far in the direction of built site and less in the direction of ecology. Tomorrow, we’ll be seeking a balance between the two: what will be accessible? What is the scale of this accessible part in comparison to the rest of the potential Marker Wadden (5% was a number mentioned tonight)? And, since a presentation this evening given by Mennobart van Eerden, how can we incorporate a large space—at least a kilometer away between human areas and areas that need to have some remove from human contact?

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Ryan Coates, Stephanic Erwin

Ecologies are gradients, and so are landscapes.
The Marker Wadden’s goal is to create an ecologically vital space for new fish and bird habitat through the construction of silt islands in the Markermeer. How this ecology develops is of vital importance and how human interface relates to this is all influenced by the construction of the process.

Can we create temporal infrastructural systems?
We think that by developing these islands as a flexible process and less of a built object will spur the development of both a sound, resilient ecology and a flexible, fluxable human experience.

We are beginning to study the ways in which the water can be manipulated by infrastructural insertions to speed or slow the sedimentation process. How these pieces orient against or with the natural conditions of the lake will determine how the islands respond as ‘natural’ environments. We recognize that this ideal creation of a 100% sedimentation process of island creation is not realizable, but we are taking this ideal as a driving influence in our human manipulation of the process. By creating in the span of years what would take the span of decades, we have manufactured a natural process. By understanding this and manipulating it to our advantage, we think we can create a condition where the edges are blurred, constantly adjusting and re adjusting as a gradient between land and water.

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