Snøhetta is a practice that I have been keeping a close eye on since that start of my design education back in 2011. Since their founding in 1989, Snøhetta has focused on a multidisciplinary collaboration between architecture and landscape architecture that have allowed them to design projects of remarkable impact. During the Spring Semester of 2017, I had the opportunity to attend talks from two leaders at Snøhetta, Michelle Delk, Landscape Architecture Director, and Craig Dykers, Founding Partner. I will discuss both talks in a two part series. [Part 02]
Michelle Delk is a registered landscape architect and Director of the Landscape Architecture department of Snøhetta. Her talk centered around multiple projects that had alot of complex issues that needed innovative design solutions to tackle. These solutions are multidisciplinary by nature and require expertise and creative design thinking from their diverse team.
One of the major projects she discussed was the Willamette Falls Riverwalk in Oregon City, Oregon. The industrial site of, now closed, Blue Heron Paper Mill sits on top of the second largest waterfall in the United States, second to that of Niagara Falls. As industrial sites due for renovation often are, there are many challenges from old waste, aging infrastructure, landscape complications and historical preservation obligations that take novel design approaches and community feedback to solve. Michelle, as lead project designer, from the start has been interested in the deep integration of these challenges and opportunities for the phase 1 Riverwalk that transverses the sub structure and open spaces of the industrial site. With a Framework Master Plan in place and 800 person public meetings held, Michelle intends to conduct the proper research to get the project started off on the right foot. Engaging the misty ephemeral nature of the site, from sight, touch, and smell, to the selected removal of certain site elements, Snøhetta has the opportunity to craft something special on this old industrial and historical site in Oregon.
Image Credit: Snøhetta – Willamette Falls Riverwalk – http://snohetta.com/projects/233-willamette-falls-riverwalk