Engage the River

curtisdiagram

curtissiteplan

curtismodel

From the earliest days of settlement, Hallowell’s history has been linked to the Kennebec River.  The site for this project was Hallowell’s historic marine hub. This underused, underdeveloped parcel of riverfront land sits along the Kennebec River at the northern end of town.  It acts as a community gathering space for fireworks displays and other events, such as music all summer long, but only by default and not by design. 

This project asked students to suggest development for this municipal waterfront lot (MRL), recognizing its history as well as its potential as a multi-modal transportation hub in the central Maine region.

As an edge, the MRL poses some very interesting levels of investigation.  It represents the very real edge between land and water.  In addition, as it sits toward one end of the business district of Hallowell, it lies at the edge of current commerce.  This is at odds with its history, and the town’s connection to the river, which at times has put the waterway very much at the center of town life. 

The students spent seven weeks on this project, working in groups and presenting their final design solutions at the Hallowell Town Hall to 200+ communities members.