The Immersion Challenge at The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Georgia formed teams of four students each that conceptualized a series of installation art-happenings called THEDscapes. The proposals range from ghost tours and historical walking experiences to more permanent readaptive-use projects planned for areas throughout the City of Savannah. Twelve teams of SCAD students worked for seven weeks, guided by Professors Bob Shreve and Greg Andrade – Architect, along with leading industry professionals. The Immersion Challenge supported interdisciplinary teams including undergrad and graduate Production Design and Themed Entertainment Design students. The five proposals below showcase the collaborative and innovative spirit of SCAD students.
‘The Secret of the S.S. Chatham’ is a proposal for a high-end escape room walkthrough attraction that would occupy an abandoned vacant structure at 2 East Henry Street in Savannah. This experience would include an adventure into the underground waterways of the city where guests will immerse themselves in the haunted sunken remains of the S.S. Chatham which has been discovered after it’s disappearance with the Rineheart family aboard over 100 years in the past. Guests will be thrilled in their quest to discover the fate of the ship while lurking through various treks throughout the lower decks of the ship as ghostly visages of the Rineheart family guide or hinder their adventures. Upon completing their quest guests are welcomed to the ‘Crowsnest’ in the dome covering the ship where they can enjoy food and drink and trade ghostly stories with other brave explorers of the S.S. Chatham escape adventure.
‘Bluestem Yard’ is prototype for a series of satellite food production and distribution centers hosting elements that foster communal and neighborhood connectivity. These parklike developments are established as urban recapture projects designed to nurture health and wellbeing throughout the City of Savannah. Bluestem Yard features a community garden and food outlet and a public park featuring a food truck café, a performance stage and a children’s playground. This project is proposed for a wide variety of underutilized land locations throughout the city and offers interaction between visitors and locals as they explore the park and public garden structure.
‘Ellis on the River’ is an elevated urban walk (Think NYC Highline) that connects Savannah’s Market Street center of tourism directly to the riverfront. Currently a series of very old precarious stairways greet travelers as they venture down to the Savannah River. ‘Ellis on the River’ would create a series of raised garden-scapes over the bustling streets below. This walk begins at a revitalized Ellis Square offering locals and visitors an interactive icon, a high-end taste of Savannah restaurant, with new plantings and public amenities that form the ramp up to the raised walk leading to the riverfront. Arriving at the Riverfront Pavilion guests are greeted by an amazing overlook with sweeping views along and across the great port of Savannah. The Riverfront Pavilion itself is designed as an elegant sweeping path of vertical circulation hosting “Made in Savannah” commercial ventures.
‘Savannah Haunted Harvest’ is a proposal for THE Savannah City Halloween happening. This October event will host two major experiences. First is the FALL FESTIVAL which would occupy Orleans Square. This family friendly festival will offer locals and guests a way to celebrate Fall with trick-or-treating, games, walk-around characters, pumpkins and much more. Along the edge of Orleans Square food truck areas will offer fall fair food items and the wall to the west of the square will showcase murals by local school children. Next – if you dare – the HAUNTED DRIVE THROUGH EXPERIENCE offers a ghastly ghostly vehicular ‘drive-thru’ serving up the scariest Savannah ghost legends – stories and visages for your enjoyment!
‘The Briny Bottle’ is a readaptive use project set amongst the new and hopping Riverfront of Savannah. “Join legendary scourges of the sea for some hearty grub, a cup of ale, bolstering sea shanties, axe throwing, and a cannon-blasting bowling alley. Just because you and the crew have been trapped in a bottle by a vengeful Seawitch, doesn’t mean you can’t still have a rowdy good time. Your inner pirate will come to life as you enter ‘The Briny Bottle.'” This multi-level food and beverage experience hosts a load of fun including Rapscallions’ Fine Dining – Drinks at the Barrr – Songs of the high seas – Walking the Plank and Pirate Games abound. A proposal that will bolster the local economy and tradition of Savannah’s history steeped in pirate lore – You’ll find The Briny Bottle at the corner of Montgomery and West River Street one block from the Savannah Riverfront Walk where the Seawitch welcomes you to enter her realm for a grand adventure!
About the author: Professor Greg Andrade – Architect – LEED AP is the mentor for the THEDSCAPES 2020 working sessions. In 1991 Greg began working with the lmagineering division at the Walt Disney Company as a licensed architect. In 2001, he launched Andrade Studio, his own themed design practice specializing in lifestyle, hospitality and narrative based projects globally in the USA, UAE, Europe, Japan, China and Korea. He currently teaches at SCAD as a Professor of Themed Entertainment Design. Becoming a member of the SCAD family Greg chose to make the move to SCAD because its Themed Entertainment Design program fosters a depth in its philosophy that he feels is ideal for the optimal teaching and learning environment. His passion for process encompassing trade insights from over 30 years of design practice affords students access to real world skills and knowledge. Greg fosters the placement of students directly into prime industry professional job markets.