LOCATION : AMES,IA
How do you revitalize a riverside community dealing with repeated floods and deteriorating infrastructure? You create social spaces that bring back memories of the good times – in this case, we designed and built two fishing docks to revitalize the Petterson Pitts community along the Skunk river in Iowa.
Working alongside the Park Rangers and the Department of Natural Resources as a Graduate student at Iowa State University, my team was asked to design and execute the proposed solution. After various vantage point studies and water level analysis, we proposed to design and build 2 fishing docks at 2 locations on site. My team and took charge of the execution of Dock 2 shown in the site plan.
As shown in Image 1, we placed the dock right by a pavilion where families and groups enjoy picnics and small events and where the elevation would accommodate changes in water level seamlessly without flooding the dock or degrading its construction.
We had three design goals:
1. Design something that attracted fishermen and recreational users
2. Finish construction and deployment within 8 weeks
3. Meet a budget target of merely $2000
We designed in benches for people to sit and relax or fish. We left one side open and provided railings on the other side for those who want to lean in and enjoy the view. And we accentuated the features of the dock cost-effectively by using mahogany brown paint along the edges of the benches.
The dock is made up of a 2”x8” wooden frame that houses 6 floats. The mahogany red railings, decking and benches are made out of 2”x6” wooden planks. The benches are structurally supported by 2”x4” wooden planks and the railings are supported by 4”x4” wooden columns.
Building it with my own hands gave me a chance to serve the community while also sharpening my sense of designing something that can be built.