Layers of Accumulation: Reusing a Contaminated Industrial Waterfront on Rock Bay, B.C.
Witcher, Erica Lee
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In the process of reusing urban industrial waterfronts, large remediation efforts are almost always necessary because of the high content of toxic material produced through industrial processes. These post-industrial sites are often cleaned and sanitized to the point where they no longer serve as a record of previous use and thought. These sites are filled with problems, but also possibilities. By retaining material forms of matter on the site, reinterpreting and reusing them, a clearer understanding of the site itself, its surrounding community and human engagement with the built and natural landscape is possible. This thesis proposes that an architectural intervention upon an existing post-industrial waterfront space can reveal the sites industrial and polluted past while creating a safe public amenity space. Rock Bay in the city of Victoria is one of the most contaminated sites in B.C. because of its history of industrial uses, primarily a coal gasification plant. In intervening on the last of three stages of the site's remediation, and creating a public waterfront recreation center, the project can reveal the systems and processes that have drastically affected the site over time. The new recreation center and remediating park will allow people to once again engage with the water and highlight the site's industrial and contaminated past. Both the program and design will emphasize tensions between land and water, dirty and clean, and past and present use.
- Architecture