The Triangle Park Pavilion: First Stepsby David Barlew, Jr. on 04/13/12
Since December of 2010, I have been working with the Belvoir Neighborhood Association on the design of a pavilion for their
First, some background. The Belvoir Neighborhood Association is one of
In December of 2010, the president of the Belvoir Neighborhood Association approached me about producing a design for a neighborhood park pavilion.
I, of course, jumped at the opportunity.
I am extremely passionate about neighborhoods, communities, and community initiatives. This pavilion project is the type of work---work to improve a community!---that I really enjoy. This project is an opportunity to create public space where neighbors can meet and interact and continue the building of communities that is so vital to a healthy city.
After meeting to discuss the neighborhood association's needs, I produced the schematic floor plan shown below.
Having visited the site (I run or walk the dog past the park at least three or four times a week), I knew that hot, western, summer sun and cold, northwestern, winter winds are a concern. To provide seasonal (i.e. summer) shade, I proposed a trellis of deciduous vines along the western side of the pavilion. To shield pavilion occupants from the winter wind, I proposed an L-shaped wall assembly. The walls also provide plenty of mounting surfaces for bulletin boards festooned with neighborhood information, event flyers, and community news. To accommodate food service like casseroles at the Fourth of July (we are Southerners after all) or hot chocolate at Christmas, I proposed a reinforced counter with a simple sink. Finally, the design proposes a water fountain to replace the dead one now on site.
I presented the schematic plan to the Belvoir Neighborhood Association, but the residents' raised concerns about vandalism and vagrants, which prompted a revision to the design.
Due to concerns about potential damage and intentional misuse, we decided to eliminate the sink and counter. We also decided to eliminate any space in which a suspicious person could hide; several association members expressed concerns about criminal activity taking place in concealed spaces.
Redesign can be a good thing, and, in this case, it gave me the chance to revise the pavilion's roof profile.
What resulted is an assembly of two shed roofs connected back-to-back. (The first design had featured a single shed roof.)
I presented the Belvoir Neighborhood Association with the second design. The new, double-shed roofline was an instant hit, and the vegetated trellises continued their popularity. The trellises were so popular, in fact, that the group wanted more of them. And, one pavilion component made a comeback: the countertop.
With their comments in mind, I produced a third design for the
I presented the third design to the neighborhood association, but the pavilion was about to go through one more iteration.
After much time spent weighing needs, assessing concerns, discussing options, considering solutions, and producing designs, the Belvoir Neighborhood Association and I arrived at a schematic design.
We then began the process of turning a two dimensional sketch into a three dimensional reality. Since July of last year, we have presented our design to important public officials, listened to their comments, and attended to their concerns. Yesterday's successful meeting was a culmination of our hard work to make a community-driven project happen. In the near future, I will produce the construction documents for the pavilion, and we will proceed from there. I can't wait to see the Belvoir Neighborhood host an event in their new
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