Landscape Architect & Specifier News

MAR 2017

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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March 2017 63 Located in Miami's Coconut Grove neighborhood, Regatta Park is a 12-acre waterfront park that transformed the former site of the Coconut Grove Convention Center and large surrounding parking area into a vibrant space that connects the general public to the waterfront. The multidisciplinary park design team was led and managed by the landscape architects from conceptual design through construction administration. Regatta Park is the first phase of implementation of the Coconut Grove Waterfront and Spoil Islands master plan, a catalyst for urban revitalization of the Coconut Grove neighborhood by redefining the urban context; strengthening the pedestrian experience; creating comfortable experiences along the water's edge by replacing vehicles with human activity; and accommodating a multitude of activities by instituting a community vision for the area. The project is the culmination of 40 public meetings and input from hundreds of residents, businesses, civic groups and experts in Coconut Grove and throughout Miami. The plan strives to transform the underused waterfront into a more cohesive and vibrant public space, and reorganize the former Coconut Grove Convention Center and Dinner Key Marina areas into a publicly accessible waterfront for recreation, education and live-aboards. As the oldest neighborhood in Miami, Coconut Grove (pop. 19,646) was incorporated in 1919. It has a strong sense of place, in part because of its proximity to Biscayne Bay, its numerous mature trees and its oolite stone formations. Coconut Grove's history was an inspiration for the design from concept through the selection of its hardscape and landscape materials. One of the main goals was to maintain the local character of Coconut Grove, while increasing waterfront access and water views. The park is designed to be inclusive of the community so that visitors experience it as they see fit. For this reason, there are no programmed or active recreational uses within the park, only passive spaces that can accommodate individual and small group users, or large groups and special events. An example is the children's play area, which was designed as a large depression and a series of mounds with custom climbing structures and safety surfacing in lieu of the use of a traditional playground structure. The natural Over 363 trees and palms were preserved on site. Mature southern live oaks shade the ADA- accessible path that transects the park east to west. Large live oaks span the graveled ADA accessible pervious path that connects the Expo Lawn and the Tropical Gardens. Curved-trunked Sabal palms (aback) break up the formality of the allée. Strollers can relax on custom concrete benches (Wausau Tile) and enjoy walks after dark, guided by the stylish column-based 50-watt LEDs ('230 Modular City Elements') from HessAmerica. There are 103 column lights in the park, including the playground. The lighting is designed to withstand 175 mph winds, a Miami code requirement. Welcome Regatta Park Bye-Bye Coconut Grove Convention Center Landscape Architecture by Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. PHOTOS: CJ WALKER PHOTOGRAPHY

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