FR8scape @ TAXI Neighbhood
Completed: Summer 2010
The post-industrial landscape is a garden in the sense that it is a place of exchange, an intricate weaving of the cultivated and the wild, of intention and neglect, of differentiation and reciprocity. FR8scape takes its cue from the sites industrial past.
The existing tarmac was first restriped, delineating the loading spaces of the past. Next, linear strips of existing asphalt and concrete were removed and stockpiled for reuse. Another wider demolition was performed running through the middle of tarmac in an east – west direction, perpendicular to the stripes and narrow linear voids. The function of the perpendicular voids spaced approximately 10’ OC is to convey storm water cascading off the Freight roof to the central void which will handle all the storing and filtering functions.
After the demolition, the newly exposed soil was supplemented with improved soil and drainage substrate to accommodate the filtering and conveying of storm water. Next, the voids were seeded with a grass matrix and planted with cottonwood whips and trees.
The western edge of FR8scape is bounded by the Open Air Academy outdoor classrooms and play area. The eastern edge is bounded by the Rinsby Court and the Platte River. Just east of the play area, at the head of the garden, is an outdoor cinema and gathering space. Rows of concrete bin blocks, dressed with a folded metal bench accommodate the Freight tenants by day and movie goers by summer night. An old forklift with its forks extended up, frozen in time, supporting the projector housing, sits knee high in native grasses growing.
At the middle of the garden is a plaza; a mosaic of reassembled concrete fragments. The path joins the south entrance of the Freight building with a bridge made from an old flatbed trailer that spans a drainage channel that separates Freight site and the rest of the Taxi campus to the south. East of the plaza is the tail of the garden, a long linear strip of wild grasses and cottonwood trees that open up to a meadow and the Platte River. Perpendicular rows of bin blocks cross the garden, repeating the truck dock cadence, offering informal places of rest under the cottonwoods along the east-west promenade of remnant tarmac.