Delray & Sandwich Master Plan

This studio partnership developed a master plan for Delray (US) and Sandwich (Canada), utilizing the logic of vegetation.  Four types of vegetation and organizational schemes were implemented, based on their spatial qualities:

  • Gardens – flower gardens and walkways, which expand to fill the gaps between residences in an organic fashion.
  • Ponds – ice rinks.  Water is pulled in from the river, which quickly freezes over.
  • Arboretums – arboretum: a combination of dense woods and open fields, which are used as public gathering spaces.
  • Orchards – apple orchards and farms, organized linearly and efficiently.

Logics drawn from these plant arrangements, such as spacing between trees in an apple orchard, then translate into spatial patterns for built space, such as the dimensions of a parcel of land.  By implementing a set of rules and patterns, rather than strict zoning, it allows the region to shift  its design over time – for example, as abandonment increases, or as the population increases, trees in the orchard can be planted or removed accordingly to productively use the available space.  This is also important to the image of the region; rather than an abandoned plot reading blatantly as a vacancy, it is adopted into a larger design and retains a positive appearance, encouraging growth.

This operates on a smaller scale level, allowing the overall form of the master plan to shift and transform over time in a positive way without being dependent on typical notions of positive change such as residential and commercial growth.

It also places more control in the hands of Delray’s citizens, allowing them to transform the quality of the region through a compilation of smaller efforts.  Residents can respond to abandonment by something as simple as planting a tree, because the architecture is organized within a large but flexible framework.  Rather than a top-down master plan, this concept works from the individual upward.

 

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