Brief: Produce an intervention utilizing the remains of the Reading Viaduct which includes both public and agricultural functions.
Team: Katie Herzog, Lior Melnick, Mary Tsai
Role: Concept development, design iteration, 3D modeling, rendering, digital drawing
Duration: 8 weeks
Software: Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Rhino, V-Ray
The objective of this design intervention was to revitalize the Reading Viaduct - a decaying relic of the Philadelphia rail industry - as a usable and sustainable public space with a concurrent agricultural function. Our team chose to engage stormwater management as a driving factor throughout the design process, both as a means of fueling hydroponic agriculture and as a tool for rendering visible the hydrology of the region.
We first studied the surrounding area in terms of permeability, mapping porous and nonporous surfaces as well as topography to determine areas in which water might collect. We used this information to locate proposed reservoirs for storing collected rainwater, which would later support the agricultural function of the park.
In order to make visible the process of water collection and reuse, we employed a semi-permeable grate as the surface on which pedestrians would walk. Throughout the design, we focused on the interaction between visitor and water, creating a variety of experiences that ranged from waterfalls to wetlands.
To determine the best areas for planting, we conducted a series of solar simulations. Based on our research into hydroponic agriculture, we selected a variety of crops best suited for this growth method and matched their individual light requirements with the results of our simulations.