Professor Rachel Dickey Wins the Cultural Heritage Landscape Award for a Plaza in Rock Hill, South Carolina

Rachel Dickey is an associate professor in the David R. Ravin School of Architecture at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and founder of Studio Dickey, a Charlotte-based art and design practice. Professor Dickey has received the 2023 BLT Built Design Award for Cultural Heritage Landscape for her design of the Bleachery Heritage Plaza in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

This annual international competition recognizes “the most pioneering and groundbreaking designs” in four broad categories: landscape architecture, architecture, interior design, and construction. A panel of 30 judges, which included design professionals, media representatives, entrepreneurs, and academics, chose winning projects from more than 700 entries from 45 countries.

The Bleachery Heritage Project is a commemorative plaza located on the site of the former Rock Hill Printing and Finishing Company, known locally as “The Bleachery”, which was once the largest textile printing and finishing company in the world. The project provides a living memorial: to the bleachery, its employees, and the sense of community that surrounded it, while also forming a new urban room for the city, a plaza that becomes a monument to everyday life within a memory landscape. It transforms a former median into a linear park providing a planted buffer that separates pedestrians from vehicular traffic. Patterns once printed on fabric at the Bleachery are stamped along the concrete pathway lined with interpretive objects including historic roller printing machine parts, interactive rocking chairs resembling those machines, signage with QR codes linking to an audio record of stories, and a former bleachery building archway standing anew as a gateway entrance to shared public space.

Professor Dickey Dickey holds s bachelor’s degree in architecture and a master of architecture degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She also holds a master of design studies degree from Harvard University.

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