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Power of place : linking people, history, and nature visions for an interpretive trail on Mission Flats Middleton, Colette 2001

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P O W E R O F P L A C E : L I N K I N G P E O P L E , H I S T O R Y , A N D N A T U R E VISIONS F O R A N I N T E R P R E T I V E T R A I L O N M I S S I O N F L A T S by Colette Middleton BENVD, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1997 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES THE DEPARTMENT OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 2001 ©Colette Middleton 2001 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) A B S T R A C T It has long been demonstrated that increased appreciation of place initiates stewardship and responsible management of the land. Interpretative design possesses the potential to generate this stewardship through recovering the connections between place and the people that inhabit it. It is essential that interpretation be integrated into the everyday landscape to deepen one's respect of the past and one's commitment to its future. This vision of an interpretive trail in Mission, British Columbia, explores techniques of illuminating place history to inspire and challenge cognitive participation with the landscape. The format of this project begins with a discussion of the values and limits of interpretative methods. Secondly, the study area is introduced through site reconnaissance with special emphasis on historical morphology and social history. Next, interpretive design strategies are explored in conjunction with significant landscape precedents, culminating in a design approach for an interpretive trail on Mission Flats. Six nodes along the trail serve as keystones for this approach, with individual nodes revealing historical processes, both natural and cultural, through design. Akin to Mission Flats, every place is intimately bound to the people and events that have shaped it. Illumination of this connection is the goal of interpretive design. The planning and design phases of development are incomplete without the inclusion of this holistic vision of place. It is therefore imperative that we further explore interpretive design, so that it may be integrated into the oft-impersonal contemporary landscape, for the generation of authentic place identity. T A B L E OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ii LIST OF FIGURES TL Part I OVERVIEW AND SUMMARY 1.1 Introduction 1 1.2 Thesis Statement, Project Goals, Objectives, and Process 2 Part II INTERPRETATION AND INTERPRETIVE METHODS 2.1 A Brief History of Interpretation 3 2.2 Evaluation of Interpretation Methods 3 Part III THE SITE: HISTORY & RECONNAISSANCE 3.1 Site Selection and Introduction 7 3.2 Social History 8 3.3 Site Morphology 13 3.4 Site Reconnaissance 24 3.4.1 Site Context & Trail Network 24 3.4.2 Future Land Use 24 3.4.3 Waterways & Vegetation 24 3.4.4 Trail Alignment Character 25 3.4.5 Trail Access & Views 25 3.4.6 Trail Narratives 25 Part IV NARRATIVE THEORY, PRECEDENTS, & DESIGN APPROACH 4.1 Introduction to Narrative Design Practices 33 4.2 Naming 34 4.3 Sequencing 35 4.4 Opening 36 4.5 Revealing and Concealing 37 4.6 Gathering 38 4.7 Recycling 39 iii Part V T H E DESIGN: VISIONS FOR MISSION F L A T S 5.1 Introduction to Site Planning and Design 41 5.1.1 Trail Concept Plan 41 5.1.2 Urban Form Concept Plan 42 5.1.3 Narrative Planting Plan 43 5.1.4 Narrative Materials Plan 43 5.1.5 Illustrative Plan 43 5.1.6 Trail Sectional Perspectives 43 5.2 Introduction to Interpretive Node Designs 53 5.2.1 Trades Trail 53 5.2.2 Home Historic Overlooks 55 5.2.3 Watermark Walkway 57 5.2.4 Timber Row 59 5.2.5 Salmon Ceremony 61 5.2.6 Living Loop 63 Part VII DESIGN IMPLICATIONS 7.1 A Point of Departure 65 SOURCES C O N S U L T E D 67 LIST OF FIGURES INTERPRETATION AND INTERPRETIVE METHODS 1. Interpretation and Landscape Interpretive Methods THE SITE: HISTORY, MORPHOLOGY & RECONNAISSANCE 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. Site Morphology Site Morphology Site Morphology Site Morphology Site Morphology Site Morphology Site Morphology Site Morphology Site Morphology Site Morphology Mission's Social History Mission circa 1938 Mission circa 1949 Mission circa 1954 Mission circa 1963 Mission circa 1974 Mission circa 1982 Mission circa 1994 Mission circa 1999 Mission Today Site Reconnaissance - Site Context and Trail Network Site Reconnaissance - Future Land Use Waterways and Vegetation Trail Alignment Character Trail Access and Views Trail Narratives Site Reconnaissance Site Reconnaissance Site Reconnaissance Site Reconnaissance NARRATIVE THEORY, PRECEDENTS, & DESIGN APPROACH 18. Narrative Theory - An Interpretive Design Language THE DESIGN: A VISION FOR MISSION FLATS 19. Site Planning and Design 20. Site Planning and Design 21. Site Planning and Design 22. Site Planning and Design 23. Site Planning and Design 24. Site Planning and Design 25. Site Planning and Design 26. Site Planning and Design 27. Site Planning and Design 28. Interpretive Node Design 29. Interpretive Node Design 30. Interpretive Node Design 31. Interpretive Node Design • 32. Interpretive Node Design 3 3. Interpretive Node Design DESIGN IMPLICATIONS Trail Concept Plan Urban Form Concept Plan Narrative Planting Plan Narrative Materials Plan Illustrative Plan Trail Sectional Perspectives A Trail Sectional Perspectives B Trail Sectional Perspectives C Trail Sectional Perspectives D - Trades Trail Home Historical Overlooks Watermark Walkway • Timber Row Salmon Ceremony - Living Loop 12 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 27 28 29 30 31 32 40 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 54 56 58 60 62 64 34. Power of Place - A Point of Departure 66 Par t i OVERVIEW AND SUMMARY The form of the city is seen as the result of complex, overlapping, and interweaving narratives that, together, comnrise the context of place, the storylines that connect the place, and all those who dwell within it. The issues of time and change, process and pattern, order and randomness, being and doing, and form and meaning are inherent to this theory. - Anne Whiston Spirn, The Language of Landscape 1.1 Introduction What distinguishes place individuality is an evolving woven texture of ecology, inhabitation, and change. Nurturing the preservation of any place's textural past instills in its inhabitants a sense of uniqueness. Finding pride in their uniqueness, a community will celebrate its identity ensuring stewardship of place. Unfortunately, current development trends don't adequately allow a community to artfully express their distinctiveness. Rather these forces limit individuality by imposing a status-quo development for ease and monetary profit. Urban theorists have termed this ubiquitous phenomenon placelessness, to describe those areas that have been increasingly homogenized and fragmented with no rootedness. Our contemporary everyday world is devoid of significant landscapes that have a sense of place, and instead embellish a banal uniformity that prohibits one community from distinguishing itself from another. Interpretive design can address this phenomenon by unveiling the intricacies of a place's history-rich past. This paper seeks to explore several interpretative strategies as a tool for providing texture to community design. A design that invokes inquiry and engagement, and celebrates the multitude of layers that make up a place's individual identity. 1.2 Thesis Statement, Project Goals, Objectives, and Process Thesis Statement Interpretive design strengthens community identity, heightening appreciation and stewardship of place. Project Goal To demonstrate what an interpretive trail on Mission Flats might be if it were designed to reveal and accentuate the ecological, historic, and cultural processes occurring on site. Project Objectives • To validate interpretive design as an integral component for creating place identity • To determine methods of integrating interpretation with landscape architecture • To explicate through existing narrative design practices and landscape precedents how interpretative design can create informative, vibrant places • To develop design ideas as examples of interpretive landscapes Process 1. Define interpretation and evaluate several interpretive design methods 2. Conduct site reconnaissance of Mission Flats focusing on social history, physical morphology, and site narratives 3. Examine Potteiger and Puritan's narrative design practices illustrated through significant landscape precedents 4. Generate a design approach, employing these narrative design practices, for an interpretive trail on Mission Flats 5. Conduct planning phase of an interpretive trail on Mission Flats that explores trail alignment, urban form, materials and plantings, trail sections, and selected interpretive design nodes 6. Design a vision for six nodes along the trail of Mission Flats that illuminate the site's unique history Part II INTERPRETATION AND INTERPRETIVE METHODS An interpretive landscape is a place, natural or urbanized, that is intentionally designed to help users understand something about that place, such as its history, ecology, processes, or culture. -Michael Southworth, Landscapes are for Learning 2.1 A Brief History of Interpretation The idea of interpretation gained widespread acceptance in the 1960's after the now classic work of Freedman Tilden's titled Interpreting Our Heritage was published. As a result, a paradigm shift occurred in the way information was communicated in museums, national parks, and other recognized historical sites. Whereas before, at these points of interest, visitors had been personally escorted on tours by educated guides, they were now encouraged to move about at their own pace, on their own route, engaging more freely in a personal dialogue with the multitude of ideas and artifacts displayed.1 Tilden views interpretation as "revealing.. .something of the beauty and wonder, the inspiration and spiritual meaning that lie behind what the visitor with [their] senses perceive." 2 Building upon Tilden's vision, environmental designers in the early 1980's expanded the types of places they would interpret, to include the ordinary, those places not traditionally deemed historically significant. Using a multitude of interpretive design approaches, they began to humanize our non-place urban realm by deepening sites' historical significance. It is this act of interpreting our everyday environments that I will explore. 2.2 Evaluation of Interpretation Methods The methods in which environments are interpreted vary from mere identification of landscape features to more elaborate reconstructions of past landscape events. These methods greatly influence the way we experience the landscape and the perceptions we gain of them. In "Interpreting the Landscape: A Hebridean Perspective, " Rabinowitz defines and critiques three separate methods of landscape interpretation introduced as the following: interpretation placed 1 Friedman, Renee, "For the Curator of Trees and Teacups: The Landscape as Artifact, " C R M 17, no. 7 (1994): 5. 2 Tilden, Freeman, Interpreting Our Heritage, (Chapel Hi l l , N . C : The University of North Carolina Press, 1957): 3. - 3 -on the landscape, interpretation carried into the landscape, and interpretation built out of the landscape. (See Figure 1: Interpretation and Landscape Interpretive Methods) The first method, interpretation placed on the landscape, consists of a series of historical markers, panels, or commemorative plaques that are placed in the landscape. Travel along roads or trails in North America and you will frequently encounter these interpretive markers along your route. Typically installed as a final design layer, they attempt to bring to your attention an awareness of the past through explanation, yet ignore the cultural and ecological context of the contemporary environment and the "history" still present that continues to evolve on site. Furthermore, Rabinowitz remarks on the irony that interpretive panels must be "conspicuous enough to attract attention but not so intrusive as to compete with landscape features they are meant to interpret."3 In addition, the author addresses the tendency for historical markers to create a "rhythmic structure that virtually supplants the experience of the landscape itself; visitors may construe their visits as the passage from number 1 to number 57 rather than a walk."4 This potentially distracting "rhythmic structure" also applies to numbering systems printed on maps and brochures, a common example of the second practice, titled interpretation carried into the landscape. While portable interpretative methods may be more sensitive than marking up the landscape with signs they require the "visitor to transform their eye-level perspective on the environment into a kind of abstracted aerial view,"5 as in the case of a map. While many printed and audio materials brought on site can serve as helpful guides, some visitors may find they require too much attention. Extensive text becomes ultimately too demanding, inhibiting their sense of exploration in the landscape. The final method, interpretation built out of the landscape, is most applicable to the realm of landscape architecture and the one I will be investigating for making place meaning accessible in my design. While exhibits and panels rely on text, this method uses design to illuminate the history ofthe land. Interpretation is constructed out of the landscape and is meant to suggest rather than impose landscape meaning. Moreover, the story is provided a richer more powerful meaning by interpreting the environment in which it occurs. Interpretation integrated in the landscape allows the visitor the satisfaction of being "richly rewarded by learning to read 3 Rabinowitz, Richard, "Interpreting the Landscape: A Hebridean Perspective, " CRM 17, no. 7 (1994): 10. 4 Rabinowitz 10. 5 Rabinowitz 11. historical and cultural traces actually embedded in the landscape."6 It goes beyond the confines of interpretation placed and carried in the landscape, by becoming an explicit element of the design itself. Yet it must be acknowledged that there are limits to all types of interpretation. It is ultimately the designer's responsibility not to over-interpret or over-package a landscape to the degree where experiences become artificial and inflexible. Carried too far, interpretative environments are at risk of overpowering the imagination, intruding on the everyday urban functions, and ultimately diminishing the visitor's enjoyment of a place. Instead, interpretation needs to be sensitive to the environment it is interpreting and provide just enough of an informative framework that visitors are encouraged to weave their own story and build their own pattern of thought, the art of self-discovery. It is with these considerations that I will explore the stories in a trail design through Mission Flats. 6 Rabinowitz 11. P a r t m THE SITE: HISTORY & RECONNAISSANCE Imagine... Saturday 2005.. .walking from your southwest Mission home, viewing spawning salmon in the Stave River, hiking through the Silverdale wetlands to the Junction Mall, where you do your banking and shopping, grab a coffee, and continue on your walk to visit Xay:tem, the First Nations' cultural center on the east side of town, before your afternoon paddle in Hatzic Lake. - Ken Lewis, Watershed Stewardship Coordinator, Letter of Intent: The VanCity Gateway Project Proposal 3.1 Site Selection and Introduction While seeking a thesis project that encompassed my interests and values I came upon an announcement requesting a landscape architecture student to develop a concept plan for a multi-use recreation and interpretative streamside trail on Mission Flats. The proposed Mission Flats trail is the centerpiece of a larger plan to develop a network of accessible trails and wildlife areas from Mission's western edge along the Stave River east to Hatzic Lake. This proposed citywide trails plan links Mission's growing residential community to its commercial and industrial areas while providing protection to its endangered streams and shoreline, enhancing its economic and environmental social values.7 The project immediately engaged my desire to investigate a topic involving many facets with emphasis on ecologic and historic educational opportunities. The District of Mission is located 70 kilometers east of Vancouver on the Fraser River. Surrounded by natural beauty and some of the most affordable land and housing in the Lower Mainland, Mission's 32,000 residents enjoy a livable community with a high quality of life. Mission Flats is the approximate 237-acre area floodplain located between the highlands of Downtown Mission, the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the Fraser River. Like much of the Fraser River, the foreshore has historically been devoted to industrial uses with few spaces planned for public recreation. Most of Mission Flats is commercial and industrial in character with areas planned for mixed residential/commercial redevelopment. Recreational areas are limited to the diminutive Fraser River Foreshore Park and Mission Motor Raceway. Open green spaces not formally accessible to the public include a network of streams, wetlands, river foreshore areas, 7 Lewis, Ken, Letter of Intent: Vancity Gateway Project Proposal, (Mission, B C , April 2001): 2. - 7 -and forested Crown-owned land, all of which are considered significant fish and wildlife habitat zones. The proposed trail on Mission Flats was initiated by the need for a wheelchair accessible connection to the community's streams and Fraser River foreshore. Located primarily along segments of Lane Creek, Windebank Creek, and the Fraser River, the trail offers opportunities for various recreational activities such as walking, biking, running, and fish and wildlife viewing. The Mission Flats trail also provides a linkage with several of Mission's notable amenities such as the Downtown, West Coast Express, Junction Shopping Centre, Mission Hills Shopping Centre, and the Mission Harbour. Proposed mixed-use residential areas on Mission Flats are also increasing the need for a trail, to provide alternative transportation and recreational opportunities to the residents of these future developments. 3.2 Social History Mission's heritage contains many significant stories that lay tucked away in the memory of a rapidly shifting society. The design of an interpretive trail is one opportunity to bring the stories of Mission's heritage to life, and instill within them the historical social importance they inherently possess. Below is a brief synopsis of Mission's social history, focusing on the recent changes occurring on Mission Flats. This brief history corresponds with the timeline of images, illustrated in Figure 2: Site Morphology - Mission's Social History, highlighting the considerable impact of ethnic populations in the development of a frontier town. Mission takes its name after St. Mary's Mission a native residential school established in 1862 by the Order of the Oblates whose aim was to spread Catholicism and teach agricultural practices to the First Nations people, while providing mediation between the natives and white miners.8 The natives were mainly Sto:lo (meaning "of the river" ) tribes who had been subsisting in the Fraser Valley area for over 10,000 years.9 In 1885, the Canadian Pacific Railway chose the site of St. Mary's Mission to locate its first railway junction connecting British Columbia with the rest of Canada and the United States. In anticipation of this new development, James Welton Home, a Schroeder, Andreas. Carved from Wood: Mission, B.C. 1861-1992, (Mission: The Mission Foundation 1991.) 29. 9 Schroeder 36. wealthy real estate speculator, acquired land around the planned junction and began to develop a commercial core on Mission Flats he smartly named Home Avenue. Following construction, which was built on pilings due to the marshy nature of the flats, J. W. Home orchestrated a "Great Land Sale", advertising the area as the "New Seattle." Home expected Mission to become a bustling metropolis and many of the streets of the prematurely laid out town were named after cosmopolitan locations: Washington, Montreal, California, and Seattle. Though the land auction was a success, many of the buyers never settled in Mission and Home's expectations for the "New Seattle" were never realized. Its' street names stripped and replaced with unassuming numbers, St. Mary's Mission became simply known simply as, the utilitarian "Mission Junction." Home's choice of the town center location was also proven to be an error in judgment. In May 1894 the Fraser River flooded the flats up to the CPR tracks with a high watermark of 25.75 feet, causing merchants and residents to flee their quarters and relocate upland to Mission's current downtown location. Home Avenue's abandoned buildings on the flats would become a nucleus for Chinese workers who initially immigrated to work on the C P . rail expansion. In Mission, the Chinese workforce found employment in one ofthe town's two main industries: agriculture and logging. Mission's south-facing bench lands proved ideal for producing small fruits, becoming one of the most productive berry growing areas in Canada and U.S., earning its name "The Home of the Big Strawberry." Japanese farmers contributed to Mission's growing success in the fruit industry, eventually controlling more than 75% of berry producing property. This was achieved by effectively transforming unused barren land into productive farms, a skill perfected in their homelands. The wood industry also proved to be highly influential in Mission's economic development with shake and shingle mills established along the Fraser River attracting new settlers, many from India. Just prior to the 1920's, a fire destroyed some of Mission's first buildings along Home Avenue, including Mission's unofficial Chinatown, resulting in a diminished visual Chinese presence in Mission. Although the old Home Avenue was destroyed, Mission's downtown was thriving with businesses and a new department store, serving as the main shopping nucleus within the mid-valley. This economic boom came to a halt in the 1930's when the Depression effectively weakened Mission's economy and brought more transients into Mission via railway than any other town between Vancouver and the interior of B.C., morphing "the flats" into a Hobo jungle of informal settlements.10 Approximately two decades following the Chinatown fire, Mission lost - 9 -another important ethnic population during WWII when Japanese-Canadians were forced to evacuate their farms, creating a devastating impact on Mission's fruit and berry industry. Following the war, festivities such as the Soap Box Derby and the Strawberry Festival were created in an effort to boost community morale and jumpstart a suffering berry industry. Unfortunately flood prevention efforts replaced the celebratory atmosphere in the warm spring and summer of 1948's. Over a six-week period, the Fraser River flooded again and peaked at 24.73 feet, submerging Mission Flats and the former Chinatown under more than 10 feet of water. This catastrophe proved to be an insurmountable setback for many berry farmers in Mission and it's hinterlands. An industrial wood processing industry replaced the berries with tree farming with the kick off of B.C.'s first municipal tree farm in.Mission in the early 1950's. Accordingly, Mission Flat's waterfront was transformed in the fifties into a flourishing mill industrial area. As a result, the flats were finally re-settled, 30 years after the Chinatown fire, by Mission's growing Sikh population." Yet, overall Mission's population was stagnant compared to the rapid expansion of areas south of the Fraser. While communities across the river such as Abbotsford had plenty of large flat plots for commercial and industrial expansion, development on Mission's steep hills proved tricky and uneconomic.12 From the 1960's on, Mission's status as the mid-valley's shopping nucleus disintegrated due to an migration of businesses to nearby Abbotsford, and Mission experienced a difficult series of boom and bust economic cycles extending for the following three decades.13 The building of a vehicular bridge across the Fraser River was anticipated to reinvigorate Mission's sagging economy.14 Completed in the early 1970's, the bridge provided a much-needed linkage to communities across the Fraser River such as Abbotsford, and the Trans-Canada Highway. Although in terms of economic growth, it inevitably drained Mission's commerce, as retailers and industry relocated to Abbottsford. An additional economic crash occurred when Mission's primary employer the lumber industry, was downsized drastically, establishing the need for new diverse industries. This need was met with the creation of Mission's Industrial Park, located on the flats with existing shake and shingle industry, and attracting what would be a major employer until 1989, Fiberglass Canada.15 However, a majority of the industrial park " Schroeder 178. 1 2 Schroeder 171. 1 3 Schroeder 191. 1 4 Schroeder 198. 1 5 Schroeder 202. - 10-remained empty for much of the early 1980's, while the recession took its toll on Mission's economy, shutting down businesses and eradicating saw-milling on the flats. The economy finally advanced in the latter half of the 1980's, reactivating development on the flats, within the industrial park, and along the Fraser River in the form of Mission's very own drag strip, Mission Raceway. This upswing of the economy in the late 1980's made Mission one of the fastest growing communities in the province.16 Mission's affordable housing attracted many professional artists and the community increased its cultural attractions such as the architecturally renowned Westminster Abbey, popular annual Folk Festival at Heritage Park, international Native Pow Wow, and River Day Fest. . Mission's attraction by ex-urbanites was further increased with the opening of the West Coast Express commuter rail system between Mission and Vancouver in the mid 1990's. The West Coast Express Station on Mission Flats brought a revamped look to the railway as well as a pedestrian bridge over the C P . Rail tracks linking downtown with Mission Flats. Other major changes to Mission Flats include the recent commercial developments of the Junction Shopping Centre and industrial development of a plastics manufacturer, InterWrap. The Junction Shopping Centre instigated the completion of the massively elevated Lougheed Highway Bypass, ultimately increasing vehicle access. This increase of traffic and infrastructure on the flats has unfortunately contributed to the fragmented, auto-dominated character present today. While Mission continues to boast a high quality of life, affordable housing, and celebrated community events, Mission Flats and the Fraser River foreshore remain neglected and inaccessible to the pedestrian. The redevelopment opportunity of Mission Flats has fortunately been recognized with zones planned for mixed-use residential and commercial development. Furthermore, Mission's foreshore is beginning to be acknowledged as a unique natural, recreational, and fiscal amenity, and the need of improved access for the community's enjoyment is becoming increasing important. A trail through Mission Flats has the opportunity for not only enhancing investment for redevelopment and much needed access to the foreshore, but also uncovering its' intriguing multifaceted history to increase the community's awareness of Mission's heritage and it's relationship with the Fraser River. 3.3 Site Morphology These historic aerials illuminate the site's former landscape features and the developments that have shaped it. The following series of aerial photographs (Figures 3-11) highlight the physical changes that have occurred on Mission Flats over seven decades, from 1938 to present. Site Morphology - Mission circa 1938 (Figure 3) - This first aerial documents the former stream alignments, open drainage system, vegetation patterns, presence of beach ridges, and roads defining farm plots on the flats. The established road network east of the railway illustrates the significance of Home Avenue as Mission's former main street. Site Morphology - Mission circa 1949 (Figure 4) - The study area just one year after the great flood of 1948. Construction of Mission Flats dyke has begun and increased development spreading out from downtown Mission is evident. Site Morphology - Mission circa 1954 (Figure 5) - Six years following the second great flood, Mission Flats has been safeguarded with a dyke constructed to its present alignment, seen here as the most southerly roadway. More development had occurred not only Downtown, but also on the flats along the existing street network and within the flat's center in the form of additional farm plots. Site Morphology - Mission circa 1963 (Figure 6) -Farm plots within the center of Mission Flats are removed in this next aerial and replaced with what appears to be the beginning construction of a drag strip. Increased growth has occurred primarily downtown and along the existing street network on the flats. Site Morphology - Mission circa 1974 (Figure7) - Just one year after completion of the Mission-Abbottsford Bridge. Major changes have occurred on the flats including a completed Mission Raceway dragstrip and the appearance of earth-bermed areas in anticipation of an elevated transportation linkage between the Mission-Abbottsford Bridge and the Lougheed Highway. The Murray Street overpass is another new addition to the flats, connecting lower Home Avenue with Downtown over the C P . Rail tracks. Originally intended to initiate commercial development on - 13 -the flats, by the time the Murray Street overpass was completed Mission's retailers had already chosen the Lougheed Commercial Corridor, Mission's west side for their development plans. Site Morphology - Mission circa 1982 (Figure 8) -Development occurring along the Lougheed Commercial Corridor and the establishment of Mission's Industrial Park on the flats. Fiberglass Canada is the only major industry to have been established. Additional transit infrastructure has been built including a cloverleaf connecting the Mission-Abbotsford Bridge with the existing and future bypass section. Perhaps the most extreme impact occurred within an approximate 71.5-acre area along the Fraser River that was cleared and leveled for the future Mission Raceway established 1985, substantially diminishing the vegetated marshland areas on the flats. Site Morphology - Mission circa 1994 (Figure 9) - The bypass completed on the west end connecting the Mission-Abbotsford Bridge with the Lougheed Highway. The Loughheed Highway has been expanded to four lanes and increased development has occurred both along the highway's commercial corridor and in the Mission's Industrial Park. Site Morphology - Mission circa 1999 (Figure 10) - The bypass with its current additions (on-off ramps connecting to London Avenue) and new development occurring along London Avenue, namely the Junction Shopping Centre. The West Coast Express' commuter parking area and walkway across the C P . Rail tracks were established 1995, creating a much needed pedestrian linkage to Downtown and increasing Mission's appeal to city workers desiring rural living. Site Morphology - Mission Today (Figure 11) - Current fragmented configuration of Mission Flats today. New construction include the substantial plastics wrap development, Inter-wrap, within the Mission's Industrial Park and additional stores and businesses within the Junction Shopping Centre. Sadly, one of the remaining forested patches on the flats, an approximate 18.5-acre triangularly shaped plot, was clear-cut to presumably accommodate future log-sorting functions, severely diminishing wildlife habitat areas. - 14 -NATURAL" " 1 STREAMS. BEACH RIDGES C U L T U R A L -ROAD & RAIL NETWORK: o 00 t "C pa O 5 ^ MM/, P.. cn i o 50 TJ 0 o 0 Mr 0) 0 0 70 0 > a • •• 9 2. wmm • i 111 tt; $ ' N A T U R A L -S T R E A M S , B E A C H R I D G E S C U L T U R A L -R O A D & R A I L N E T W O R K I N A T U R A L -S T R E A M S , B E A C H R I D G E S C U L T U R A L -R O A D Sk R A I L N E T W O R K 3.4 Site Reconnaissance In addition to conducting numerous site visits and consulting conventional planning documents, my reconnaissance of the site involved searching the archives for historic maps and photographs, interviewing residents, and experiencing the landscape from the viewpoint of the pedestrian. The following Site Reconnaissance maps (Figures 12-17) document various existing and proposed site conditions by means of a digital database created to compare and overlay this information. 3.4.1 Site Context and Trail Network (Figure 12) The study area of Mission Flats within the urban area of Mission, bounded by Silverdale and Hatzic. Illustrates linkage opportunities between the proposed trail on Mission Flats to other trails (existing and proposed), schools, and parks within urban Mission as indicated in the Official Community Plan. 3.4.2 Future Land Use (Figure 13) Based on the Official Community Plan, the future land uses of Mission Flats and its surrounding edges. Mission Flats is primarily commercial and industrial in use, historically devoid of proper housing due to its' flood plain condition. However, current flood plain exemptions, based on adaptive building design, have led to the future land use proposal of two areas zoned for mixed-use residential and commercial developments: the Commuter Rail Redevelopment and Waterfront District Redevelopment. The former is located in the present industrial area surrounding the West Coast Express Station and proposes multi-residential units that establish a pedestrian scale and encourage commercial uses that cater to commuter rail patrons as well as the larger market. The vision of the Waterfront District Redevelopment area is a pedestrian-oriented, mixed-used development with a waterfront theme that increases the community's access and enjoyment of the river. 3.4.3 Waterways and Vegetation (Figure 14) Based on contour mapping, the Gartner Lee Environmentally Sensitive Areas Study, and multiple site visits this map identifies vegetation communities, re-vegetated stream banks, stream classification, location of culverts, and the floodplain boundary. The floodplain boundary marks - 2 4 -the area that would statistically flood in the next 200-year flood. The lower reaches of Lane Creek and Windebank Creek have been designated as Class A watercourses, providing essential rearing habitat for juvenile salmonids swimming down the Fraser River from spawning areas upstream.17 Unfortunately the Lane Creek corridor is highly developed without proper vegetated buffers to support fish rearing and reduce erosion. Substantial efforts have been made by the Mission Indian Friendship Centre to restore Lane Creek by removing garbage, invasive exotic species, and revegetating banks with native riparian plantings. Wildlife areas are limited to the wetlands of Mandale Slough and forested Crown-owned land on the western edge of the flats. 3.4.4 Trail Alignment Character (Figure 15) The trail corridor location was generated in conjunction with District of Mission Planner Adam Fitch and contributed to by additional members of the community. The route responds to the present context and allowable right-of-ways by weaving though existing and proposed land uses. The map identifies character alignment (shoreline, streamside, roadside, etc.), major areas of access, and intersections with rail line requiring controlled crossings. 3.4.5 Trail Access and Views (Figure 16) This map identifies those portions of the proposed trail alignment that are either publicly owned with allowable access or privately owned with access under negotiation. While industrial uses along the waterfront such as log sorting, make access presently difficult, it is necessary to establish a future right-of-way so that in the event of a new land-use, waterfront access may be more easily realized. Vantage points along the trail are represented with arrows denoting short-range views of streams and creeks, and long-range views of the surrounding mountains. 3.4.6 Trail Narratives (Figure 17) A conceptual organization for revealing various natural and industrial narratives and lost traces on Mission Flats. Natural narratives include ecological conditions and processes such as the wind and water that shape the land, as well as the vegetation and habitat that support the species that occupy the flats. Artifacts, like the Mission Gauge, serve as reminders of the power of the Fraser River and the floods that have influenced the development of Mission. The earliest days of 1 7 Gartner Lee Limited, Environmentally Sensitive Areas Study: District of Mission (October 1993) 14. -25 -Mission City, the introduction of the railroad and subsequent wood industries provide significant industrial narratives, linking laborers from the past to the present. Stories no longer visible in the landscape, such as Home Avenue's birth as the original town center and the site of the Sto:lo fish camp are characterized here as lost traces. Selected narratives are tied to specific landscape features of Miss ion Flats, others more generally associated with its morphology. - 2 6 -to H m m o o z z > to > z o c H C z • c (0 m TI f TJ so <§ o • M M 1 m ' f l m CO H m m o o z z > 5) (0 > z o > r Z > 71 7\ a < m (0 Part IV NARRATIVE THEORY, PRECEDENTS, & DESIGN APPROACH It is through narrative that we interpret the processes and events of place. We come to know a place because we know its stories. -Matthew Potteiger and Jamie Purinton, Landscape Narratives: Design Practices for Telling Stories 4.1 Introduction to Narrative Design Practices The presence of landscape narratives is pervasive in landscape architecture, from classical gardens to contemporary urban streetscapes. Landscape narratives are the "fundamental way people shape and make sense of experience and landscapes." 1 8 Interpretive design is one type of landscape narratives with the specific aim of uncovering narratives, historic and ongoing.1 9 Potteiger and Purinton in Landscape Narratives: Design Practices for Telling Stories, explore a wide range of landscape precedents, designed and vernacular, analyzed in terms of five narrative design practices. Narrative design practices are fundamental techniques of designing places that communicate a story, contending "stories link the sense of time, event, experience, memory, and other intangibles to the more tangible aspects of place."20 Each practice is both a way of "physically communicating narrative as well as a metaphor for narrative."21 In the following pages, five narrative design practices are investigated - naming, sequencing, concealing/revealing, gathering, and opening, as defined in Landscape Narratives: Design Practices for Telling Stories with the subsequent addition of, recycling. These practices reflect a typical design methodology looking initially at the broader scale, in naming of place, then shifting to the design details, covered in the recycling of materials. Collectively, the practices constitute an interpretive design language. The practices within this language are woven loosely together, with the "most complex work engaging many at once."22 The practices are introduced here with a brief definition, applicable landscape precedent(s) and corresponding design approaches that illustrate how each method is applied in a vision for Mission Flats. (See Figure 18) 1 8 Potteiger, Matthew and Jamie Purinton. Landscape Narratives, (NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 1998.) ix. 1 9 Potteiger 11. 2 0 Potteiger ix. 2 1 Potteiger 73. 2 2 Potteiger 73. - 3 3 -4.2 Naming The act of naming is a fundamental component of developing place identity. It "is as much a creative act as giving it form." 2 3 Naming both generates the origin of a places' story and shapes its' plot as new names are applied over time building a palimpsest of names. Names reveal change. The settler's initial attempt to fix the place's identity with religion with St. Mary's Mission and the layered collage of names that follow (i.e. "New Seattle", Mission Junction, "Home of the Big Strawberry," Mission City, Village of Mission, Town of Mission, District of Mission) relating the hopes, dreams and reality of Mission's ever changing economic and political condition. In addition to offering abbreviated stories of discovery and biography of place, naming reveals the social values of its inhabitants. First Nations' naming traditions reveal their intimate relationship to the land (i.e. Sto:lo meaning "of the river"). Mission's settlers street naming practice after illustrious cities, uncovers their expectations for Mission to become a thriving metropolis. Moreover, naming practices often expose the political influences and ambitions of those who shaped a place. In the case of Mission, James Welton Home, the first town developer has one stream and three roads named after him. These traces of naming in the landscape create a temporal collage, transforming indistinguishable areas into distinctly remembered places. Traces of names in the landscape aren't always retained. Designers play an important role by restoring those names considered historically significant and making them intelligible to the public. Fredrick Law Olmsted used naming strategies for his design of Franklin Park in Boston completed 1885. He investigated historic names linked to the site including homesteaders, Native Americans, and people and events of the Revolutionary War. Olmstead recovered names, such as "Resting Place" where a lieutenant rested his army, for their particular narratives associated with place evoking a sense of heritage within the park.24 Naming trail segments and trail nodes on Mission Flats is an initial step of my design approach. By uncovering names directly associated to site, such as "Salmon Ceremony" at the former First Nations fish camp or "Timber Row" along the wood-processing waterfront, a richer description of significant landscape narratives are identified. As a result, this naming strategy distinguishes the character for each trail segment and highlights the local history connected to Mission Flats. Potteiger 75. Potteiger 93. -34 -4.3 Sequencing Narrative sequence is developed by the proximity and succession of landscape features. The order of experience is essential to narrative, as every feature is understood in terms of what comes before and what follows, while one moves through the landscape. Aided by linear ordering devices such as roads and streams, the sequencing of landscape narratives controls the users experience in a way to orient, open, and make legible the various historical layers. Sequencing is used in many designed landscapes to choreograph the experience of the user. The garden of Stourhead in Wiltshire, England is particularly notable for its choreography in narrating the story of the fall of Rome. The gardens' pathways sequentially unfold the plot through a series of landmarks, alluding to events along a perceivable timeline. This technique was more recently utilized in Lawrence Halprin design for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial along Washington Mall . Halprin uses a series of processional rooms that serve as a sequencing device for organizing phases of FDR's political and personal life in a chronological way. 2 5 Linear devices are critical for their direction to users who reach a point of interest via different routes. This movement choreography is considered specifically on the Mission Flats Trail at the interpretive nodes, "Home Historic Overlooks" and "Watermark Walkway", where the stories unfold sequentially referencing materials and significant landscape features. Juxtaposition of land use types also applies sequencing by accentuating change between elements overtime. This contrast between old and new is established on site through the use of infill in designated mixed-use development zones that preserve the old industrial while allowing new commercial to fill in incrementally. Finally, sequencing is utilized with plantings and materials at significant locations, such as cottonwoods along the foreshore and rail scraps along CPR trail corridors, serving as cues to orient the user along the trail and enhance the landscape coherence. Potteiger 121. -35 -4.4 Opening Open narratives emphasize the vitality of authenticity. While themed landscapes attempt to simulate reality through scripted-decoration, they tend to exclude those aspects that are less orderly and marketable. In contrast, the act of opening encourages the gritty and unpredictable layers of history to be revealed, allowing for a more dynamic, diverse landscape experience. Opening inspires multiple readings in lieu of a narrow one-dimensional point of view, given that the "landscape designer does not solely make meaning, for meaning resides in and evolves with the layers of personal and social experience attached to place." 2 6 Furthermore, the "open" landscape is not only made up of multi-layered stories but offers a new story each day by means of constantly shifting cultural and natural processes intended to be re-read over time. The Parisian Pare de la Villette presents a deconstructivist approach to opening where the architect, Tschumi, leaves certain elements in an unfinished state, receptive to change. 2 7 While this project relies on architectural elements to evoke transformation, Byxbee Park, a former landfill, uses solely ecological processes to create a landscape in constant flux. Designed by Hargreaves Associates, this project celebrates natural change through the use of wind-shaped landforms, evoking former garbage heaps, that are left to evolve on their own overtime. Often the land unencumbered is the best storyteller of all. Opening allows for this by cautioning the heavy-handed designer not to over-package places or intrude on everyday urban functions. The interpretive nodes of Mission Flats are designed to under-interpret its' spaces, like "Living Loop", with minimal interference, allowing for self-exploration. "Living Loop" also utilizes this method through ongoing natural processes to create spaces that are allowed to transform, even flood freely. Opening also presents a means of revealing the hidden narratives of Mission's diverse ethnicity to illuminate a broader sense of history. The design of multi-layered interpretive nodes addresses the complexities of Mission's past, however unglamorous, by employing the philosophy of opening to nurture acceptance of self. Potteiger 189. Potteiger 203. - 3 6 -4.5 Revealing & Concealing Revealing and Concealing are tools the designer consistently uses when interpreting a site. This narrative technique can manifest itself by either revealing certain processes occurring on site, or deliberately concealing elements to create a sense of mystery. By not making everything apparent at once, revealing and concealing encourages further exploration and engagement of the site.28 Richard Haag uses revealing and concealing in the Bloedel Reserve project on Bainbridge Island to disclose the site's logging history by selectively clearing low growth vegetation, exposing stumps and blemished tree trucks.29 Hagg unmasks the site's ecological disorder in only chosen areas and in a very restrained way, producing in the user an enhanced reaction. Fellow designer Gary Strang's proposal for Herman Park brings highlights the site's annual tendency to flood by inviting an area to fill with water in the spring. The area's water recedes during the dry season to reveal the previously concealed garden, further accentuating the rhythmic ecological processes occurring on site. 3 0 Revealing and concealing techniques are used in the Mission Flats trail design as an opportunity for education and anticipation, by gradually exposing processes on site and inviting questions as to how they work. "Trades Trial" regularly reveals the manufacturing methods of surrounding businesses while "Watermark Walk" makes evident the purpose and function of an inconspicuous Mission Gauge through a series of clues. Each subsequent node reveals another layer of history. Yet, the act of revealing and concealing used simultaneously forbids these stories from being readily apparent, inviting a sense of heightened mystery and exploration to the user's experience. Potteiger 135. Potteiger 139. Potteiger 149. - 3 7 -4.6 Gathering Gathering is a way of re-membering, re-telling, and re-collecting stories in the landscape. "Any narrative, no matter how simple, is more than just a scattered series of events, but a "grasping together" of events, characters, processes, and place into meaningful configurations."31 The act of gathering brings together everyday experiences in an organized way so it may be shared with others, nurturing the collective memory. Gathering can be manifested through condensing the story into a miniature landscape, by representing the story with a souvenir or artifact, or through collecting pieces that describe the story and ordering them in a recognizable way.32 It is "both the literal pulling together of parts as well as the joining of collective memory and social ideals."33 The design for the Village of Yorkville Park in Toronto is an example of gathering the symbolic larger landscape into the design of an urban park. Designers Smith, Swartz, and Meyer drew upon the diversity of the Canadian landscape by collecting or "gathering" various ecological zones, with plant communities found in nature, from upland conifers to lowland grasses. The result provides ecological educational opportunities along an urban street through a series of rooms, representing the larger dynamic landscape, gathered for the public's collective enjoyment. In a fragmented landscape such as Mission Flats, gathering offers an opportunity to bring together diverse social histories to create a collective identity, by representing a range of stories through interpretive nodes. Gathering surmises the collection of various industrial processes along the "Trades Trail" segments. This segment allows users to experience these often-masked materials and methods by representing them in a tangible, cohesive way. Land use types juxtaposed such as the proposed restored marshland flanked by the existing log sorting area serve to narrate the evolution of the site overtime, by gathering together its former and present uses. The collection of stories and artifacts on the site in interpretive nodes as in "Home Historic Overlooks", "Timber Row", and "Salmon Ceremony" also provide an opportunity for sharing and representing narratives no longer visible in the landscape. 3 1 Potteiger 164. 3 2 Potteiger 165. 3 3 Potteiger 73. - 3 8 -4.7 Recycling Recycling entails using materials from the site and reordering them for functional or aesthetic applications. Materials in themselves tell a story and when they've had a former recognizable use, attach another layer of history and complexity to the narrative. Furthermore, by reusing materials found on site, the design takes on a vibrant quality, supporting a phenomenological understanding of place. Frank Lloyd Wright employed recycling for the Taliesin West project set in the rugged Sonoran desert of Arizona. By reusing materials scooped up from the desert floor, Wright constructed garden paths and building walls, resulting in rough organic surfaces and unique architectural forms. Concrete mixed with desert rocks and sand creates a fusion between the design and the greater landscape, to become a composite desert sculpture. Taking a less naturalistic approach, landscape architect Martha Schwartz uses recycling for many projects, designing with both found objects and unusual materials. By using familiar objects in an unfamiliar way, Schwartz adds another layer of inquiry and meaning to her designs. The interpretive trail narrative materials plan proposes use of such abandoned materials as rail scraps and auto-parts. The "Timber Row" interpretive node uses recycling to celebrate abandoned artifacts from the sawmill industry, reusing them as both functional site infrastructure and whimsical sculpture. By arranging these materials in imaginary ways, the designs reference the local industrial history and reinforce its regional identity. - 3 9 -• TI (§.' c a oo CO o ® z > H < HI X m o I > Z z -I pi TJ S3 m < • ( 5 z p z c > PI Five narrative design practices - naming, sequencing, concealing/revealing, gathering, and opening, as defined in Potteiger and Purinton's Landscape Narratives: Design Practices for Telling Stories D E S I G N A P P R O A C H c o z o 3 D i i Q CO 5 ro 3J I I a > n rj o 0 a 1 s z m a H -t ra a x O £ 3 3 — a 3 c 7 •* < ° £ 5 z x 5 3 3 s — in io ^ m ? 0 „, •n io io 2 > 5 C z z 1 0 to-rn < 0 m < to m a > z o a ro r r n 0 c z H m 'JO r a "3 is 4 i f 2 I < in ro < 4 8 r> -5 gi ra 5 Si z 2 10 TI si Ii M <n ra to to o z a o * z < 3 C 5 o =. 0 sr 3 = P z i ° £ r a ra ; * CD to a > 5 Z a i 33 O ra «- 9 ni g. z § 3 o z in 3 m O o < 0 r C 3 o z o -co 3 ro ra m a '" H 2 ro ui P R E C E D E N T S 0 - bl 0 l i s i l l P P o » m z ' > 3] 31 3 o z o oi TJ TJ 5 E z z 9 0 H i •n I > . 3 3 3* 1 H i C gill Pig! PI tfl CO s i ! to o I 8 S S 5 ; s H f z P n 1 I s o > S 2 * o | 8 | • i > O < DO a c 5 -< c c 0 3 w E u 2 3 > i S o 3 S 3 5 I 0 7 > 2 E 1 5 B S > I ! if 9 a " £ < 3 8 «> f f l I 5 8 O to CO 03 ro S3 E c Z I z a H I ro 10 3 N I 5 ro o m r m x O ra r in m n o I JI 0 I > > D n o co < > > 2 F 2 r =i r > H i i a o > S 2 C J B < * m a 5 ? 3 «i 5 : 5 o o f) < > -l 0 r < o 5 ci 3 !5 O B9 ro 31 > CD co a -t > > H n v. m z si I? n 0 z ui 31 C > H I s 5 10 c UJ z o z D c 10 II m a co > z >3 D E F I N E D o to m n m z c E cS § Q S O H O a j m II! •HZ J n S; 1 > I 88 5? M o g • i Mr-. Part V T H E DESIGN: VISIONS F O R MISSION F L A T S Designers are storytellers. Design is a way of imagining and telling new stories and reviving old ones, a process of spinning out visions of landscapes that pose alternatives from which to choose, describing the shape of a possible future. The products of design are settings for living that convey meanings further through processes of construction and cultivation, use and neglect, as we dwell in what began as dreams. - Anne Whiston Spirn, Language of Landscape 5.1 Site Planning and Design The trail design experience satisfies more than just functional aesthetic requirements by communicating the dynamic processes and narratives of place. The approach specifically addresses the ways in which interpretation can be implicit in the design of the trail, constructed out of, instead of being applied later. Mission Flats is expressed through urban form, plantings, materials, and the experiences of six interpretive nodes that unfold as one moves along the trail. These designs are meant to provide a framework for the visitor to form their own story and increase their engagement with place. The following graphics and text describe how these design solutions reflect this approach. 5.1.1 Trail Concept Plan (Figure 19) Trail alignment corresponds with future zoning parameters based on the Official Community Plan and is structured to utilize existing right-of-way corridors. The concept plan details the trail structure in terms of width and surface (bituminous vs. permeable), and distinguishes segments with separated trails, sidewalks, and bike lanes. Increased connectivity to the site is achieved through additional pedestrian walkways over rail lines. These pedestrian points of access are identified as well as areas for picnicking, improved water access, farmers market, and location of interpretive nodes. 5.1.2 Urban Form Concept Plan (Figure 20) e Enriching the physical structure with infill is proposed with emphasis on healing the fragmented landscape through transit-oriented human-scaled design and increased connectivity. Redevelopment along Home Avenue with ground level commercial buildings and residences built above initiates an active commercial nucleus for commuter rail patrons and Mission Flats residents. The existing light industrial zones surrounding the West Coast Express Station and Waterfront Harbour area are enhanced with pedestrian-oriented residential units that provide opportunities for work/live activities such as small-scale manufacturing and processing with up to 70% of the space devoted to work use. The connectivity between these work/live areas, commuter rail and waterfront, is enhanced by reducing the barrier effects of the Lougheed Highway Bypass by establishing a viaduct structure at Durieu Street providing vehicular access under the highway. The anticipated Cedar Yard neighborhood located on the existing log sorting area is more ' residential in character with three types of mixed land-uses: multiple residential, urban residential, and "main street" commercial with residences above. The redevelopment layout utilizes the historic street network established in 1913 never realized and is intersected by remnants of a former beach ridge landform. Multiple residential is characterized by stacked townhouses or row houses with ground oriented access at a density average of 30 dwelling units per acre. Urban residential is comprised of ground-oriented single-family row housing with an average density of 20 units per acre with designated rear alley vehicular access to support a unified pedestrian streetscape. Both residential types provide live/work opportunities for home office use with approximately 30% devoted to commercial business activities. The proposed Mission Riverfront Park offers accessible green space for Mission Flat residents and is lined with neighborhood commercial amenities along Harbour Avenue. 5.1.3 Narrative Planting Plan (Figure 21) Plant communities associated with a microclimate, landscape feature or landscape narrative demarcate the Mission Flats into perceivable spaces, increasing landscape coherence and reducing the scale of the Lougheed Highway Bypass to humanize the flats. For example, harvestable grasses, barley and oat, are seeded along the east-west rail line to evoke a vanishing industrial heritage. Black cottonwood and oceanspray, plants traditionally found along the Fraser River, are replanted on disturbed foreshore areas. The north-south rail lines on the site are lined with bamboo to highlight the Chinese contribution to the construction of rail lines and their use of bamboo to transport the rails from the foreshore, where steamboats offloaded them. Plant associations with the site provide additional cohesiveness in an otherwise disjointed landscape. - 4 2 -5.1.4 Narrative Materials Plan (Figure 22) Industrial materials applied along the interpretive trail create respect and understanding for Mission Flat's industrial past. Abandoned materials including: rail scraps, timber artifacts, auto-parts, and miscellaneous industrial by-products, are re-used for both functional and aesthetic applications. An old car engine is re-imagined as a planter or sculpture at the entrance of Mission Raceway and rail scraps become part of the trail surface along the rail corridor. Bringing new life and meaning to discarded industrial materials provides an opportunity to artfully express the site's multi-layered heritage. 5.1.5 Illustrative Plan (Figure 23) Distills key information from previous detailed maps: urban form, trail concept, and narrative plantings. 5.1.6 Trail Sectional Perspectives (Figures 24-27) Eight sectional perspectives illustrate how the trail will appear at various segments. Narrative planting schemes are depicted where relevant, demonstrating each segment's uniqueness. -43 -f o "7* CT ^ » ^ Cl! to PI TJ z z z o D Pi CO 0 Z -I 70 > F O o z o PI TJ H "0 a>4 T (D ® • TJ m a to H > z n m U) 10 2 5 l l P 81 C o ? 2 F l 2 - i m 33 13 33 < n O c z 3 5 fi z o > 33 5 > a F § CD m 0 O i > in S 2 z o 33 3 c BJ r o 3? 33 TN Z 0 2 > L 0 33 TJ C 09 C o 2 33 z > -o 4 a 3 5 § z 0 II ! I I * n 33 O T3 0 w m o CO 33 5 a m x z (D 3 D3 33 O ffl m £ 3 to o > 33 0 m o < CD O 1*1 G. 0 Tl m 33 2 m > B m i I I I I % I 2 Z 0 c cn | z •p m o s 2 z • O 3 D r m Q m z 0 r z z o 7! (/> 5 m i s 0 33 • 2: Iv • 1 5" -Mf a-I 1-1 to o -a rt |TJ o m [ , •Sin.-UK '(,:', Q T m O TJ r m •• En • i W tfl 0 1 4 •a .3 v 8-BBrJ 5.2 Design of Interpretive Nodes Six interpretive node locations are selected along the trail. Each is rich with opportunity for revealing historic traces, now concealed, or celebrating a particular landscape feature or artifact not readily apparent. The nodes are explicated through a design description with relevant narrative design practices. 5.2.1 Trades Trail The present development o f Mission 's industrial business park is boxy, non-differential, and lacking the vitality o f the practice that takes place within. The Trades Trail would aid in the remedy o f this situation by allowing businesses the opportunity to advertise to the community in exchange for trail maintenance and beautification in an adopt-a-trail modeled program. The four gateways to the Trades Trail segment are fashioned with time clocks symbolizing the daily toils of the laborers o f Mission past and present. The trail surface is stamped concrete, patterned off of anonymous timeclock punch-cards. Participating businesses are given the opportunity to design a large rebar figure in a working position that best represent the industrial processes carried out by their employees. The corresponding business name, date, and other vital company information is applied to the punch-card paving directly in front of the laboring rebar figure. These over sized metallic workers act as events along the trail, reconnecting the public with the industrial activities occurring on the flats. Naming uncovers industrial narratives attached to place. Gathering provides a means o f collecting and representing various industrial processes. Concealing and Revealing exposes manufacturing processes of surrounding industries. - 53 -• 5.2.2 Horne Historical Overlooks From marsh to farm, to one man's dream of a town center, Horne Avenue is a l iving monument of Mission 's change. Though unperceivable today, the forgotten chapters of this once proud street are central to the understanding of a town and it's citizens w i l l to succeed. Two heavy timber framed overlooks embraced by grass plantings, reminiscent of the street when it was first constructed o f planks over marshland, creates an anchored node at each end o f the Avenue where the trail crosses. The first overlook, through translucent images, tells the story o f its evolution from marshland to M a i n Street and its demise during the Great Flood of 1894. The second overlook expresses it 's ethnic histories as a Chinatown and Little India. This is achieved primarily through regionally expressive architectural details. Horne Avenue's natural disasters of fire and flood are represented in materials and translucent images. Finally, this overlook provides the user with an unobstructed view of the present state of Horne Avenue allowing reflection and comparison. Naming reveals the site's uniqueness. Sequencing provides a linear device for unfolding the stories of Horne Avenue along two overlooks. Opening reveals Horne Avenue's hidden narratives illuminating a broader sense of history. Gathering is manifested through representing a range o f diverse social histories. - 55 -f a to -0 n 5.2.3 Watermark Walkway Presently overlooked, a four-foot square six-foot high concrete blockhouse, was historically the focus of the town's attention. During each spring runoff, the hopes and fears of the Fraser Valley farmland owners resided in the readings o f the Mission Gauge. A designed walkway attempts to make the importance o f the Miss ion Gauge more evident and tell the story o f the Great Floods and historic water levels. Since 1876 the Fraser River 's water levels have been recorded using a counterweight gauge that engages a pen to scribe the change of water depth onto a scroll of segmented paper. The walkway's paving pattern mirrors this practice through the peaks and valleys of a gravel line set within a concrete grid depicting recorded water level highs and lows. Historic flood levels are depicted by blue banners flown at the height of the floodwaters illustrating the power of the river and its subsequent impact to every facet of life on Mission Flats. Naming reveals the site's uniqueness and uncovers narratives attached to place. Concealing and Revealing exposes the purpose and function o f an inconspicuous Miss ion Gauge. Gathering provides an opportunity for representing the magnitude of historic floods in the contemporary landscape. Sequencing acts as an ordering device for referencing historic water levels along a timeline with respect to the Mission Gauge. - 5 7 -5.2.4 T imbe r R o w The wood industry has shaped much of Mission 's heritage. While remnants o f the industry such as shake and shingle mills still remain on the flats many operations along the Fraser River have shut down. This node artfully expresses the forms and architecture o f wood processing and the manufacturing history at the site o f the present log sorting area and proposed Riverfront Park. Borrowing from the sawdust pile shapes found along the Fraser River, grass covered earth is mounded for informal picnic/viewing areas and to display sawmill industrial relics. Additional artifacts and industrial architecture are distributed along the pathway creating various shelters, planters, and whimsical sculptures. A slice through the park planted with reed grass and intersected with logs reveals the sites two most prominent histories as natural marsh and the grounds for log storing and sorting. L o g booms are retained along the foreshore and used as structural devices for floating docks providing improved access to the water. Naming reveals the site's uniqueness and uncovers industrial history connected with place. Gathering of artifacts provides an opportunity for sharing and representing narratives disappearing in the landscape and reinforcing their significance to Miss ion 's history. Recycling abandoned sawmill artifacts references the local industrial history, supporting a sense o f place identity. - 5 9 -5.2.5 S a l m o n C e r e m o n y The Sto:lo people have inhabited the Fraser Val ley for over 10,000 years. They are a river-oriented people that historically created temporary fish campsites from spring to fall along the Fraser River. Sto:lo people came not only to fish, but to harvest cedar trees for canoe building, collect reeds and bulrushes to construct mats and baskets, and gather berries and other native plants for food and medicinal purposes. Located at a former Sto:lo campsite, the design of this interpretive node is symbolic of the First Salmon Ceremony performed each spring. Bones of the season's first salmon taken from the river were thrown back to give thanks to the Salmon People, honoring their souls, ensuring that their children would return the following year. The site is defined by western red cedars, the cornerstone o f First Nation's culture, on the north edge, and the Fraser River on the south. A curved path detours off the main trail route, mimicking the forces of the river shaping the land of Mission Flats while recalling the geologic history of the site. A long the river path a series of sculptural silhouettes of fish fins, heads and tails emerge from the rivers edge expressive of the natural rhythm of salmon returning upstream each year. Tidal patterns o f rocks are arranged through the core of the site, underneath the bridge, to symbolize the salmon ceremony offering of bones that have washed ashore over thousands of years. The spaces between these tide lines are filled with native plants such as reed canary grass, salal, salmonberry, kinickinick, oceanspray and other vegetation important to the survival o f the Sto:lo people. Naming reveals Sto:lo past traditions connected with place. Gathering references the floodplain in the trail's outline and brings together native plants to reinforce their significance to the Sto:lo natives. Opening narratives o f the Sto:lo peoples presence on Mission Flats and former fish camp location presents a means of broadening Mission 's sense of history. -61 -5.2.6 Living Loop The only untouched terrain on Mission Flats, this marshland provides habitat for a myriad of fish and wildlife species. Restrained interpretive design can unlock the ecological processes ongoing and bring a renewal of interest in the natural beauty that surrounds the Flats. The design is shaped by occurring natural phenomenon suggestive of the fundamental need of a healthy ecosystem. A n elevated boardwalk path forms a loop beginning at the confluence of Windebank and Lane Creeks and closing on itself at the mouth along the Fraser River. The lower section of constructed path becomes an ephemeral mark o f seasonal change by flooding each spring with runoff water. On the higher, dry path, a visual and textural handrail is experienced, constructed of driftwood, pebbles, and cold metal tubing. The same handrail can be viewed from a distance, suspended above the water o f the submerged path. Material used on the handrail simulates the sensory experiences o f interaction with many of the key requirements of a riparian ecosystem. Naming offers an abbreviated narrative of place. Revealing and Concealing exposes ephemeral processes on site inviting a sense of anticipation with each coming spring. Opening allows for spaces to transform on their own through ongoing natural processes. -63 -Part VI DESIGN IMPLICATIONS Choosing a past helps us to construct a future. - Kevin Lynch, What Time Is This Place? 7.1 A Point of Departure Mission Flats is at risk of becoming a neglected, fragmented place by alienating the human spirit. This design project has been dedicated to nurturing the Mission Flat's existing physical structure through an interpretive trail, increasing connectivity and strengthening its sense of place. Interpretive design benefits a community's identity by giving unique meaning to forms created in the public realm. It inspires community involvement and regeneration of place by revealing and sharing its authentic roots and exclusive character, mending a disjointed landscape and shaping its future visions. Interpretive design will generate community pride, uplifting and reconnecting the human spirit to the land it depends upon. -65 -S O U R C E S C O N S U L T E D Atkinson, Kathy. As it Was: Mission City and District, Mission: Simple 1973. Beardsley, John. Earthworks and Beyond: Contemporary Art in the Landscape, Third Edition, New York: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1998. Birnbaum, Charles A . and Robert R. Page. "Revealing the Value of Cultural Landscapes," CRM 17, no 7 (1994): 3-4, 47. Bressi, Todd W. and Paul Groth, ed. Understanding Ordinary Landscapes, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1997. Cherrington, John. Mission on the Fraser, Vancouver: Mitchell Press Limited, 1974. Cherrington, John. The Fraser Valley: A History, Madeira Park, B.C. Harbour Publishing, 1992. Corner, James, ed. Recovering Landscapes: Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture, New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999. Crandell, Gina and Heidi Landecker, ed. Designed Landscape Forum 1, Washington, DC: Spacemaker Press, 1998. Directory of Mission, British Columbia, www.missionbc.com/. June 2001. District of Mission Homepage, http://www.city.mission.bc.ca/welcome.htm. April 2001. District of Mission, Official Community Plan, No. 3142-1998. Fleming, Ronald Lee and Renata von Tscharner. Place Makers: Public Art That Tells You Where You Are, Cambridge, M A : The Townscape Institute, 1981. Friedman, Renee. "For the Curator of Trees and Teacups: The Landscape as Artifact, " CRM 17, no. 7(1994): 5-6, 9. Gartner Lee Limited, Environmentally Sensitive Areas Study: District of Mission, G L L 93-723, October 1993. Hepland, Kenneth. "Interpretive Interventions" CRM 18, no.5 (1995): 13-17. Kruckeberg, Arthur R. Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest, Seattle & London University of Washington Press, 1996. Lewis, Ken, Letter of Intent for Vancity Gateway Project Proposal, Mission, B C , April 2001. Lewis, Pierce, "Taking Down the Velvet Rope: Cultural Geography and the Human Landscape," Past Meets Present, edited by Jo Blatti, Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Institution Press, 1987. Lynch, Kevin. The Image of the City, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1960. - 6 7 -Lynch, Kevin. What Time is this Place? Cambridge: University of Massachusetts Press, 1972. Perry, Geo. S.B. Industrial Mission: An Interesting Account of Opportunity Offering, Vancouver, BC: Mission Land Co. Ltd, 1913. Pojar, Jim and Andy MacKinnon. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast, Vancouver, BC: Lone Pine Publishing, 1994. Potteiger, Matthew and Jamie Purinton. Landscape Narratives: Design Practices for Telling Stories, New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 1998. Rabinowitz, Richard. "Interpreting the Landscape: A Hebridean Perspective," CRM 17, no. 7 (1994): 10-11, 15. Ryden, Kent C. Mapping the Invisible Landscape: Folklore, Writing, and the Sense of Place, Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1993. Sanderson, Eric. Nature's Fury: The Inside Story of the Disastrous B.C. Flood, May-June, 1948, Vancouver: South Hi l l Publishers Ltd, 1948. Schrowder, Andreas. Carvedfrom Wood: Mission, B.C. 1861-1992, Mission: The Mission Foundation, 1991. Southworth, Michael. Landscapes for Learning: Studies in Environmental Interpretation and Exploration, (Working Paper 578) University of California at Berkeley: Institute of Urban and Regional Development, 1992. Spirn, Anne Whiston. The Language of Landscape, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998. Tilden, Freeman. Interpreting Our Heritage, Chapel Hi l l , N.C. : The University of North Carolina Press, 1957. Turabian, Kate L . A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, Fifth Edition, Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1987. Xa.ytem: A Spiritual, Cultural, and Historic Sto.lo Site, http://www.museum.bc.ca/xaytem/. May 2001. - 6 8 -


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