NC State’s School of Architecture’s Design + Build studio has tackled a number of distinct projects since its inception, each with their own connections to location, culture, and history. In 2019, what started as a tour of Princeville, NC led by Landscape Architecture Professor Kofi Boone ended with a 200+ square foot tribute to a town whose history was facing disaster and destruction.

The College of Design has a background of work with disaster recovery in Princeville, including research done through the Coastal Dynamics Design Lab and their Homeplace project. Boone works with Princeville — the first town in America to be chartered by freed slaves after the Civil War — to conduct tours of its historic landscape. On one such tour, he was moved by the disappointment expressed by a group of middle school students when they discovered that the town’s existing museum had been closed because of flooding damage.

When he mentioned the experience to his colleagues at the College, the pieces of an idea began to fall into place.

“It took David Hill and Andy Fox and the rest to connect the dots and take that observation and activate it with a real thing,” said Boone.

Could there be a way to preserve the legacy of this important Eastern NC town while still protecting it from the dangers of flooding? How do we put wheels on history?

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Originally published on the NC State University website.