Observation Platform (OP)
Fall 2016

2017 ASLA National Student Award; Collaboration
2016 AIA Fort Worth Student Design Merit Award
Texas Architect

Goose Island State Park’s new wetland observation platform overlooks a coastal marshland notable for attracting migratory birds, especially Sandhill and Whooping Cranes that come to feed on blue crab, which are plentiful during high tide. The platform is intended to provide a venue for bird watching and environmental ecuation programs in an area of the park previously inaccessible due to a slough and invasive wetland scrub. The six-foot high platform is accessed by a 70-foot long ramp and is concealed by a 90-foot long screen wall of vertical pine lumber. The screen-wall is composed of narrow vertical slots of varying widths, causing the wall to appear opaque at times, and open to the landscape at others. Deliberately austere, the screen-wall offers separation from the adjacent parking lot and provides a visual backdrop for the native grasses important to the local ecology. Passing through the entry portal, the wetland partially comes into view and opens up as the visitor oves up toward the observation area. Although the wall asserts a vertical presence in the landscape, OP is horizontal in spirit - it establishes a relationship with the distant horizon and acts as a register for the immediate topography and the grasses that spring from it. Located in Rockport, TX. A project for Gulf Coast Design Lab at The University of Texas at Austin.

Project Team
Eric Alexander, Sara Bensalem, Mitch Flora, Hannah Frossard, James Holliday, Hannah Ivancie, Josh Leger, Max Mahaffey, Olakunle Oni, Qianhui Miao, Michelle Sifre, Sebastian Rojas Sonderegger, Neive Tierney

Coleman Coker

Gulf Coast Design Lab