Preposition-Position: Design Strategies in a Master Plan for Redevelopment, McMillan Sand Filtration Site, Washington, DC
Eisenbach, Ronit Z.
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This is an adaptive reuse of a former public works facility. Its modification is based on a series of positions taken relative to the site's evolving grammar and context, subdivided into abstract structural interventions ("pre-positions"), and encapsulated into a master plan ("position," or "thesis"). The core concepts of that master plan relate to notions of social, ecological, and cultural sustainability: through urban redevelopment and inhabitation, through the physical integration of manmade and natural systems, and through didactic consideration of the site's history and position in both the larger framework of the symbolic realm of the nation's capitol and the everyday life of its citizenry. Specifically the thesis proposes the conversion of the property for residential, civic, and recreational uses. It argues that the site can be regarded as a valuable piece of the public realm and should be redeveloped with the same civic commitment that brought about its creation.