Title page for ETD etd-05012006-174917

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Surla, Sean O'Dell
Author's Email Address surladesign@verizon.net
URN etd-05012006-174917
Title Park Park Fabric Landscape Landscape Systems Give Form to Architecture
Degree Master of Landscape Architecture
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Katen, Brian F. Committee Member
Miller, Patrick A. Committee Member
Yglesias, Caren L. Committee Member
  • Infiltrarion
  • Natural Systems and Architecture
  • Porous Paving
  • Environmental Crises
  • Run Off
  • Landscape Systems
  • Fabric Landscape
Date of Defense 2006-03-21
Availability unrestricted
Today, throughout the world, we are in the midst of a man-made environmental crisis. We must change how we consume and affect natural resources on the planet if we are to retain its richness of landscapes and biodiversity. It is our job as landscape architects to lead the way in changing the human relationship to natural resource consumption and building.

My thesis asks the question, how can an understanding of landscape as a system give form to architecture? In natural systems nothing is wasted, everything is interconnected and self-sufficient at the same time. How can we model our buildings -- our built landscapes -- after nature? Three natural systems are key components to modeling nature: water, vegetation and energy.

The landscapes that we have constructed for cars exemplify the problems we have ecologically. Cars produce greenhouse gases creating global warming. Highways and parking lots denude the vegetative habitat and lead to excessive water runoff polluting the watersheds. Solving the car problem goes a long way to setting an example for ultimately resolving ecological development issues. Cars are both the epitome of freedom and environmental degradation. Joni Mitchell put it eloquently with "they paved paradise put up a parking lot." My studio project is a mixed use parking facility fabricating the natural systems of water, energy and vegetation in order to mitigate environmental problems as well as resolve the practical necessity of where to put cars in crowded urban centers. Park Park puts the paradise back into the pavement.

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