Well, here we go. It’s time to lace up our boot straps and try to hold on for a wild ride that is going to take us into May.
It is finally the point in time where we put the pen to paper and start trying to find a solution to our respective sites along the West Ashley Greenway. As you all know by now, we have divided into two teams that are taking respective sites along a stretch of the greenway. One group is focusing on the stretch right behind the tennis center at Farm Field Road, and another at the square where Coburg and Timmerman meet the greenway.
Before we get too in depth into designing and explaining each site, it is important to stress the current phase of development in Studio V. Previous posts talk a good bit about this, but something that is still pressing is the flexibility that our studio as a whole is using throughout this phase. The reason behind all the diagrams, analysis, and site visits is to saturate ourselves with the project and greenway as much as we can both on the scale of the entire greenway and our selected sites.
This can get frustrating because of the brilliant, amazing, and super talented designers we all are. We are chomping at the bit to develop designs that solve our problems in both a functional and aesthetic way. The graduate students want to flex their muscles, the undergraduates want to prove they belong, and the entire studio wants to represent Clemson University and show what kind of program we are.
Hold your horses, cowboy.
A critical part of the early stages of diagramming and designing this project is taking into account the people and history of the greenway and surrounding neighborhoods. The greenway is a human highway, and a lot of the on and off ramps are neighborhoods around our sites. People use the greenway for going to work, school, the grocery store, exercise, as well as other things. And they use it frequently. This has made the West Ashley Greenway valuable to the community and especially neighborhoods that are adjacent. Byrnes Downs, the neighborhood surrounding the Coburg Rd. site, has installed trees, shrubs, flowers, and a neighborhood sign along the greenway in the square between Coburg and Timmerman. They really cherish this space and use it for neighborhood events and gatherings. This was something we did not know until meeting with Donna Jacobs who holds a lot of weight in the neighborhood and was full of useful information for us to note, as well as a lot of ideas and needs for the space.
Back to the drawing board. How much is too much when it comes to diagrams and sketches and ideas? You’ve seen pictures from Wednesday showing our first “pin ups” of our respective sites. We then tried to list out both a summary of what the initial pin ups told us and what the next steps would be moving forward. As you’re reading this, we will be preparing for round two of diagramming potential solutions, opportunities and weaknesses for our sites, and we all can’t wait for you to see them Monday!
For a teaser, the consensus seems to be that a small intervention is necessary that slows down bikers, attracts visitors to the unique spaces at both sites, and brings attention to the greenway. We also want to facilitate and enhance the current uses of these areas, for example a small stage for a gathering area.
Stay tuned as we continue the design process and move forward with this project!