Court Square Press Courtyard court square press emra

Landscape Design ‘ Landwards studio! Location Massachusetts USA I Landscape Area 560m | Completion Year: 2004

The Court Square Press Building garden creates an opportunity to develop a garden as a constructed, post­industrial insertion. Sited on a unique waterfront precinct in Boston. Massachusetts, the surrounding urban context is characterized by new impervious asphalt parking lots, cobble strewn tracts, and remnants from abandoned rail­road and shipping yards. More immediately, the site context is a massive 210,000ft:. six-story building in the Fort Point Channel neighborhood. The building’s architectural renovation revealed leftover space and inspired the de­veloper with a vision for creating a common ‘outdoor green’ in an area that generally suffers from limited usable open space. The goal for the new courtyard was to create a unique urban oasis Ural relies on careful calibrations of: materiality, both organic and inert; texture, from coarse to fine and values, between light and dark. Lighting ele­ments, taut fiber-optic and steel lines, undulating ground planes and integrated plantings dynamically engage each layer of the garden and create unique moments for garden visitors. These essential landscape characteristics are viscerally experienced at the ground level, by actually moving through the space. When viewed from above, they reveal the garden choreography. However, the lens through which individual residents view the garden is limited by the dominating surrounding scale. The design strategy organized the site around the reality of this fragmented view. Because the garden is conceptualized as a collection of fragmented views, it follows that the lighting strategy and placement should avoid any sense of compositional or figural completeness.

The building’s massive brick wall is perforated by an unrelenting six story grid of windows which introduces ambient light into the garden. At night time and on dark winter afternoons, the lighting strategy first recognizes and then con­structs, a dialogue with the adjacent residential conditions. Because of the courtyard’s easl/west onentation, indirect sunlight reflects off the regularized glazing pattern and illuminates the courtyard floor. The reflected trapezoids of light reveal the garden’s contour and articulate the walkway’s alternating wood and metal surface. Of course, this process repeats itself each day. though in slightly different ways each time. In every case, opportunities to engage this phenomenal light suggest intricate relations between this tiny embedded space and a more universal context. The lighting simultaneously extends a dialogue to the envelope of space and expands the garden’s perceptual realm beyond the brick walls.

Within the garden, the lighting assumes a more plasUc, symbiotic relationship between design elements and layers. The lighting proposal compels a reading of light as a continuous surface at the bench scale and contrasts the path’s modular wood and steel decking. The path zigzags horizontally and at varying frequencies, cutting into the ground and cantilevering over the planted ground plane. As a result, the lighting makes the overlapping wood and Lexan panels more readable and Interesting from critical points in the garden. Colored, lighted boxes suggest an electronic version of the green bamboo and weave the garden’s physical arid perceptual layers together. Two bam­boo species create the primary canopy textures, while a proposed web of yellow fiber optic lines will occupy the same field as the bamboo. The fiber optic lines will levitate between the undulated ground and the cornice of the building, casting colored light into the maturing bamboo canopy At comice level, a network of stainless steel cables will support a web-like structural system for the fiber optic lines, and will then weave into the bamboo.


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