LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.
Issue link: http://landscapearchitect.epubxp.com/i/807417
Above: The areas of the park not suited for circulation were extensively planted with a mix of perennials and ornamental grasses. Nearly all of the site's mature trees were protected and a new, fast-growing river birch tree was added to replace the one existing tree that was removed in order to lower the grade. RENDERING: CBA LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS LLC 66 Landscape Architect and Specifier News The playground offers customized lighted play structures; ample seating; low curving walls; permeable paving; a splashpad; extensive plantings; and artistic and musical elements throughout. The new park embraces its unusual site to create a unique space. Originally known as Otis Street Playground, the park is adjacent to a major local highway and is the landing spot for a pedestrian bridge that crosses the highway. The park originally sloped up toward its center, and the low headroom under the ramp leading to the bridge had essentially divided the site in two before the renovations. By lowering the grade underneath the ramp by nearly two feet, CBA's design unified the site, opening sight lines and creating a comfortable clearance to visually and programmatically reconnect the two sides. The park embraced the ramp's presence with colorful murals by a local artist. Waves of color on the sides of the ramp and on the abutments, all complemented by uplighting, turn the ramp into an art element for the park, rather than an eyesore. Lighting was an important facet of the park design and was incorporated throughout. Uplights (BK Lighting) enhance the murals on the buildings and bridge. The low seatwalls include ribbons of 3000K LED rope light that accent the curves and light the pavement. Light columns (Forms + Surfaces) at bollard and pedestrian heights are distributed throughout the space. Custom elements in the roof of the play structure allowed mounting of additional Q-Tran "IQ67" rope lights. Lastly, the ornamental entry arch from the prior park design was repainted, relocated and rededicated to the playground's new name. It was also enhanced with interior lighting that twinkles through perforations in the side panels. Taken in total, the lighting is at a consistent nonobtrusive level, providing visibility and security while remaining appropriate to the neighborhood setting. The site's low curving, cast- in-place concrete seatwalls supplement the site furniture and guide circulation through the park. The walls were designed to precisely accommodate the rope lighting, following the grade in a complex curve that made it an ideal fit for the flexible linear LEDs. An interrupted chamfer edge detail at the tops of the walls brings aesthetic interest, while functioning as a skateboard deterrent. To preserve the roots of the site's mature trees, "footing-less" sections contain extra reinforcement to allow them to "float" over the subgrade and avoid disturbing key roots. CBA Landscape Architects worked with the engineers at Landscape Structures, Inc. to design a play structure for ages 5-12 that connected a NetPlex tower to a PlayBooster post-and-platform structure with a custom net climber, and with a pair of custom roofs that echoed the park's waves and incorporate linear lighting. For the younger set, a SmartPlay Motion structure was selected. The park's "Spia" swing lets multiple kids, or caregivers with small children, enjoy swinging together. ". . . customized lighted play structures; ample seating; low curving walls; permeable paving; a splashpad; extensive plantings; and artistic and musical elements throughout."