Roots + Future Thoughts

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  It’s been a productive few days since the review Friday.  I know Henry mentioned in his blog post Monday how we broke down into teams of two and have been really dissecting the site to come up with different schemes of locations for the building(s) and gardens.  I think one thing that has been interesting is that even though there are seven teams of two, we have all found similarities in each other’s programming and naming of the project.  In fact, when thinking of names, I reread the mission statement of the Charleston Parks Conservancy several times to fully grasp what they’re about and what name for the project could stand for their mission.  I was immediately drawn to the word “Roots”, as it stands for not only gardening, but the community engagement and “roots” that people have grounded in the community of West Ashley as well.  It was interesting to see that Henry and his partner also had this take on it as well, and intertwined that word into a few of their name proposals!

On a slightly different note, as I’ve been digging into more precedent studies and thoughts on the site, I was reminded of something that I think we should all consider.  At the meeting Friday, the discussion of one two-story building came up, as it would leave less of footprint and more garden/outdoor space.  Of course, ADA guidelines of an elevator and/or ramp would have to be followed, as well as for any paths, materials, etc. that are included in the design.  It then hit me that even though the architectural elements are designed to be ADA accessible, are the raised garden beds and other aspects of the projects designed that way too?  My best friend from high school is named Talf and he has an aggressive case of Muscular Dystrophy (MD).  I have had the opportunity to travel different places with him and his family, where there always seems to be minor or major obstacles in the way.  As we look forward into ideas of the new center/park/garden, I really think it’s important that our studio goes above and beyond to make sure that it’s a place accessible for all people.  Whether you’re young, elder, in a stroller, in a wheelchair, or not, it is important that this space is able to be enjoyed by everyone in the community! That’s just a thought I can speak to from personal experience with Talf, and I know most everyone would agree it to be at least worth considering to truly make this space engaging and yield a stronger community!

Hope everyone has a wonderful rest of the week!


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