A humanist model for the Atlanta Beltline envisions more than a belt that girdles the city. It must include supportive connections to neighborhoods along the way and a pathway filled with wonder. Institutions provide substantial support and inspiration to city inhabitants, in concert with dwelling and infrastructure. It is these Institutional Belt Loops that form the nexus of our reconstruction, encircling ten stops on the Beltline to invigorate strategic communities.
As a visionary collaborative model, we have constructed an idealized world in the representational form of a comic book. We were motivated to select a form of communication that would provide a platform for a writer, two artists and a gaggle of architects. We were able to work together by carrying forward our individual strengths to form a new synthetic vision. Though we are also aware of the comic nature of all idealized vision, this did not prevent us from joyful and serious forward progress.
The lead character in our narrative is Willa, a precocious eleven-year old. Through her journey around the Beltline she comes to understand the vital importance of building a dream with vision and wisdom. Her travel includes both progress and pause, led by the characters and places she encounters along the way. Her observation of noble Institutions should guide us in projecting a new and nurturing future for Atlanta. In 2039, Willa will become Mayor of the City and her childhood experience will shape her leadership.
Thinking of our comic book as a model for reality, we know every community needs a vehicle that joins and carries many voices, many visions and many hands. These must be carried forth with human perspective in the context of actual human experience. Large projects are often developed in cities where rational economic and executive force usurps human comfort, practicality and beauty. Bird’s-eye planning rarely addresses human perspective from the street. Every city has need for humane stories, woven into the fabric of daily life and the places that nurture and inspire. A child’s perspective is often the most honest, pure and accurate.
LOOM Studio & Amy Landesberg Architects (Architects)
In Collaboration with:
John Grider (Artist)
Julia Klatt-Singer (Writer)
(text & images via: LOOM Studio)