Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Tiago Torres-Campos

Second Advisor

Lara Davis


How can people connect with a place through a new understanding of its stratigraphy? In urban environments, there is an inherent separation between people and the ground beneath us. We experience our landscapes solely through what is visible on the surface, and lack an understanding of the complex underground strata which create the world around us. Too often, landscape architecture contributes to this dissociation through superficial designs which mask the history of a site, bury its internal workings, and rely on global materials, resulting in landscapes which lack a sense of place and strain the planet's resources. In order to create site-specific landscapes which reconnect people to the ground, we must look below the crust and engage with the thickness of a place. Through a careful approach to site analysis, this thesis explores the intricate strata of Danehy Park in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and its recent but forgotten history as a marsh, clay mine, and landfill. The proposed design reimagines the historic boundary of the clay pit as an elevated rammed earth pathway, and carefully carves a stormwater swale and meadow into the deep cap. The new topography, ecology, and materiality invites visitors to form a revisit their relationship with this forgotten edge.



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