Traversing the edge: the seawall in Galveston Texas
Bottom, Katherine A.
Brown, David P.
Master of Architecture
The purpose of the design is to transform the Seawall, an edge condition, into a habitable space by increasing the density of elements along that edge. This is achieved through a system of interventions that intensifies the awareness of the latent repetitive elements and orders of the context. An infrastructure of six components is implemented in a response to, and as an elaboration of, the existing repetitive conditions. Also important are anomalies, which are larger scale interventions based on site conditions that share many of the characteristics of the components. Three sites have been chosen to demonstrate the possibilities for the city's promenade through the deployment of this system. Each one demonstrates the impact of the system in response to the specific recurring contextual conditions. The sites also illustrate the repetition of the components and their variations in relation to one another. Through the use of repetitive components and anomalies, their specific characteristics, and the accompanying rules of deployment, different layerings of patterns are established. These patterns, along with the order and rhythm that are produced, have an obscure rather than obvious presence since the components (and the existing elements along the Seawall) are distributed in a varied and diverse manner. This development of repetition in relation to the elements is strikingly similar to that which is found in Un Chien Andalou. Overall, the system is not a master plan, but rather a strategy for the accumulation and build-up of components that transform the fiat site, and adds variety to Galveston's most spontaneous space.