Resurrected riverfront s16 design thinking saunders

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Spring 2016 Design Thinking Research Topic - Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis

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  • RESURRECTED RIVERFRONT

    Samantha SaundersSP16 Design Thinking

    Professor | Javier MarotoTeaching Assistant | Allison Mendez

    Sam Fox School of Design & Visual ArtsWashington University in St. Louis

  • Printed and Bound in the United States of America

    2016 Samantha Saunders

    No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the author

  • INTRO_1

  • CONTENTS

    INTRODUCTION People and the River

    PREMISE River-City Separation Riverfront Redevelopment - The Citys Perspective Riverfront Redevelopment - The Residents Perspective Reclamation of Old Infrastructure for a New Riverfront

    SITE Location Criteria Site Selection Site Analysis Program Boundaries

    PROGRAM Program Criteria Program Development Site Organization Precedent Studies and Programmatic Processes Programmatic Evolution Over Time

    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    INTRO_2

    3

    53

    17

    5

    29

  • Image 1: 1903 flood, St. Louis Riverfront at the future Arch Grounds: Missouri History Museum

    INTRO_3

  • THE PEOPLE AND THE RIVER

    Historically, St. Louis riverfront was devoted to the thriving industry and river commerce that gave birth to the city. As the city developed, layers of infrastructure, including rail lines, the flood wall, and later, the interstate, were adding to work in conjunction with the river economy. In the name of production efficiency, the connection between the river and the city at a human scale was severed. Now, as the industrial needs along the riverfront shift, some areas are left underutilized and uncared for. It is evident that St. Louis residents want to re-inhabit these areas in spite of the obstacles that separate the people and the river. Hints can be spotted along the length of the river: the Riverfront Trail that hugs the flood wall running from the Arch Grounds to the Chain of Rocks Bridge, St. Louis native sculptor, Bob Cassillys Riverfront Plaza and Cementland, as well as less formal interventions like the graffiti and murals that adorn the flood wall and long-abandoned industrial buildings. I find the nature of this reclamation interesting. In each case, there seems to be a desire to embrace the gritty and layered nature of the riverfront. The residents work in an additive way to re-inhabit the rivers edge rather than erase the riverfronts past and start anew. The intent of this research is to take a page from the initiatives already present at the riverfront to inform a redevelopment process that reconnects the people to the river in a way that respects the history and the present state of St. Louiss riverfront and builds off of its existing infrastructure to create an evolving, inhabitable riverfront.

    INTRO_4

  • Terminal Railroad Association rail lines, Initiated 1797

    PREMISE_5

    RIVER-CITY SEPARATION

    Interstate 70, Constructed 1956

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood wall, Constructed 1954

    Mississippi River, Channelized 1896

    1 : 115000

  • PREMISE_6

    Image 2: St. Louis Redevelopment Corporation RFQ Aerial Exhibit

  • PREMISE_7

    THE PROPOSED RIVERFRONT REDEVELOPMENT PLAN

    The Riverfront Redevelopment Plan, published in October 2015 by the City of St. Louis and the Great Rivers Greenway, proposes to extend the open space system north along the riverfront from the Arch Grounds. The plan includes creation of new street connections and the insertion of new mixed-use programs while maintaining areas of historic industrial significance. The area just north of the Arch grounds would be devided into four districts, identified in the image on the following page: Lacledes Landing District, Lumiere District, the Creative District, and the Innovation district all connected together by a riverfront park that would run between the Arch Grounds and the North Riverfront Trail. Each of these districts would have a distint programatic theme, for example, the Creative District would include a research center as well as a multi-media plaza, while the Innovation district would include live-work spaces and a collaboration park. The plan also included an option for the design for the proposed stadium that was under consideration in 2015. Thedriving theme of the plan is sustainability: environmental, economic, and especially, social sustainability. The plan states: This planning effort has inspired a clear vision of a new vibrant riverfront community that leverages its location and context, builds on its historic past, and promises a sustainable future, regaining St. Louis reputation as a world-class riverfront city. This is the New North Riverfront Plan - sustainable, integrated, urban, inclusive, and mixed-use. It will be an impressive addition to the great neighborhoods of St. Louis.

    (North Riverfront Redevelopment Plan, October 2015, renderings created by Forum Studio)

    Image 3: Underline Park and Creative District, Forum Studio, pg. 80-81

    Image 4: Innovation Park, Forum Studio, pg. 128-129

    Image 5: Energy Plaza, Forum Studio, pg. 98-99

  • LUMIRE DISTRICT

    LACLEDES LANDING DISTRICT

    INNOVATION DISTRICTS

    CREATIVE DISTRICT

    76

    PREMISE_8

    POTENTIAL SHORTFALLS OF THE PLAN

    Heavy reliance on injection of new program / population at a large scale

    While the master plan implements storm water management initiatives and reclaims portions of the floodplain, the still plan includes extensive building within the floodplain.

    The master plan re-imagines the riverfront as a replacement to the existing industrial riverfront at this location rather than working with it.

    Favors tourist-oriented development rather than resident-oriented amenities. This is evident when looking at the location of the bulk of the new plan and its adjacency to the Arch grounds and mainly corporate downtown and separation from residential neighborhoods

    Image 6: Master Plan, Forum Studio, pg. 76

  • PREMISE_9

    The North Riverfront presents a whole host of options and opportunities to better connect our City with one of the worlds greatest rivers. We want residents to imagine exactly what a revitalized riverfront looks like. We welcome their ideas and input as we work to extend the energy of the Arch grounds transformation further north.

    - St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, in response to the Riverfront Redevelopment Plan

  • PREMISE_10

    THE RESIDENTS HAVE ALREADY IMAGINGED IT . . .

    Image 9: Flood Wall Art on the Riverfront Trail, Great Rivers Greenway

    Image 7: Cotton Belt Mural (photo by author)

    Image 8 Bob Cassillys Riverfront Plaza,Paul Sableman, Exploring St. Louis

  • PREMISE_11

  • PREMISE_12

    Do we want to cling to the idea that you need three sports teams and a slew of corporate boxes to be a world-class city? Or do we cling to the wonderful, the old and the weird? Do we shore up the marvelously strange pockets that make this place so enchanting?

    - Sarah Fenske, Editor in Chief, Riverfront Times

    PRESENT-DAY RIVERFRONT

  • PREMISE_13

    In observing waterfront projects in detail, it is clear that one of the essential elements is the co-presence of numerous activities which, combined in different percentages depending on the cases, gives life to new pieces of city, sometimes marked by an interesting feature entailing complexity. Complexity is a quality that distinguishes the more complete, articulated urban organisms. It is often the outcome of long processes involving successive historic phases and projects implemented in these phases; from this viewpoint, the complexity of the city is a product of intelligent and continuous work of construction, often over many centuries.

    - Rinio Bruttomesso, Complexity on the Urban Waterfront

  • PREMISE_14

    Flood Stage

    Normal River Level

    10

    Cul

    tura

    l Ide

    ntity

    Inhabitable Space

    Proximity to River

    Pre-Colonial

    1867

    1896

    1954

    Present Day

    The flood wall/levee system in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) St. Louis District is part of a larger Upper Mississippi district. USACE has overseen flood protection measures in this district since 1867 when a major levee project was undertaken. In the St. Louis district, many levees were replaced with a flood wall network in 1954. The walls measure 10ft in height and are designed to protect against a 100-year flood.

    (USACE Report: Protecting Society from Flood Damage, A Case Study from the 1993 Upper Mississippi River Flood)

    Today, the flood wall has developed a dual function in St. Louis, serving as an armature for an urban pedestrian trail network, and a canvas for local artists. While the flood wall still presents a barrier to access of the river, it has begun to become an inhabitable space and a display of cultural identity fo the citys residents.

  • PREMISE_15

    Cul

    tura

    l Ide

    ntity

    Inhabitable Space

    Proximity to River

    Inhabitable Space

    Inhabitable Space

    Proximity to River

    Cultural Identity

    Proximity to River

    Proximity to River

    Cultural Identity

    Inhabitable Space

    Inhabitable Space

    Cultural Identity

  • PREMISE_16

    Cul

    tura

    l Ide

    ntity

    Proximity to River

    Inha

    bita

    ble

    Spa

    ce

    Proximity to River

    Proximity to River

    Inhabitable Space

    Cultural Identity

    Inhabitable Space

    Proximity to River

    Proximity to River

    Inhabitable Space

    Cultural Identity

    Inhabitable Space

    Proximity to River

    Cultural Identity

  • SITE_17

  • SITE_18

    SITE