Observing Thickness Through Flattening

Brenna Fransen
Samuel Nordmeyer

Richard F. Hansen Prize winnning project, 2020

Third year BARCH studio

Instructor: Kevin Lair

Rural landscapes, often seen as a commodity for economic production, should be viewed as valued spaces of biodiversity and material vibrancy. Over the past century, the ecological elements seen at Westbrook Artists Site have gone through monumental shifts in their thickness due to human intervention. From our analysis from the 30’s through the 21st century, deprivations were a direct result from improper agricultural practices which needed direct guidance over time to transform the ecology. Through research, we developed strategies which aid the land while encouraging the engagement of individuals. The use of minimal material is contrasted by the large scale of the site which is collected onto the face of the structure through reflections of the landscape. These rural interventions create an opportunity for individuals to engage, collect, and develop an investigation to lead impactful actions in respective environments. The architecture itself isn’t an isolated solution but rather a gesture of our integral role within the landscape.