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Forest of Lorien Open Access

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Abstract of ThesisForest of LorienForest of Lorien documentary photography project explores the mid-century modern community, Hollin Hills, located in Alexandria, Virginia, near Washington, D.C. The project is comprised of a book of photographs, an interactive website, essays, and a sensorial multi-media project—a thread of natural sounds, moving imagery, interviews, and a voice over reciting poems, stitch together the growth and renewal of many generations. Unlike contiguous neighborhoods, Hollin Hills is an enclave of forests and is defined by the vision of modernist architect Charles M. Goodman and land developer Richard C. Davenport who together worked post World War II to create a symbiotic relationship between man and landscape. Hollin Hills offers a harbor from the prevailing urban sprawl and monotonous stretches common to suburban design. Residents seek to make this unique woodland their family home and discover a timeless atmosphere of living. The community is an exceptional force of nature, alive in the way it thrives off the auras of its inhabitants, inhaling and exhaling in perpetuation of harmony. The light, wildlife reverberations, and experiential sensations of the community lace together a tranquil and enigmatic environment. This delicate balance dissolves boundaries allowing people and nature to exist freely.

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