Faculty: Natalie Yates, Washington University in St. Louis
Graduate Landscape Architecture Studio
Situated along the Mississippi River at the head of the North Riverfront Recreational Trail and about 1 mile north of St. Louis’ Gateway Arch grounds, the post-industrial site for this studio is a confluence of industry and invention, of abandonment, neglect, contemporary relevance, and future potential. Spanning approximately 30 acres, it is bordered on the east side by the Mississippi River, on the north by the Corrections Department Work-Release Center on Mullanphy Street, on the south by the Laclede Power Station, and on the west by the historic Cotton Belt Freight Depot. Highway 70 lies 3 blocks west of the site; a rail line also passes through the west end. There is a major opening in the floodwall at the crossing of Mullanphy and Commercial Streets. Throughout the years, the site has been a haven to a number of transient and/or homeless groups. Currently, it is home to a significant tent city.
The ultimate charge of the studio is to reclaim and transform the site into a public landscape that recognizes the relationships between city and river, and between static and fluid spaces, taking into account past, present, and future uses. The series of assignments, workshops, and lectures in the studio leads to a design that addresses both the specificity of site as well as the larger connection to the urban context through research, analysis, and conceptual investigations.