Co-Habitat: The Pulaski Environmental Center of Savannah

Fall 2013
Proposal for The Pulaski Environmental Center of Savannah
Savannah, Georgia, USA
with Adam Nordfors

When challenged with the task of designing an environmental center at Fort Pulaski, myself and collaborator Adam Nordfors (Master of Landscape Architecture) aimed to provide a simple attraction for passersby to engage with lush natural landscape surrounding the site. Built in 1861 during the American Civil War, Fort Pulaski is the site of the first successful use of rifled cannons by the Union Army. As a result of the Union Army victory, Fort Pulaski’s facade is riddled with holes from the artillery.

The site of the installation is between downtown Savannah and Tybee Island. Across the Savannah River from Fort Pulaski and adjacent to Highway 80, the site is a remote natural environment rich with wildlife. Highway 80 cuts through the marshlands connecting the two tourist locations, shunting commuters along and discouraging them from interacting with the lush natural environment they are traveling through.

With the introduction of a simple roadside attraction, passersby are drawn to engage with the Georgian saltwater marsh landscape. Consisting of an observation tower 20 meters tall, a trench 2 meters below marsh level and ten remote wildlife shelters, Co-Habitat enhances environmental conditions while allowing human engagement with minimal impact.

Co-Habitat offers multi-dimensional ways to experience the marsh: visitors can descend into the trench and experience it at eye level, or they can go up in the observation tower and view from above the intricate waterways that make up the Savannah marshlands. In addition, ten remote habitats help nurture local wildlife including the Diamondback Terrapin, the Northern Yellow Bat, as well as the entirety of the salt marsh ecosystem.