ECOLOGICAL THINKING: BLACKBERRY fARMS
Logan Miller /// Jul. 28, 2021 /// Portfolio Vol. 1
Deciphering how a site fits into its ecological environment is crucial to developing a successful project that is fully connected to its surroundings. This bond can help the architecture develop efficient and sustainable tendencies that will produce an enriching experience for the inhabitants, as well as the environment itself. Blackberry Farms is an isolated woodland resort located in the Smokey Mountains, a historic and sheltered Appalachian site. Therefore, it is notorious for its highly selective customer base, which is primarily decided on the outrageous costs meant to exclude the lower and middle class population. In this way, the resort has an unique dynamic between the origin of guests and the site itself, with hardly any of the Farms prestigious customers sprouting from the nearby southern states. However, unlike the foreign group of patrons, many of the highly sought after workers, such as the chefs, decide to migrate to nearby cities, such as Knoxville, once their career at the resort has reached its end. The dynamic between these two variables within the heart of the Appalachians has the potential to invoke a complex ecological problem. An issue that would be a fascinating project to take on.
The map above is the surface layer of the project revolving around ecological issues with Blackberry Farms. It begins to frame the argument by exploring the topographic, geographical, historical, and social ramifications of the East Tennessee environment. Further exploration into each of these categories will quickly be developed into a complex thesis on how to better construct the existing physical and social environments in order to allow Blackberry Farms to have a more synchronized relationship with its surrounding context and ecology.