Charles Schneider

Charles Schneider

Re-stitching the Torn: Architecture’s Role in Reconnecting the Urban and Ecological Fabrics
Master’s Project, Spring 2008
Taeg Nishimoto Studio


The urban fabric, in relation to its ecological basis is fractured. It exists as a collection of independent, arbitrarily overlaid, and constructed systems interconnected in a minimal way with complex natural processes. These natural systems and processes of a place serve to connect and bind the local landscape. Although unified, these natural processes become torn and separated by unsympathetic urban development.

Architecture can play an important role in reintroducing these natural processes into our daily lives, providing spaces and programs that reconnect our culture and built environment with nature. By fostering this interaction between the natural and built landscapes, the city and its residents can become integrally connected within the whole of a larger, healthier ecosystem.

The Salado Environmental Education and Discovery Center aims to reconnect these fractured and disparate systems.

The design is centered on a pathway; one that takes the visitor along the experience of the cycle of water. In doing so, other subtle features and processes of the site are exposed and expressed through the architectural form and program, moving the visitor deeper into the experience. Just as in nature, the pathway and architecture become a cycle as visitors flow in, participate and then return to their own path, with new experiences and perspective of their environment.