Advanced Studio, Spring 2011: Catalina Freixas

  • Work by Ian Cooke for advanced studio taught by Catalina Freixas, Spring 2011.
    Work by Ian Cooke for advanced studio taught by Catalina Freixas, Spring 2011.
  • Work by Lauren Harrison for advanced studio taught by Catalina Freixas, Spring 2011.
    Work by Lauren Harrison for advanced studio taught by Catalina Freixas, Spring 2011.
  • Work by Tingting Wu for advanced studio taught by Catalina Freixas, Spring 2011.
    Work by Tingting Wu for advanced studio taught by Catalina Freixas, Spring 2011.
  • Work by Aubree Robichaud for advanced studio taught by Catalina Freixas, Spring 2011.
    Work by Aubree Robichaud for advanced studio taught by Catalina Freixas, Spring 2011.
  • Work by Ian Cooke for advanced studio taught by Catalina Freixas, Spring 2011.
    Work by Ian Cooke for advanced studio taught by Catalina Freixas, Spring 2011.
  • Work by Tingting Wu for advanced studio taught by Catalina Freixas, Spring 2011.
    Work by Tingting Wu for advanced studio taught by Catalina Freixas, Spring 2011.

Advanced Studio, Spring 2011
Reveries with Water Along the (River) des Peres

Catalina Freixas, Senior Lecturer

This studio explores the River des Peres as both a natural landscape and a manmade condition that has changed the nature of its original character and left a mark on the existing urban fabric. The river runs on a six-mile curve before reaching the Mississippi River along the southwest edge of St. Louis. Its bank forms a visual and physical boundary in the city and hides the backbone of the St. Louis sanitary sewer and storm drain system deep underground. This natural waterway was transformed into a massive civil engineering project in the early 20th century; plans to restore its above-ground flow through Forest Park are complete.

While a return to the River des Peres' original condition is not feasible, a renewed ecological life is blooming in the Carondelet area. Re-envisioning landscape/architecture implies that the relationship between the two areas must be re-imagined a number of times to convey an idea of the relationship between an object and its context, the method with which it is made, and the technology used in making it.

This studio consists of a semester-long project divided into specific stages of the design process. The first segment focuses on mapping and diagramming the different conditions that existed and currently exist along the River des Peres. In the second phase, the program is developed as a response to the previous abstract studies. Students must develop a sustainable housing proposal as a responsible and sensitive response to the area. The construction of a landscape that binds together the existing ground plane, infrastructure elements, and built form should be carefully addressed.