St. Louis, MO
Landscape on Structure
Prior to the East End Transformation, the Central Plaza was an elevated space that connected the main entrances of Steinberg Hall and the Kemper Art Museum at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts (SFS) at Washington University in St. Louis.
“Fragmented Terrain” was an unbuilt design for the Central Plaza that proposes a creative, low-cost activation strategy to address infrastructure decay issues and create usable space for SFS students, faculty, visitors and staff ahead of the planned East End Transformation. “Fragmented Terrain” proposed capping areas of extreme surface decay with a ground mural, sculptural deck structures and two shade pavilions.
Painted bands of colors taken from the SFS logo, which represent the various schools and institutions within SFS, formed an implied rectangular space at the center of the plaza.
The deck platforms occupied the interior of the square ground mural. Their shapes were a result of tracing major circulation lines and “fragmenting” the resulting shapes to create interior areas for small gatherings. Users were envisioned to sit around the square perimeter, gather in the interior areas with friends, as well as climb, sit or recline on the deck fragments.
This proposal also imagined the activation of the lower lawn area with improved access, an informal amphitheater space, new plantings and movable furniture.