SYNECDOCHE Diversity Badge

Female owned

Ann Arbor | Detroit, MI


Controlled Burn

Controlled burn is a contemporary proposal of traditional fire treatment as a material construction and ecological process. A controlled burn would be conducted on the garden during the Inaugural event. The remainder of the festival would exhibit the natural development of regrowth from ashes, putting the process on display prior to the plantings.

A shou sugi ban cedar boardwalk acts as an induced edge effect, a structural boundary between two habitats. It provides a fire resistant material palette during the brush fire and seals the natural fibers preventing rot and insects during regrowth. The structural contour of the boardwalk meeting the ground plane provides a choke point to extinguish the fire. The dark luminous sheen of the wood is balanced aside the light filigree of plantings.

The walk separates an untouched exterior edge of grasses and an interior of ashes. As the interior regrows, the fragrance of charred cedar planks remains as a continuous path wrapping between the two plantings. A pocket in the garden provides a ledge to sit and pause along the boardwalk, feet sweeping just above the surface as to not disturb the growth, absorbing the immediate aromatic sensorial experience and slow renewal of plantings. As a result, the garden is a proposal of connecting built and ecosystems into productive rather than destructive natures.

Top 20 entry for the New Gardens of the 15th International Garden Festival in Quebec, Canada.

Read more

Status: Competition Entry
Location: Grand Metis, Quebec, Canada
Firm Role: Design
Additional Credits: Adam Smith, Lisa Sauve, Joseph Donelko