With My Bum in the Sod, Toes in the Sand

With My Bum in the Sod, Toes in the Sand 
Erin Fitch, BLA

Boston Architectural College PARK(ing) Day 2016)

As the storefronts along Newbury Street prepare to open their doors, a splash of green amongst the surrounding hardscape is preparing to do the same. Layers of sod surrounded by potted shrubs and the fun colors of cotton-candy sectioned off refuge from the hustle and bustle of the busy street. On the unique morning of Friday, September 16th, 2016, a section of Newbury Street, Boston, became the lucky candidate of a public park. After a successful year one, the Boston Architectural College (BAC) student chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects (SASLA) partook once again in the celebration in PARK(ing) Day, a day to transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks. With much enthusiasm, SASLA, in collaboration with the BAC’s The Green Team, transformed a parking space into a temporary park in the prime location situated in front of the BAC 320 Newbury Street building.

Full of excitement from the outcome of PARK(ing) Day 2015, SASLA once again gathered a group of fellow BAC students that were rich with inspiration to partake in a summer charrette to design take two of a pop-up park after discussing the outcomes from the previous event. There then began a process of iteration, followed by the physical construction of the desired proposal.

1st Iteration – Communal Area & Play with Tactility

                            2nd Iteration – Play with Levels

Starting with the ground plane that would enable the installment to be flush with the existing sidewalk to create ease of access as well as cohesion to the site, construction phase launched. Two by fours were measured and cut to act as the structural support for this ground plane. The main seating levels, consisting of wooden cubes, were constructed as well.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, SiteOne Landscape Supply, located in Lexington, MA, as well as the Boston Society of Landscape Architects (BSLA), the design was made a reality. With a focus on tactility, the design created a space to make the public’s sense of touch tingle. From lush sod to soothing pea stone to cool sand, the park expressed a wide range of materiality similar to natural landscapes. The design can be enjoyed from many different angles, whether it is from the ground with your toes in the sand, from the comfort of a raised sod-covered seating, or from a unique BAC Makers designed bench.

                                         From casual chatter to playing games, PARK(ing)
                                         Day was a day of enjoyment.

Enjoying the sunshine and later the cool shade, the location on Newbury Street attracted visitors of all kinds. From a Parking Enforcement Officer who insisted the park be permanent, to a child who finds excitement from all the textures, to a furry friend lying in the sod, this was a temporary oasis for all.

We look forward to creating another success in fall of 2017!

Contact sasla@the-bac.edu with any questions, comments, or interest in PARK(ing) Day 2017.

Core Design/Building Team:
Jacob Ferreira (MLA, SASLA President)
Lance Guerrero (MLA, SASLA Vice President)
Erin Fitch (BLA, SASLA Secretary)
Stephen Lea (MLA, SASLA Communications)
Jonathan Cave (MLA)
Alissa Marcano-Santelli (BDS)
Sonya Bolia (B.Arch)