Behind the Scenes with Lauren Southard

Behind the Scenes with Lauren Southard

Lauren Southard

Lauren Southard
3rd year architecture student at Drury University

Over the past week, Drury University architecture students have been hard at work on the Butterfly Garden and Overlook project. Lauren Southard, a 3rd year architecture student shares her role in the project.

Q: What is your role in the Butterfly Garden and Overlook Project?

My role in this project is to design a sun-shading device with my partner, Grace Lounsbury, that is to be placed in the entrance of the Butterfly Garden.

Q: Is there any significance to the placement of this device?

Our structure is to be placed within the  frame of a newly constructed steel silhouette of the Cunningham House, a major historical landmark of Joplin.  It will be both the entrance onto our site as well as the overlook observation area onto the rest of the park.

Q: Overall, what features does the Butterfly Garden offer to the Joplin community that will aid in it’s healing?

This park will provide a natural and scenic overlook and a place of serenity for the people of Joplin.  There is a winding path, lined with natural flowers and shrubs that leads to several personal spaces.  Each of these three spaces are designed with a sacred bench for meditative thinking and a waterproof journal with the opportunity for visitors to share their experiences in the garden as well as of the tornado. There are water features in each of these spaces intended to be calming and allow reflection .  There is also a large water wall being installed as a symbol of the chaos and eventual serenity that proceeds an event like a tornado. We intend for the garden and overlook to serve as a calm and introspective place for the citizens of Joplin.

Q: Have you had any direct contact with Joplin survivors? What are their reactions to this project?

I have not personally had any contact with survivors of Joplin.

Q: Do you know of any other restoration projects that are taking place in Joplin?

Aside from the new construction of the hospital, no.

Construction of the Butterfly Garden and Overlook project is scheduled for the week of November 4 – November 8 at Cunningham Park in Joplin, Mo.