Brooke Ingram earned her Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Pennsylvania State University in 2004. She is concerned with the intersections of varying design scales and hopes to dissolve traditional boundaries of practice in an effort to produce well-crafted experiences.
The conflicting agendas of urban centers and natural systems are most evident at their intersection. Urban centers are governed by zoning and land use designations, design guidelines, governmental regulation, hierarchical organization systems, orthogonality, repetition and consistency. Natural systems celebrate instability, free will, cyclic movement, fluidity, curiosity, all with an acute awareness and respect for the larger context within which they are situated.
A partially developed site along the Fox River, in St. Charles Illinois, presents an opportunity to test a new strategy for rethinking urban landscapes. The site holds a prominent position along the river's west edge, in the heart of St. Charles's historic district and has the ability to activate the urban and natural systems that frame it. Programming the space to house art, education, and small offices supports ongoing planning efforts that focus on strategic investments in infrastructure, resource management, energy consumption and civic identity.
With increasing populations and urban land, declining agriculture, and degraded ecosystems, the proposed new landscape blurs the territories of architecture, landscape, and infrastructure to position architecture subordinate to natural systems. Could the new typology support a mutually beneficial relationship between civic life, regional ecologies, and policy? How can this hybrid recontextualize the hydrological system within its larger regional context, and provide a stage for social interaction, participation, education, information exchange and ecological policy?
(Master of Architecture with an Emphasis in Interior Architecture)