A Timeline

Fort Ancient represents the evolution of an incredibly adept prehistoric society. Much information on the site and its inhabitants remains a mystery to archaeologists today. With only digging sticks and their hands, this culture managed to level off the entire top of a large hill as well as erect a series of mounds around the perimeter as tall as twenty feet. The little information we do know about this ancient society comes from the excavation of the site by highly skilled archaeologists. We have information on some of the tools these peoples developed as well as some general ideas about the types of food and plant life they had access to.

Fort Ancient provides a great opportunity to explore the outdoors as well. Located right beside the Little Miami River, a popular place to go canoeing, trails around and up the hillside give hikers a chance to enjoy nature as they make the journey to the top. The level open area on the top is a perfect area to break for lunch. Its open plan allows visitors to leisurely walk and enjoy nature or a place for kids to run around, pass the frisbee, play tag, or go exploring.

The Fort Ancient Museum incorporates both of these important aspect of the site. It creates a journey to the top with winding trails through the wooded site broken up by flat terraces. Each terrace is home to an exhibit of a certain era of prehistoric Fort Ancient. The exhibit juxtaposes the nature of the era with its man made influences. The visitor is invited to walk through a garden filled with the trees and plants that era of civilIzation cultivated for food. Then the visitor can come in to an enclosed exhibit that reveals the tools and housing the prehistoric people created. Finally, at the top a final exhibit celebrates archeology itself, highlighting the new technologies being used to excavate the site and recent discoveries. Upon reaching the top, visitors are encouraged to break and picnic or walk and explore before making the journey back down.

Fischer Schematic Review

The Timeline

Case Study_Adam Fischer

Ross’s Landing Park and Plaza By SITE Architects, Artists & Designers is located in Chattanooga Tennessee. It serves as a “front porch” to downtown Chattanooga which in turn serves as the “living room” of the city. The projects major objective was to integrate the downtown community, the Tennessee Aquarium (which some considered to be out of place with its surroundings), and the riverfront. To accomplish this, SITE decided to make the park/plaza a microcosm of the city by reflecting its urban grid. They developed this urban grid through a series of 35 longitudinal ribbons composed of different materials to pave the landscape. Materials range from a variety of man-made brick and other more rigid materials towards the city side of the project and to more natural materials such as local rock and vegetation. The ribbons themselves become more natural and organic as they move away from the grid of the city as well with curves relating to the river. The ribbons create spaces too, such as performance areas. In some places the ribbons are pulled away from the ground to make bridges or are torn apart and incorporate water features that help relate the aquarium to its site. Finally, the ribbons serve as an ambassador to the Chattanooga’s history and culture. The ribbons act as a timeline of the city’s past representing events such as the civil war, the beginning of blues music, and the first Coca-cola bottling with through artworks, landscape, and embedding quotations into the pavement itself.
We can take a lot from this design both literally and conceptually. In a more literal sense, we know that Fort Ancient is allowed and, theoretically, preferred to be paved. So we could create some type of timeline of the site’s past by paving the site and incorporating special details. On a more conceptual basis however, what Ross’s Landing gives us is a demonstration on how we can use building and landscaping to enrich a site’s cultural experience, establish cohesion between varying systems (city, river, aquarium), and create something new (occuppiable and interactive spaces) without taking away from the original site.