/// dislocation /
the once thriving industrial city of manchester suffers from a dislocation of place. this dislocation began when the city merged with richmond in 1910. before the merge, manchester thrived as a strictly industrial township serviced by rail and by boat. the james river to the north proved to be a very capable thoroughfare to transport goods and services. what is left today are the physical remnants of its industrial heritage. as a place of labor and production, the historic buildings of the city are built densely around the center of the area. the current building density is offset by the existance of numerous empty parking lots and abandoned warehouses. to once again obtain an identity, manchester must undergo an adaptive redevelopment to create and activate public space.
there are several steps to this process, the first many deal with atmoshpere and texture of the urban grid. out of necessaty for pedestrians and bicyclists, a more cohesive sidewalk system will be inlaid within the existing fabric of the city. along this sidewalk indigenous trees and plants will grow and soften the industrial texture produced by the existing structures. the most important issue at hand is how to bring people into the manchester community.
there are several collective design firms, architecture, and art studios inhabiting the core of the city’s grid. the proposed green-scapes of this project relate heavily to what interaction has already been set into motion and what is needed to sustain a thriving under-developed urban location.
the sites chosen for adaptation each address a layer within the urban fabric. each of these layers creates a gateway condition representative of the program and unique contextual information of the specific site, history, use, and geography within manchester.
[ First Place Entry for the Green Spaces Competition sponsored by the James River branch of the Green Building Council. ]
Status: Competition Entry
Location: Manchester, VA, US