The past few weeks have been very good as I have been making significant steps to keep Boxport moving forward. I was fortunate enough to sit down with President of Visit Savannah, Joseph Marinelli, for a second meeting on the progress of the project. He has helped me out tremendously in terms of determining the best design that fits Savannah's "historic + hip" aesthetic and what role it would play in the community, as well as facilitating more valuable connections for the project within the city. Therefore, the Boxport idea is growing and reaching out to influential players in Savannah, especially with the help of people like Joe Marinelli and Page Siplon of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics. It has been very well received so far, which I am quite pleased with, but there is still a long way to go.
The above image is one of the renderings of Boxport, placed in the intended site underneath the Talmadge Memorial Bridge. As noted before, this site would be quite perfect because of its narrow width, directly touching the Georgia Ports Authority's Ocean Terminal, the Springfield Canal (which was a historic trade route essential to the development of Savannah), SCAD and the Historic District. No matter what, the site should remain in this area as it clearly serves as a significant connection point between the major entities of Savannah.
The rendering is a depiction of what the final phase of the space would look and feel like, as well as an idea for scale. This view features retail, a great deal of greenery with indoor and outdoor gardening, green roofs for reinstating natural habitats as well as providing insulation, and of course lots of outdoor space to have some fun and relax. The permeable paving allows for easy maintenance and low water use over a traditional grass field. Reclaimed wood is the primary material for all interiors of the containers as it is 1) extremely sustainable and 2) extremely gorgeous because it has a story to tell. Visitors to Boxport should feel the experience of sustainability, allowing them to understand how innovative and valuable it is to communities and personal well-being, and not to forget how beautiful and easy it is. Once people have that experience, I hope that they would be inspired to incorporate sustainable values in to their own lives.
The plan below reflects the qualities of the site. The Ocean Terminal at the Port of Savannah is directly on the other side of the Springfield Canal, and there is a SCAD building as well as The Hue student apartments on the other side of Warner Street. The containers would sit perfectly between the large posts of the old bridge that crossed the Savannah River before the Talmadge was built. Boxport has a mix of twenty-foot and forty-foot TEU's (twenty-food equivalent unit containers), which allows for great versatility in design. The circles behind a couple of the containers are rain barrels for catching rain water so that water can be reused for the community garden and the rest of the landscaping. Grey water from any sinks on the property will also be filtered and used to water greenery. Once the grey water moves through its filtration system that will be located on site, it is perfectly safe to use on vegetable plants and others intended for food. We send so much good water down the drain when we wash our hands in the sink and take showers (although there will be no showering at Boxport, I hope), why not find a way to use some of that excess water?
Boxport will serve as a premiere for the future design of community spaces. Containers have already gained a lot of popularity in that realm, but for it to facilitate a connection point between significant entities of cities, such as Savannah, grow awareness and appreciation for container shipping, and inspire sustainability, well that is quite innovative. As I move in to the final week of the quarter, I am once again so pleased with the amount of interest and support it has gained, and this certainly will not be the stopping point of Boxport. It is only the beginning!
Here's a great quote to keep in mind: "Our goal is a delightfully diverse, safe, healthy and just world, with clean air, clean water, soil and power - economically, equitably, ecologically and elegantly enjoyed" - William McDonough of Cradle To Cradle Design