WHEN SEA MEETS LAND
AS AN ENABLING PLACE
I began this project with an interest in how interaction with nature might enable personal restoration. Research has demonstrated that one’s well-being is often consistently depleted by everyday demands and activities, particularly if one is under pressure. This continuous stress may have serious health effects over time if one is not able restore the personal resources that support their well-being. There is significant research, and examples dating back thousands of years, which indicate that restoration of one’s well-being can be supported through contact with natural environments. In the context of this project, these environments are defined as enabling places, these being nature-based landscapes that enable the conditions necessary for the experience of restoration.
This project explores the concept of the enabling place within a section of the Foreshore trail, through the lens of a UBC student in need of access to restorative experiences. The many dimensions of this place are considered through its embedded resources, and because the notion of these resources is conceptual, the responses are diverse.
In the context of this project, the key hypothesis is that deep engagement with a landscape that has embedded place resources can enable restoration, which I am defining as the process of recovering personal health resources that support us across the spectrum of our well-being.
What are embedded place resources? These are the qualities and materials that enable the conditions necessary for the experience of restoration. These are what make the site intricate, interesting, exploratory, symbolically detailed, and multi-sensory, aspects that encourage greater engagement and therefore greater restoration.
The design responses that incorporate embedded place resources can be categorized into different typologies along a gradient of extensive to intensive design, with each addressing a different set of opportunities that were identified through site analysis.
The first is enhancement through character, where each character type is generally enhanced for greater overall coherence. The second is enhancement through intervention, where the site is enhanced through a series of design interventions that improve legibility, intrigue, potential for engagement with the landscape, and active embodiment. The third is enhancement through details, where the site is enhanced through spaces designed in detail, to improve intricacy, perceptibly of healing place narratives, and sensory engagement.