Marie Law Adams MArch ’06 is having a spectacular year. Her firm, Landing Studio, is one of six recipients of the 2015 Architectural League Young Architects and Designers Award. The group is also one of four winners of the 2015 Design Biennial Boston and their project, Marginal, a new pier field made of material salvaged from the Boston Harbor, is on view at the Rose Kennedy Greenway through September 25.
Update: Law, plus two MIT faculty, took three of the four Biennial prizes.
Landing Studio, founded in 2005 by Adams and her partner Dan Adams, takes on often gangly intersections of architecture, infrastructure, and landscape in industrial settings; their projects range from port facilities to shared industrial/public park landscapes. In a recent exhibition at the MIT Keller Gallery, Landing Studio showed their work at the Rock Chapel Marine, the site of a 100,000-ton salt pile in Chelsea, Massachusetts.
They like these gritty places, in part, because of their changing nature and the ongoing movement of material in and out. “For instance, at a salt dock, the salt pile is striped with different colors of salt based on where it was mined in the world,” says Adams.
Slice: What do you hope viewers learn from your biennial piece, Marginal?
“My partner, Dan Adams, and I had been looking at pier fields around Boston Harbor when we were starting to think about this piece. We became interested in how dynamic and sculptural the form of each individual wood piling was and how it was evident that the form had evolved both from the original growth of the tree and was then re-informed by the processes of the ocean as the tides and marine organisms began to erode the material. We liked the realization that these structures were equally shaped by industrial and natural processes. So we organized the piling cross-sections in the piece to amplify those characteristics….
“We were also interested in how the particular Greenway parcel, after many transformations from being a waterfront shipping site itself, to the Central Artery, to a park now, still has a natural slope towards the waterfront, and how that is highlighted in this piece by the new horizontal datum of the pier field.