A.1. The Shifting Landscape
Site: Peddocks Island, Boston Harbor Islands, Massachusetts
The Shifting Landscape is an adaptive reuse project exploring time and architecture as well as documenting its relationship with the ecologically diverse landscape. The curated experience recognizes Peddocks Island’s rich history of landscape and ecological transformations, from agricultural, militaristic to its eventual abandonment.
The master plan of East Head focuses on preserving the existing ecology, vegetation while creating four major nodes that set the course for future changes in the island’s landscape. The act of excavation to host new programs and circulation allow visitors to explore the island without hindering the existing vistas of the sublime landscape. The design also softens the central, existing axis of East Head and rethinks the sense of exploration. The programs include an ecological museum and farm, research facility, water channels and rainwater collection, and hostel and restaurant.
The museum hosts six vegetation hubs recreating environments of pre-European settlement to the present-day farm, whereas, the research facility focuses on investigating the relationships of invasive species and native plants of the Boston Harbor Islands. The water channels create streams and pockets of ponds along pathways throughout the island.
The quartermaster building structure is simplified to a facade that envelopes around a semi-open air hostel, which carves the existing structure in half. The choice to insert floating structures inside the envelop facade is derived from the deterioration and maintenance required of the existing conditions of Quartermaster building. The split structure hosts different types of living environments: in one wing, it contains the capsule hostel wing, which serves all year round, and the other contains the guest rooms that are available during high visitor flow seasons. The volumes exist on 13 offset levels, creating a more dynamic interior circulation. The underground structure is a restaurant that brings the visitors closer to the rising sea levels and tidal changes throughout the day.
Although the excavations and interventions of East Head is a strong imprint on the landforms, they become hosts of future ecological transformations and enzymes for the shifting landscape instead of permanent circumstances.
Diagram & Drawings