water & architecture

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Water is an element that is both essential to life and life threatening. The dual force within water "represents the essence of Yin and Yang where good cannot exist without evil." (Toy, 7) This thesis research will question the current proposed water protection plan in the historic neighborhood of Czech village in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Instead of focusing on preventing the destructive nature of water as the only generator for the protection plan, the research will investigate and explore options where the protection methods could also create opportunities in which the water becomes an amenity; hence the development of the protection system in itself embody the dual force of water.

Perhaps the problem lies within our notion of natural disaster itself. Instead of viewing flood as a disaster that needs to be overcome, we should look at it as a constant natural occurrence that we need to account for and live in harmony with and further celebrate. The investigation will manifest in three different scales; city scale, neighborhood scale, and building scale.

By critically examining current master plan and introducing opportunities where the built environment can work with water and use it as an amenity rather than fight against it, I intend to explore new ways of developing floodplain protection.