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Paradise in the Parking Lot
Killmer, Paul F.
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Parking lots can no longer be the inhospitable, pedestrian-minimalizing, environmentally-degrading uses of valuable open space that are accepted and tolerated as the â normâ . The open space that makes way for parking lots is too precious to be wasted on places that provide little or no comfort to the user while also contributing to the degradation of the environment. By inserting a fantastical landscape â one which engages the senses through color, texture, and smell â into the mind-dulling landscape of a large surface parking lot, the resulting comparison is a waking call about the missed opportunities of celebrating beauty and the environment. This gives value to the landscape in todayâ s mobile society where the natural world appears to be losing ground to the automobile. This thesis proposes a series of landscape structures over a vast surface parking lot â Potomac Yard Shopping Center in Alexandria, Virginia â that provide open space,the ecological benefits of absorbing storm water runoff and preventing UV bounce back, while ultimately repositioning and rejoining the pedestrian with the landscape. The project does not set out to eradicate parking. Rather, the project recognizes the need for parking in todayâ s mobile society but prioritizes the important connection that must exist between people and nature within that context.
- Masters Theses