Manufactured Sites Exhibition

Polluted city riverways and wetlands, derelict waterfronts, landfills, railroad yards, and abandoned industrial processing plants, — these are the emerging sites of contemporary practice in landscape architecture, urban design, and site architecture. Characterized as waste, despoiled, and toxic, these landscapes are initially dependant for their reuse on a range of site engineering and environmental reclamation technologies. These include on-site techniques of soil and groundwater cleanup, bioengineering, the alliance of biological and engineered systems used in the remediation of site contamination, landfill capping, wastewater management systems, and environmental monitoring.

New federal initiatives and legislation on the cleanup of these contaminated and hazardous land and waterbodies, their critical locations within regional transportation centers and infrastructure, and the dimishing number of “greenfield” sites available for development, all currently act to focus research, planning, and design efforts on their potential for future development.

In the Manufactured Sites exhibition, however, the main issue to be addressed is not whether landscapes of this type should be reclaimed, restored, or redeveloped, but, rather, the precise nature of how this is to be carried out, and specifically, the relationship of landscape design to the site technologies used in this endeavor.

Ten contemporary international and regional professional landscape reclamation and redevelopment projects are represented here through drawings, models, and sets of site construction photographs. Some have been completed as part of new civic infrastructure and building programs, while others, such as the site of the Olympic 2000 Games in Australia, are still currently under design and construction. At the forefront of current national and international scrutiny, a broad range of initial site conditions are addressed, ranging from the reuse of the A. G. Thyssen steelworks and blast furnace plant in Germany’s Ruhr region, the restoration of a contaminated marsh in the Hudson River Estuary near Staten Island, to landfilling operations at Hillingdon, near London’s Heathrow Airport, Byxbee Park, Palo Alto, California, and Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor.The title and material of the exhibition offers two possible interpretations. The first simply denotes the former uses of these landscapes as “sites of manufacture”, for example, as the location of chemical and oil storage facilities, town gas production, railroad yards, heavy industrial plants or more recently, decommissioned factories and marine terminals. Secondly, and of greater significance to planners and designers, manufactured sites is a potential framework to be used in the future description, analysis, and development of urban landscapes. In this framework, the continuous occupation of land and water bodies with industrial and site processes is acknowledged. The designer looks to the current physical site conditions, however degraded, the spatial and systematic form of new technologies introduced onto the site, and the interaction of these technologies with progressive landscape design practices in the “manufacture” or systematic production of the future site.

This exhibition was organized and curated by Niall G. Kirkwood, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Rebecca Krinke, Visiting Critic in Landscape Architecture, and Brooke Hodge, Director of Exhibitions, with support from George Hargreaves, Chairman of the Department of Landscape Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Final assistance in preparing for the exhibition was provided by Kim Everett and James Stone of the Graduate School of Design.

Rebecca Krinke, Visiting Critic in Landscape Architecture, Curator

Featured Projects

Sydney Olympics 2000, New South Wales, Australia  1996-present , Hargreaves Associates, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design & Planning, San Francisco, CA with Government Architectural Design Directorate, Sydney, Australia

Landscape Park, Duisburg-North, Germany  1991-present, Latz + Partner, Landscape Architects, Kranzberg, Germany

Crissy Field, San Francisco, California  1994-present, Hargreaves Associates, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design & Planning, San Francisco, CA

Mining Reclamation, Geraldton, Ontario, Canada  1998, Martha Schwartz, Inc., Landscape Architects, Cambridge, MA

Byxbee Landfill Park, Palo Alto, California  1988-92, Hargreaves Associates, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design & Planning, San Francisco, CA

Spectacle Island Landfill and Erosion Control, Boston Harbor, Massachusetts  1991-present, Brown and Rowe, Inc., Landscape Architects and Planners, Boston, MA

Saw Mill Creek Salt Marsh Reclamation, New York and New Jersey  1990, City of New York Parks and Recreation, Natural Resources Group, New York, NY

Salford Quays, England  1985-present

Stockley Park Landfill Reclamation, Hillingdon, England  1981-present

Derby City Challenge, Pride Park, Derby, England  1992-present, Ove Arup & Partners, Consulting Engineers, London, England