LOCATION : PROPOSAL FOR HORSETHIEF BUTTE
MATERIAL : Corten steel, basalt, soil, native plants
The landscape along the Columbia River was forged in by molten lava flowing from the Idaho, Oregon , and Washington borders towards the Pacific Ocean. The lava flows known as the Columbia River Basalt Group occurred numerous timegive form to the Columbia River Basin watersheds.
Horsethief Butte is a unique geological feature in Washington that is the result of the lava flows of the past. Endemic plants grow on the thin soils on top of the weathered basalt providing mineral nutrients and crevaces for water to collect.
This geological formation has been used for thousands of years by the indigenous tribes who lived in the area. There are areas of this public space that are considered sacred and should be respected by pubic users.
The basalt formations attract rock climbers who boulder around on the various routes that have been designated. There are specific areas with signs that educate visitors about the cultural significance the site has.
The structure that I have designed for the site is meant to sit lightly upon the land and reflect upon the saying leave no trace behind. The structure contains an ecoroof to offset the footprint of the structural form. The design is inspired by the geological forms of the land and the land use.
The space is meant to provide refuge from the sunshine during the day and from the winds and rain that move through the area at times. The form of the structure also invites visitors to engage with the surface as a climbing structure.
The materials used to construct the basalt shade structure would corten steel. The oixdation and iron of the corten is symbolic to the use of metal by the railroad and by agricultural farmers to dig into the earth. The rusty corten will be able to handle the elements of sun, wind, rain, and snow while developing a iron patina similar to those on the basalt formations and act as a surface for a diversity of colorful lichens and mosses to grow upon.