infrastructural-vernacular – mammoth // building nothing out of something

Tag Archives: infrastructural-vernacular

signs and obscure marks

[Lake Guntersville, Alabama’s largest lake, which was created with the construction of the Guntersville Dam by the TVA in the late 1930′s.] At Places, Shannon Mattern reviews various practices which she collectively terms “infrastructural literacy” projects, including “touring, collecting, and documenting infrastructure” (the Los Angeles Urban Rangers, for instance), “sensing infrastructure” (Nick Sowers’ Soundscrapers), and […]

future baroque

The following piece was published last summer in La Tempestad; given that La Tempestad circulates primarily in Mexico and is published in Spanish, we — Brett Milligan and I, who co-authored the piece — thought that it would be worth re-publishing it on our respective sites for English-language audiences. The article builds on a pair of […]

nambe falls dam

[The strangely geometric edge of Nambe Falls Dam in New Mexico; Nambe Falls Dam is a component of the San Juan-Chama Project, which delivers water from the San Juan River Basin through 26 miles of tunnels under the Continental Divide into the basins of the Rio Grande and Rio Chama, providing drinking water for Albuquerque; […]

dredge @ studio-x nyc

We’re excited that we’ll have the opportunity in a couple weeks to do a live interview at Studio-X NYC: For the first LI@SX of 2012, Studio-X NYC is delighted to welcome Rob Holmes and Stephen Becker of Mammoth and Tim Maly of Quiet Babylon, three-quarters of the Dredge Research Collaborative (with Brett Milligan of Free […]

parainfrastructures

We recently wrote a brief piece, “Appeal”, for the excellent architecture journal Quaderns in response to their most recent issue, “Parainfrastructures”. We used this response as an opportunity to consider why we are so drawn to infrastructural landscapes like Blue Plains — not just as sites of logistical and technological operations, but aesthetically as well: […]

egg digesters

[After Pruned’s unfortunately lost egg digester Flickr set, satellite photography of egg digesters heating and breaking down sludge on Deer Island, just outside Boston.] [More egg digesters, this time at New York’s Newton Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. A New York City press release describes the eggs: “The digesters will process up to 1.5 million gallons […]

IHNC Lake Borgne Surge Barrier

[The site of the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC) Lake Borgne Surge Barrier, at the intersection of the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway and the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet; more detail on this Army Corps of Engineers project map.] [Building a bigger wall: the Surge Barrier was the largest design-build project in the history of the Army […]

outfall canals

[Lafitte Outfall Canal, one of the three massive concrete slits that drains New Orleans into Lake Pontchartrain in severe rainfall.] [Orleans Canal] [The London Avenue Canal; photograph at I-10 crossing.] [Photographs of New Orleans’ outfall canals, by reader Ramiro Diaz (and supplemented with Google Maps imagery).  Diaz works with Waggonner Ball Architects, a New Orleans-based […]

bayou chene closure project

[During the May 2011 operation of the Morganza Spillway, the Army Corps of Engineers closed one channel within the southern Atchafalaya Basin, Bayou Chene, by dredging the edges of a narrow strait in the Bayou, lining it with rip-rap and sinking a 20,000-ton, 500-foot long barge in the resulting chokepoint.  By stemming the flow down […]

atchafalaya iii: the morgan city floodwall

[The twin Atchafalaya river ports of Morgan City (on the east bank) and Berwick (on the west bank), captured in false-color by the “Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer” on NASA’s Terra earth-imaging satellite, May 27, 2011 — after the second opening of the Morganza Spillway.] Old River Control sits at the northern end […]

casting fields

[Map of revetments under the purview of the Army Corps of Engineers' Team New Orleans, on the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers; image produced by mammoth using data from the Army Corps.] I’ve already talked a fair about the idea that the Mississippi River is, at this point in its history, an artificially-constructed system that should […]

dike field

[A dike field in the Mississippi River near Greenfield, Mississippi; via bing maps.] In the Mississippi River, dike fields are constructed in order to direct the river’s flow to a central channel, scouring it and reducing the need for dredging.  Though their primary purpose is to thus maintain navigability for shipping, dike fields tend, as […]

sand boil

[The breach in Missouri River Levee 575, on June 14.] The breach at Hamburg — mentioned a few posts back — began with a “sand boil”, a geotechnical phenomenon shared by earthquakes and floods, in which subterranean water pressure becomes so strong that ground water erupts, typically bubbling like a gentle geyser, and bringing soil […]

dredging fort peck

[A dredger at work in one of Fort Peck Dam’s borrow pits; photographer unknown.  (Fort Peck, you will recall, was the first of the six major dams on the Missouri to be built.)  The dredgers, pontoon boats, and booster barges used in the pumping of fill material from upstream borrow pits to the Fort Peck […]

ditch 6

[The “Ditch 6″ levee at Hamburg, Iowa; photographed by the Army Corps of Engineers on June 16.  Following the breach of levee 575 which prompted the evacuation orders for southern Hamburg, the Army Corps “immediately underwent further construction to raise the elevation of Ditch 6 levee”; the plastic sheeting protects the soft earth of the […]

morganza floodway

[1. The Morganza Spillway, the 3,900-foot control structure that sits at the north end of the Morganza Floodway, in drier times.  It “consists of a concrete weir, two sluice gates, seventeen scour indicators, and 125 gated openings”.] [2. A levee on the western side of the Morganza Floodway, near Krotz Springs.] [3. The southern terminus […]

colonnade park

[Colonnade Park, photographed by Brett Milligan.] Free Association Design reports from Seattle’s Colonnade Park, an “urban mountain bike skills park” constructed by volunteers from the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance: It hard not to be enamored by the successful and improvised gestalt of the whole thing, in both program and materials. Much of what it is […]