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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Quesada Gardens Palou Garden Draft 3: Seeking Community Input

Hello residents of the Bayview Hunters Point community! As in semesters past, it continues to be a wonderful process and experience to work with all of you on this project and others. The USF team this semester consists of Nathaniel Eck, Sasha Doo, Ian Deyoung, Epi Novak and Professor Seth Wachtel. We have reviewed all design work completed by previous design teams as well as all of the previous community comments. We also had a group site visit where we had a great discussion and received additional comments and spawned some great new ideas. 

We have a new design draft for your review and comment.

Important to note that there are a few items not yet implemented/indicated in this draft: water spout locations, solar pump, detail of rain catchment system, potential dog park on adjacent lot, bench and storage designs for underneath the rain catchment structure, tree swing, mural on wall of 1818 Palou Ave and artwork on Palou Ave chain fence. Please feel free to comment on these items as well. There is space for all comments at the end of this document.

Primary Design Objective:
To create a dynamic, sustainable, productive, educational and enjoyable community space for all ages and to serve as a prototype for future development.

Primary Design Elements & Zones:
      Solar Panels / Water Pump - Located on roof of storage structure near Dunshee St. entrance in area 6. These panels will provide an off-grid and renewable power source for lighting and operation of the solar water irrigation pump. We need a solar water pump because we are catching rain down-slope (along tunnel fence) of the garden beds and therefore need the pump.

Rendering of rain catchment structure and
storage structure in the distance, also with
rain catchment roof structure
      Rain Catchment - The back fence from Palou Ave. and west of the Caltrain tracks will be lined in a roof rain-catchment structure. This structure will also serve as a covering for the path that runs along the same fence and potentially serve as a trellis system to grow a multitude of fruiting or flowering vines. The structure itself will be made of reclaimed wood where possible.
      The Bays created between vertical posts allow for the option of free standing benches of varying shape and sizes, small tables, storage or additional planting. There is also an option to add a trellis along the chain fence vertically and up to the bottom rain catchment roof. This would allow fruiting or flowering vines to grow up the fence and under the roof creating additional shade and possibility of additional harvests if fruiting vines used.

Rendering of night-time use of
amphitheater and movie screen
      Amphitheater & Stage / Zone 2 & 3 - The amphitheater steps and seating edges are made of reclaimed railroad ties. The space will serve as seating for watching trains, performances, plays and film nights on the stage. The stage has a vertical frame with removable infill modules that can be installed and taken down for film nights and allows the view to be unobstructed when those events are not happening. The Amphitheater is also a great place to enjoy the sun, read a book, or have a picnic. The design of this space is also highly connected to the specific uniqueness of this site, which is Caltrain. Serving as a visual terminus to the train-tracks and celebrating both the relationship to the trains and to SF as a whole through the framed view of downtown SF.

      Pumpkin Patch / Flex Zone 4 - This area is great for growing pumpkins which will be a fun activity for children and serve as a pleasant and fun transition into the main garden. When not growing pumpkins many other plants could be grown like squash, corn or legumes. This area is designed to be very flexible and adapt to the use and desires of the community as it changes over time. This area could easily morph into any number of other uses very easily. For instance, chess/checker tables, open area to spend time with family and friends or throw a ball around, BBQ area etc.
      Picnic & Play Area / Zone 5- This area utilizes the two large existing trees to create and identifiable and unique space while maintain a connection to the other areas. Just inside the main gate off Palou Ave there is a children’s slide to take them down the slope of the site and lead them to the play and swing area under and around the existing trees. The swing will look and feel very much like a tree swing. However, it will be created with a structure that is within the trees branches in order to not harm the tree. This area will also consist of a number of picnic benches in order to facilitate families and groups of friends picnicking or just having a nice day together.

Rendering of raised garden beds looking
towards Dunshee St entrance
      Main Garden / Zone 6- The main garden lies between the pumpkin patch and the Dunshee St. entrance. 38 raised garden beds 4ft x 8ft each made of reclaimed railroad ties lined with thick plastic sheeting to keep any toxins out of the soil. Raised beds allow for a place to sit or kneel while gardening and the width of the beds allow gardeners to reach the middle of the beds from each side.

Secondary Design Elements:
      Storage Structure - If possible, the storage structure would be an out of service/recycled rail car.
      Compost - Composting area is behind the storage structure in Area 6.
      Reclaimed/Recycled Materials - Reclaimed railroad ties used for raised garden beds and amphitheater steps and seating. Recycled plastic used for rain catchment roof and reclaimed wood used for the main structure.
      Modular/Adaptable - The rain catchment structure along the tunnel fence is designed to be modular/expandable. The pumpkin patch / flex zone 4 can be adapted easily to the changing needs and desires of the community over time.

Community Comments Welcome (please add them to the comments section below)

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