Reimagining Abandoned Community Space in a Post-Pandemic Environment
4 December 2020
Three years ago, I was walking from my internship at a manufacturing company in Landover, Maryland to a nearby shopping center when I came across a large piece of land surrounded by a chain link fence. When I peered in I only saw piles of dirt, dust, and concrete in what looked like an abandoned construction site. Two years later, when the pandemic hit, I was forced to move from California back to Maryland. During that time, I took interest in the growing number of abandoned spaces around me as malls and retail centers were forced to close. What once were lively community spaces for people to shop and socialize, were now boarded up windows and locked doors. My fascination with these empty spaces led me to revisit the abandoned Landover property and learn about its former role as the Landover Mall. I started to imagine how this space could be reclaimed by the community to function as a social space in a post-pandemic environment.
The three dimensional model I have developed using community feedback is meant to serve as a visual representation of a new Landover Community Marketplace. By following new pandemic-friendly design standards released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA), I was able to model safe recreation and social spaces. My application of real eco-friendly design techniques, while removing the model from its surrounding context, make it an aspirational utopia for community members to reference during post-pandemic revitalization. My hope is that this project shows how imaginative visual representation, in the form of three dimensional modeling, can inspire community-focused design during the pandemic era.
Landover Mall Demolition Site:
Courtesy of Google Earth.
Landover Marketplace Exterior Tour