Landscape Desrgn • Ню:» Clumen’i Hni« StuUius • Murk Rios Location Culilom it USA | Site Aiea •іівт. ! Photographer ‘ lorn Bonnet
The site, sandwiched between two retail stores on Brand Boulevard’s center village, formerly served as a pathway from a city parking garage to a theater and surrounding shops. To transform the rectangular space into a chess park, the designers researched the game’s rich history and based the design program on its playing rituals, strategies and lore. While every detail and nuance ts denved from the tradition and lexicon of the game, the park’s entire design Is patterned after strategic movements made in chess.
The Bishop Tower stands at the entrance of the Brand Boulevard zone. Its role as a messenger is marked by the base, which cames the park entrance signage. Nearby, the King Tower sits as a giant, story-telling throne where community members can engage in outreach activities such as performances and book readings. Across the throne rs a platform where musicians, actors and artists can gather together and showcase their talents. A gray Trex wall folds up behind the platform to create a backdrop for performances The Rook Tower, in the shape of an abstracted castle, is next to the stage, providing storage and technical support for events. Low concrete benches with Trex tops provide seating for local workers to enjoy their lunches or coffee breaks.
The park’s center area is designated as the gaming zone where players congregate around the 16 concrete chess tables that feature inlaid black and white tile chess boards. The powerful Queen Tower presides over this area and stands as a symbol for the Glendale Chess Club. The Knight Tower stands as a sentry in the buffer zone near the alleyway, vigilantly protecting the park.
The two tong borders of the park are lined with a senes of screen walls of varying sizes, which are marie from the same gray Trex material as the other design elements. While providing seating, lighting, and display opportunities, the screen walls also offset the scale of the tall buildings that flank the sides of the passageway The designers planted the park’s borders with lush, low maintenance shrubbery and white flowering perennials. Cypress trees provide a buffer to the alley.
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