The Invisible Swamp

Type:         Infrastructure - Public Space
Location:   Patterson, NY
Size:          26 miles
Status:       Concept Design

Three lines marking the land - the river, the rail, the trail. 

The town of Patterson is largely defined by its relationship to the Great Swamp, a 6,000 acre swath of forested freshwater wetlands with a reputation as an inaccessible and undesirable landscape.  Viewed as a loss of valuable farmland in the 19th century, the swamp was bisected by a man-made island of bedrock to make way for the Metro-North Railroad and is now over 90% privately-owned and slated for development.  This project leverages the existing infrastructures of Patterson and proposes public paths to give presence to this undervalued, invisible landscape while speculating on architecture’s role as an educational & image-making device for raising ecological awareness.

Drawing on the attention of different audiences at various speeds of engagement:
10 minutes on the rail, 1 hour along the river, 2 hours on the trail.

Vertical screens alongside the train broadcast the health of the swamp
to passengers and act as a zoetropic device for activating the hidden landscape.

An elevated walking trail provides a community resource and vantage points
for viewing the low-lying swamp while obscuring nearby development. 

Collection, recording, viewing devices at intervals along an observational boardwalk
encourage use of the river as research grounds for wetland conservation.

© Studio Becker Xu, PLLC