Four bridges, one trench, a few cars and lots of people (Texas)
Rudloff, Francis Xavier
Master of Architecture
When U. S. Highway 59 was constructed through Houston, Texas in the 1950's a trench was dug. One neighborhood became two, as a third community of automobile commuters filled the gap. The proposition of the design thesis is to heal this "wound" by physically and conceptually expanding an existing public park currently sited on the north side of Highway 59 into the right-of-way on both sides of it and onto the bridges that cross it. The new "park" facilitates the development of different relationships between people on the highway and people off it, and between people on one side of the highway and those on the other. The thesis is an exploration of issues of scale, speed, "place-ness" and of architecture's role in the facilitation of human interaction. I come to the project as one who participates in the place both as a highway driver and a neighbor-hood resident, as a traveler and a dweller. I also come to the project as an outsider trying to observe the energy that makes up the system (the machinic assemblage, if you will) so that I might effect it with minimal means. My objective is to engage architecture and the process used to create it to facilitate the development of community among people.
Architecture; Civil engineering; Urban planning; Regional planning