SCAPE collaborated with Studio Gang Architects on a wining competition entry and full design package for the Ford-Calumet Environmental Center in the Hegewisch Marsh in Calumet, Illinois. The site, a 117-acre marsh, is located amongst fragmented patches of abandoned lots and emergent marshlands, shuttered and active factories, and towns. This marsh is a major stop for migratory birds along the Mississippi flyway and the presence of these rare birds was the impetus for the design approach. The design ‘resets’ the forest succession process and diversifies the habitat profile to support a wider range of bird and animal life. Contaminated areas are planted with phytoremediation species to draw and stabilize toxins within of the soil. Forest ecosystem types were identified and magnified, such as red maple swamp, upland oak/hickories, etc. and increase species richness. The proposal aims to cultivate an active, participatory land ethic, while regenerating the community and the bird habitat in tandem over time.
- Cornell University
Studio Gang Architects
Site Design Group Ltd
Environmental Design International Inc
Faithful + Gould