This unique and experimental landscape typology is a harvestable landscape, that in addition to being a communal space for all residents to participate in and enjoy, also includes significant components of roof storm water collection, re-distribution, treatment and infiltration.
The 8,000 square foot courtyard is a flexible communal gathering and dining area directly adjacent to the interior common room, with a grove of fruit trees, raised undulating planters for vegetables and herbs plantings, a native plant rain garden, and a play zone for toddlers and youth.
The varied-height planters create a sculptural form as a rolling topography of bands of concrete and corten-steel and they accommodate people’s differing relationships to the gardening beds – for adults, teens, children and those with mobility differences – as well as providing places to rest or socialize in the garden court.
The paving band “circuitry” of the courtyard commences out at the sidewalk as a subtle scoring rhythm in the paving and moves through the interior lobby, and similarly connects the common room to the court, providing direct visual connectivity between spaces.
The streetscape plantings around the project expand tree wells and create new extensive understory plantings. The plant palette centers South African natives that reinforce the afro-centric patterns of the balcony and street front windows. These plants are highly adapted to drought and urban conditions, while also adding colorful seasonal bloom and grassy textures at the sidewalk edge. Permeable paver areas run between planting wells to help reduce storm-water run-off.