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Christine Gonzales

Christine Gonzales

Landscape Architecture / MA

I’m Christine Gonzales, a MA student in the School of Landscape Architecture. I’m a California native, that grew up in the Sacramento Valley and am now living in San Jose. Growing up, I enjoyed being outside and helping people in my community. I studied Environmental Science at UC Davis and found a passion for architectural design. I went on to receive a Certification of Proficiency in Architecture Design Technology from Cosumnes River College. After working a few years in administration, I found landscape architecture and thought it was a perfect fit for my background and passion. Through my studies, I’ve learned to embrace all the experiences and knowledge from my past to create new and innovative designs.

I’m inspired by nature-based and resilient designs. I believe that as landscape designers, we have the opportunity to be stewards of the land and I find it important to incorporate sustainable principles in our designs. In the future, I hope to work in an urban design and planning firm.

The proposed design is an interdisciplinary research campus created along the San Francisco waterfront called The Pearl – Research and Education Center. The site is currently used as an active port for bulk cargo (Pier 80) as well as a small open space park (Warm Water Cove). For the last 200 years, this site has been used for industrial activities and the soils are heavily contaminated from the factories and ships. Prior to that, this site was part of a large salt-water marsh. The City of San Francisco started to fill in the marsh in the early 1900’s as the city's population grew and expanded.

This design is made to protect the site from the sea level rise of 2070 while also building up the economic and community value of the site. By creating this research center, it will become a hub to exchange knowledge and encourage more interdisciplinary projects. This would be an opportunity to combine multiple academic disciplines, including ecology, marine biology, engineering, agriculture, and nutrition into one common space. The outdoors will become a living lab for all researchers with plenty of lecture halls and outdoor gathering spaces to share their findings. Additionally, the outdoor spaces would be open for public use with restrictions to the more sensitive projects. The integration of public spaces within the research center will create transparency between the people and researchers. It will also increase the accessibility to the waterfront and open-door spaces for the community.

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