Sarah Rushing

Sarah Rushing

Alexandria, VA, US

Competition Image provided by [Creative Action]
Competition Image provided by [Creative Action]
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Lafayette | La Ville de Crètes (The City of Peaks)

Lafayette | La Ville de Crètes (The City of Peaks) is a fundamental approach to the way we define our context of the city, how we move through it, and how the city incites movement within us. We want to promote the health of our internal faculties, as well as the external elements that form our daily duties and joys. We believe that the respect of existing cultures and communities, as well as a commitment to their advancement, is vital to their richness and development. Our mantra is to address existing issues holistically, considering all user groups and all scales of experience, and to merge solutions with the unexpected to transform a potentially commonplace area into an exceptional one.

Programs of ecological health seek to provide a facility that educates through its function of reusing and recycling items; collecting, storing and utilizing stormwater; cultivating and enjoying the harvest of a community garden; as well as demonstrating the efficacy of buildings that seek to utilize passive methodologies of temperature control. Wading pools and other water features provide direct and evaporative cooling while mediating noise, and underground/covered parking with semi-permeable pavers seek to reduce the heat island effect and responsibly manage stormwater. 

Coupling these desires with members of verticality and a rolling landscape of topographical surfaces provides opportunities of linked spaces that can be attuned to the great wild open, as well as those of the human scale in niches of repose. With the installation of timed bollards on Polk Street, the road reveals itself as an additional venue for temporary installations and mobile shops. Walkability increases, and with destinations of culture and entertainment throughout the day and night, journeys and lighthearted traversing ensure a lively presence in all surrounding neighborhoods.

The food desert is no more, and a gastronomic oasis appears in its place. A programmatic ecosystem evolves from a community garden that provides for a buidling with many hats: café/diner by day, mixology department by night, farmers market on the weekend, and a beer garden whenever we please. Various programs work together, day and night, to form the "eyes on the street" as described by Jane Jacobs, in an effort to deter the criminal activity seen previously on the southernmost end of Zone 03.

These measures strive to provide an optimal context for living, creating happier residents who easily and actively contribute to their neighborhoods. Parc Sans Souci still stands as a venerated institution of Lafayette, and receives added support through a framework of amphitheatre-like rooftops and outlooks. Someone in Café Colline, or Salle de Fitness, or the Musée d'Art, or the Maisons de Montagne can race to the top of the nearest spire in a moment's notice. The most exciting aspiration is to revive a natural exuberance through the plasticity of our surroundings as well as through the systems implemented by the coordination of individuals, the structures, and natural elements.

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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Lafayette, LA, US
My Role: Designer of Master Plan, Buildings, Landscaping, etc.

Competition Image provided by [Creative Action]
Competition Image provided by [Creative Action]