Archinect
Amanda Gann

Amanda Gann

Washington, D.C.

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Shaded Zone X overlaid
Shaded Zone X overlaid
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DEEP SURFACE: engaging the terra viscus

Two hundred and forty-six acres along the eastern edge of downtown Memphis are labeled as “Shaded Zone X” on FEMA flood insurance maps. This is an area “protected by the levees” but subject to flood during large storm events. Unprepared for the potential flood, the people within this area feel safe behind the static levee wall. If storms worsen as predicted and settlement continues to sprawl increasing impervious surfaces of the Mississippi River Basin, the area within Shaded Zone X and the people who occupy it will be in danger.

Historically, storm water In Zone X drained into the Gayoso Bayou, an open-air bayou that snaked through the city and defined its eastern edge. Over the past century, the Bayou has been steadily disappearing from sight, being hidden beneath the concrete terra firma. The Bayou represents a temporal ecological landscape that no longer exists within the city of Memphis. Through examination of the DEEP SURFACE – a combination of historical, cultural and ecological layers that comprise the urban landscape, a new paradigm can be established that balances the cultural needs of the landscape with the ecological. This thesis imagines the potential of excavating this area within the urban landscape to transform the terra firma -- an unresponsive static surface -- into a terra viscus – a semi-liquid landscape that engages with the ebb and flow of seasonal fluctuation. As a development strategy, the project combines seasonally responsive architecture and landscape that embraces the ephemeral qualities of water. The designed infrastructures hybridize infrastructures of the past century with more responsive soft systems to better respond to the dynamic nature of the ever-changing environment and become a more resilient system for urban life.

 
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Status: School Project
Location: Memphis, TN, US
My Role: Graduate Thesis Student
Additional Credits: Ted Shelton - major professor, Gale Fulton, Jennifer Ackerman, Scott Wall

 
Shaded Zone X on FEMA flood insurance map
Shaded Zone X on FEMA flood insurance map
1819 Plan of Memphis showing the Gayoso Bayou
1819 Plan of Memphis showing the Gayoso Bayou
Plan showing the Gayoso Bayou covered by Lauderdale Avenue Ext.
Plan showing the Gayoso Bayou covered by Lauderdale Avenue Ext.
Location analysis of new Lauderdale Avenue connection
Location analysis of new Lauderdale Avenue connection
Master Plan of new ecological landscape
Master Plan of new ecological landscape
Pumping Station Pier
Pumping Station Pier
E-W Section through Pumping Station Pier
E-W Section through Pumping Station Pier
Looking North towards Environmental Education Center
Looking North towards Environmental Education Center
E-W Section through Environmental Education Center
E-W Section through Environmental Education Center
N-S Section through Environmental Education Center
N-S Section through Environmental Education Center
Looking North along restored Gayoso Bayou - High Tide
Looking North along restored Gayoso Bayou - High Tide
N-S Section through Cavern
N-S Section through Cavern
E-W Section through Cavern and performance space
E-W Section through Cavern and performance space
The Cavern - Water Management 1930+
The Cavern - Water Management 1930+