Date of Submission
Bachelor of Architecture
We live in a Kleenex society. What I mean by this is that everything is, or is in danger of becoming, disposable. We simply take what we need and like a tissue toss it aside when we've exhausted its use.
We have come to believe that no matter our actions nature will eventually heal itself. Showing the world the impact industrialization has had on the natural world can lead us as a society to become aware of our Kleenex mentality.
My site, Bellwood Quarry here in Atlanta, is currently proposed to be the largest park and water reservoir in the city. The history of Bellwood Quarry is a dark one, masked in the recent plans of making it Atlanta’s largest public park. If you can get past the endless results of park proposals you will find that this quarry is not only a scar on the earth but also a scar in Atlanta’s history.
This quarry, when it was established, was a means to continue slavery after the conclusion of the civil war through prison labor camps. Unsatisfactory work resulted in physical punishment, attempting to escape meant longer sentences, and the living conditions were abysmal. This practice lasted nearly 60 years until the quarry was sold to a private owner when controversy started in regards to the labor camps.
My investigation will provide the framework which will allow the quarry to go beyond just a project coated in vanity and will instead raise awareness of the past and of the relationship we should hold towards the natural world. I will investigate how to re-purpose natural landscapes, specifically rock quarries, deeply traumatized by man in order to give back to the earth from which so much has been taken. My project will attempt to inform people of the history of this quarry and to make them aware of not only the ethical responsibility we all have when collecting natural resources but also of the ethical responsibility architects have when responding to these types of sites.
I will design an immersive and interactive museum to not only showcase the history of this site but to also involve those who visit. This immersion will have the potential of creating a social change in how we source materials and deal with the past. Let us start a change. Leave the Kleenex in the box and become aware of our actions.
Rodriguez, Tony J. Jr, "Healing the Scars" (2017). Bachelor of Architecture Theses - 5th Year. 27.