WESTMINSTER WOODS FREDERICK DRIVEURBAN SPACE
The eastern entrance to Westminster Woods provided an opportunity to create an urban space with architectural prominence. The basic elements of intersection, boulevard and roundabout with their inherent alignments and vistas provided the opportunity for the addition of enhanced architectural and landscape features such as gates, pergolas, garden walls, walkways, plants and monuments. The goal was to create an urban space which was unified by these features in such a way as to create a unique sense of place. This was achieved by considering how the edges of the space related to the body of the site and how the various parts related to the whole. Unifying the space was the critical urban design task at hand.
The roundabout is a very strong geometric form which is bordered by much less defined boundaries. An attempt was made to expand the geometry of the circle outward to define an architectural boundary through the use of curved segmental peristyles and columnar trees which directly address the roundabout and create a sense of enclosure. The effect was of a rotunda composed of concentric rings of landscape and hardscape elements radiating out from a prominent central monument. The actual property boundaries of the parkettes were less important than the effect that the peristyle is intended to provide. The residual open space behind these elements would act as a buffer to the adjacent homes.
The boulevards, which have strong linear vistas, are framed with garden gates and street trees. Just two species of trees were proposed, namely Greenspire Lindens and Pyramidal Oaks to create formal visual unity and reinforcement of the vista. Excessive plant material diversification was avoided so as not to distract from the desired formality of the design. The entry gates and parkette planting design follow this approach as well by being composed of just a few species of ornamental grasses and low, flowering shrubs.
Of course the most prominent feature of the design will be the obelisk. It was chosen for its traditional and historical precedence as a central marker for formal landscapes. Its height and proportions were carefully considered in light of the scale of its surroundings.
In the end the goal was to bring some architectural order to these civic spaces for the enjoyment of motorists and pedestrians alike as they travel along their way.
||Urban space / Townhomes
||Architecture / Urban Design