Bremer, Tracy Catherine
Master of Architecture thesis
This thesis exploits the latent opportunities that are found in buffer zones. While typical buffers are static, passive entities, this thesis treats the buffer as a territory that is able to act aggressively. The buffers' current function is to separate incompatible but adjacent zones of the city; however, as cities evolve over time, the buffer can become a catalyst, acting as an agent of transformation. In Baytown, Texas, industry is effectively the nucleus of the city, serving as its black heart. However, the green buffer that surrounds this black heart suggests a possible future for Baytown in which the buffer expands not into the city as it has done historically, but rather into the former industrial zone, opening up a new realm of possibility. The result is a new type of urbanism in which a city is defined not by a dense core, but rather by a productive green heart that ties together the disparate urban enclaves that once served the city's industrial core.