Industrial Organicism: A New Organic Architecture to Grow the Post-Industrial Prairie Landscape
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Building from the legacy and theoretical frameworks of organicism, this thesis is an investigation towards the development of true living architecture, a constructed biology existing as a function of its dynamic environment and as a form which dictates its own means of growth and evolution. The post-industrial city provides an opportune test environment to explore these concepts. Deindustrialization has left in its wake, a fragmented city littered with the voids and ruins of vacated industry. As cities look to rehabilitate these decaying places, preserving their last remaining traces of urban industrial heritage, adaptive reuse has emerged as a choice strategy of redevelopment. We find however, rather than working to reconnect waste sites with the greater city and inspiring new life, the available methods isolate them as static cultural destinations or communities of nostalgia. The following thesis acts to challenge these existing methodologies in the development of a new “organism strategy” of urban adaptive reuse. This strategy proposes renewal through regrowth and formation of an architectural organism, an entity evolving from the features of the industrial wasteland in celebration of it’s dynamic present rather than past form. This thesis is located in the city of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with focus on the historic Fort Road industrial region.