The individual elements of the piece are starting to come together. The following sections are rough and yearning for comment (headings are for my organization only). Also, I just decided to revisit the competition website for the list of goals (which I'll try to acknowledge in the final draft):

- Provide unique design ideas that highlight the community, the environment, and cultural and social awareness.
- Develop opportunities to work with non-profit, governmental and community organizations.
- Impact the community in a positive way, inspire momentum for community activism, and provoke continued architectural discourse.
- Provide opportunities for residents and community members to participate in and attend:
- Recreational activities (organized and individual)
- Performances (drama, dance, singing and musical concerts, poetry)
- Exhibitions (visual art, photography, fashion)
- Private events and other outdoor activities organized by the Austin Parks and Recreation Department.

Introduction. The Gus Garcia Park Competition seeks a design that not only provides a healthy environment and necessary program elements, but also initializes ­social and cultural enrichment through the fosterage of community activities. Both the community and the natural environment of the site stand to gain from a reciprocal bond, and Ecotone is a multi-phase design through which the potential of this mutuality is realized.

An ecotone is by definition the area of intersection between two ecological communities, or ecosystems. These transitional areas can be as sharp and dramatic as a river’s edge, or gradual, as an orchard tapers into grassland. The composition of ecotones is thus dependent on the distribution of ecosystems, and in the case of Gus Garcia Park, the site features a variety of outstanding ecological communities, including a river, forest, and native grasslands. Ecotones have become constitutive of this design, because of their illustrative properties - not only do they represent the natural diversity of the site, but they reveal the stark contrast between the natural environment and the urban environment, which carries its own diverseness.

Paths. Ecotone regards the path system enormously important – as opposed to incorporating a uniform material generically routed throughout the site, it thoughtfully traces some ecotones while bisecting others, and varies in its composition. A gravel trail winding through the native grasses produces smaller, foot-worn paths that snake into the trees. This variety of material acts as a subtle introduction to the diversity of the site.

Community Garden. Soil analysis has concluded that a large portion of the site is congenial to agriculture, and therefore a large area has been designated for the purposes of implementing a community garden. A collection of plots, subscribed by individuals and families on an annual basis, will bring community members together in the context of the natural environment, and there are successful precedents of this in the Austin area. This community garden represents the fundamental mutuality that can come to define Gus Garcia Park.

1 comment:

ddewane said...

This is a fantastic start. The style is crisp, clear, elegant yet not pretentious. Perfect tone.

Couple of quick 'before-work' comments:

The first two paragraphs are good save a few words people might trip over (ie - fosterage) that we can weed out. But all and all I think they are close to finished.

I think the introduction to the ecotone concept is strong and indicating that one homogeneous path fails at taking advantage of diversity is excellent. The first example is a good one, but we should include one, maybe two, more. I can help with this.

The community gardens paragraph is also good, but I would hold on the 'board word' mutualism in favor of introducing the concept of biodynamics. Save mutualism for the finale. You could also slip in a nod to gardens as non-profit bridging elements in this section.

It seems like there are just two or three paragraphs to go. One must focus on building community - the physical manifestation of this being the zocalo. another paragraph should focus on materiality -- what are the paths made out of (cut down trees) what is the playground made out of (construction waste + green material) what is the fence made out of (cyclone fence and plants).

one paragraph recapping and we take home first prize and gargantuan Mexican hang-overs.