Birth, coming of age, marriage, parenthood, advancement to higher status, and death: these events mark points in life, awareness of the self, thresholds between the known and unknown, the new and the old. How one transitions from one to another is a precarious moment. Landscapes, and the human experience of the earth, used to be marked by dramatic transitions in the form of frontiers: the places where rivers begin to flow, flatlands become mountains, the clearing in the forest. Our perception of these boundaries has diminished in modern times. Highways connect cities, airports connect countries, and the Internet connects the world. However, the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier in Providence, Rhode Island, does the opposite. This structure separates the ocean from the civilization of the city. This barrier represents a physical as well as mental threshold between the two worlds. This thesis proposes a place within the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier to hold rites of passage. In order for these rituals to be successful, the moment of cross over needs to be understood physically and mentally. And this understanding is at the greatest potential during the course of union within the community, the highest point of the ritual, when the two sides are facing each other, exchanging artifacts to acknowledge one another.
Therefore, I propose to create a gathering space at the tip of this edge. The architecture of this space will honor and mark these moments of transition. This frontier between two worlds, land and water, is the perfect location to celebrate rites of passage.