beautiful small public spaces
There's no 'question' in this post, just sharing some beautiful spaces on a cold winter day....
I was clearing up some things today and came across some of the assignments from the landscape design class I took on-line through the University of Guelph in the fall term (just for fun....) I though maybe some of you might find the pictures interesting. In the assignment and class discussion I used pictures (and details available on-line in one case) for of two local public spaces - one a small park and the other a church garden in the center of town.
The park was redeveloped in 2010 as the original old park no longer suited the demographics and needs of the neighbourhood (no need for a ball park anymore!) and had become neglected. There is now a seniors' recreation center on one side and, on the other side, a former school is a training facility for service dogs for the blind, the deaf, and for people with a wide range of physical disabilities. So accessibility issues were very relevant for the park.
I think the cost of the redesign and construction as around $1.6 million. It's a beautiful space - the gazebo and pergola are particularly striking. It's not a well-known space though - we had no idea it existed until we started volunteering at the dog guide facility a year ago and noticed the park on the other side of the fence around the parking lot. The picture below only captures part of it; the plan drawing in the link will give you a better overall view of it.
The dog guides facility is the flat-roofed building on the left side of the picture. The rock is a bubbling fountain - the water drains away underneath and recirculates so there is no standing pool of water to be a hazard for the users of the park. The paved materials change in color and texture so the path is distinct from the 'patio' area and there is a change that runs between the path and grassed areas and garden beds. I assume that was probably deliberate to provide cues to orient vision-impaired users.... The woody plantings are still fairly immature so the park will continue to change over the next few years as the plantings mature. You can see on the linked plan that different parts of the space are intended to be highlighted in different seasons.
The second space is a small church garden on 'the main drag'. We had admired the arbour along the street for many years but had never bothered to look beyond that until 2010. We were quite surprised to find a beautiful small jewel of a garden tucked between the church and the wall of the store next to it. Some pictures....
Looking in from the street:
Looking up at a window from sitting under the arbour:
Looking towards the street from within the garden:
Knot garden - for scattering ashes!
I was curious about the garden and asked at the church - it was designed and donated by a landscape arctitect in memory of his parents who were members of the congregation.
It's alway a pleasure to discover beautiful spaces like these. I'm itchin' for spring and a return to gardening and garden hunting :-)
Here is a link that might be useful: Westwood park plan drawing