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Historical Elements of the Site

2m 51s

Paul Bierman-Lytle, a professor at Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis, walks us through the Dandelion Fountain Enclosure Project his 3rd year Architecture students are working on.  The goal of the project was to provide an enclosure for the notable Dandelion Fountain, as well as optimize the views in the park.  He discusses the site and climate constraints as well as the historical and economic value of the site.

I think one of the things which is interesting about this particular park is it does have historic merit. It's a historic landmark, it's on the national registry of historic places so there's a lot of historic buildings that surround this park. And there's a lot new features, for example, across the street is the Walker Art Center, which is down here, which is a modern building. And across the park is also the Sculpture Garden, so you'll see a lot of famous sculptures across the park there. Historically, it's really really important. So this is a real challenge for us to come with the design that not only compliments the historic character of the park but also inspires and demonstrates innovation.

I think one of the biggest challenges that the park currently has is its limited parking. There's no major parking lots around the area, there's no mass transit to get people here. We've identified around the park, different places where there's bus stops right now. So that's to be the big challenges to make this park really really accessible to a lot of people to enjoy what we're going to be presenting to them. The plans are right now, is to first of all evaluate can we share parking with some of the neighboring facilities like the Walker Art Center parking.

Can we share those facilities, can we share with the Dunwoody College parking lot. The other option, which you've probably seen at some theme parks or some other type of entertainment areas of such, off-site parking, and then you bring the customers or the guests to your site through vans, or through golf cart, type of trains. So these are some of the options that we're looking at but obviously we can't just put all this here and then there's going to be traffic jams because there just hasn't been any concern, or resolution of how we're gonna deal with the cars.

I've given the students a couple of challenges, one is to design a pedestrian bridge, there's a pedestrian bridge located right here. That does have some historical relevance to it in terms of its cast iron construction, its got the logo of the park which is over there it's kind of a four-leaf clover type of the design. So yes, the students have always included, they do have references or relevance to the historical nature but I also want them to be inspired to present something new and innovative. Now the enclosure of the Dandelion Fountain itself, we haven't actually gotten into some of the conceptual designs but again, I suspect that they'll be some historical reference in terms of materials, mostly in terms of the old cast iron.

One of the students actually put in a waterwheel in the bridge to actually, these two ponds as maybe you'll see when we film there, is that they're actually in bad decay. There's a lot of algae growth in them, so they need some way to rejuvenate the ponds. So a waterwheel or fountains in the pond which actually bring more oxygen in.

So that waterwheel concept was not only historical in nature and it goes back to some of the waterwheel, the mills that were in Minnesota but also helps rejuvenate these two ponds, aerates them.

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