This proposal for the Cape Cod Bridge Park, Buzzards Bay design competition received an honorable mention from the competition jury. The project was conceived in collaboration with my colleague Kenneth Wes Michaels.
This project attempts to imagine a new, threaded edge to both the canal and Main Street, opening up the opportunity to weave together natural systems and active recreation in a single space. By creating a series of new edges on the site, multiple experiences can be created within close proximity to one another. Ice skating in the winter, bird watching in the summer, bicycling, rollerblading, quiet moments of reflection by the water, informal soccer matches, walks through the spring woods, large food festivals, fireworks over the canal, cafes looking over wetland gardens, evening concerts on blankets, fishing along the rocky canal edge, and many other uses can be weaved into a consistent expression of the Cape Cod Bridge Park.
The current site consists of one type of edge with a singular view to the canal and Main Street. Based on the ecological concept that most activity occurs along edges of ecosystems, we intend to create a series of dynamic edges that will facilitate activity on the site. The new edges on the site will focus activity and create the opportunity for interaction with the canal and Main Street, as well as the native flora/fauna of the region and other park visitors. Attached to these series of edges are flexible, yet spatially unique, areas that can serve many different types of activities from festivals to active recreation to quiet walks in the afternoon.
This proposal attempts to create a large diversity of experiences that can serve the many of the different ideas of what a park should be in today’s society without succumbing to a “shopping list” approach to park planning. The entire site is held together by the hierarchy of organizational spaces, the scale and repetition of the plantings, and the visual orientation cues keying on Main Street and the canal.
The boardwalk along the Levee becomes the central organizing force on the site. From here people have an elevated view of the canal and both the Wetland Gardens and the Event Field. This large linear space could hold food stands and market during festivals in the park, as well as function as a main gathering space for viewing fireworks over the canal during special events such as a 4th of July festival. The levee also acts as a sound barrier, separating the quiet, reflective experience of interacting with the canal and the Wetland Gardens from the noise of trucks and activities along Main Street. Furthermore, because of its elevated viewing area, the Levee Boardwalk draws visitors into the park with the promise of a panoramic view of the entire park and canal.
The flatness of the site causes an obscured view of the canal from the portion of the site in the vicinity of Main Street. Our strategy is to work with the character of the flat site and to create a new “edge” that addresses both the canal and Main Street without compromising either. There exists on the site a “balance point” between the canal and Main Street based on the views to the canal from ground level.