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Virginia Prize - Second in School & Honorable Mention Statewide

The yearly weekend-long competition I competed in back in January. With other school work, what you see below is the result of about 12 hours of work. The prompt, an oyster hatchery in Norfolk, VA on a high-risk site that due to sea level rise, will not be around in 50 years. Although the prompt did not mention this specifically, the site and its surrounding area is about three feet below the 2100 sea level predictions. As such, my design focused more on the early beginnings of a neighborhood-wide system to defend again the rising seas rather than a architectural idea of a singular building's ability to survive the rising seas. I am proud to say it received Second Best in School at Virginia Tech, along with Honorable Mention in the statewide competition. In the end, I am proud that my project fully represents a functional space, from birth to boat, that the oyster hatching process could occur. Yet, the oyster processing was not the driving force behind the project; coastal and cultural resiliency was. Using the ideas behind my thesis, the project combines terraforming, dykes, pump houses, and bio-retention systems to showcase some of the strategies the Chesapeake Bay area as at our disposal. The challenge ahead for the tidewater area, is not deciding whether we will survive the rising sea levels, rather choosing which methods we think will allow us to thrive. Each tributary and small town on the Chesapeake has its own unique identity and culture, so each solution should be different. The possible solutions is what I have been studying; my thesis will be the creation of a holistic approach, flexible to adapt to each tributary, that is simple enough to be spearheaded by local parties and economies.

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