Reclaiming for the Future. Part 3

Lee, Russell, photographer.

Durango has a long history of mining, from coal and uranium to exploration by the oil and gas industries.  With this history comes a lot of interesting waste-  tubes, gears, housings, diffusers, matrix cans, covers, headers, sinks, counters and galley equipment -you name it, it’s sitting in a scrap yard somewhere in southwestern Colorado.

Scrap metal yards: a record of history to some, a blemish on the landscape to many, but to the designer filled with imaginings of reclaimed and repurposed materials- this place is heaven on earth.

Walker Christensen must have inadvertently wandered into one of these scrap yards while designing installations for Three Springs, a new development in southwestern Colorado.  The bike racks and a light column were constructed from reclaimed steel salvaged from a local scrap yard-west of Farmington, New Mexico.

As designers we have the unique opportunity to ask some important questions.  Can we use what we already have? Do we have to develop this green site or can we revitalize existing developments?

The next time you need benches for a new park, don’t pick up a catalog, pick up a pencil.


Close your eyes and take a deep breath.

Now REALLY imagine what you could do…

You are a designer!  The sky is the limit.

Okay-not even the SKY is the limit!

And once you have designed something so uniquely gorgeous it makes you blush…   make it real.

[nggallery id=5]


  1. These ideas for Durango, Colorado were really inspired by visits to landscape architecture projects of Gasworks park in Seattle and Duisberg north in Germany. The salvaging of the metal parts tells an authentic story about Durango’s past and current industry.

  2. Is the public aware of how and where the furnishings came from? they are very cool.

  3. There are no interpretive signs yet but hopefully someday soon. There is also a pretty cool huge cattail sculpture that is in one of the roundabouts.

  4. Also, eventually they will have a banner hanging over the road that is connected to the light column and the building on the other side.

  5. It will advertise different events that will be going on at Three Springs.

  6. The whole idea of using old “stuff” for new creations has always been around…’making something out of nothing’, but this is truly exciting and a very special touch for this beautiful project!

Submit a comment