Description: Piper-Wind Architects has been a long believer that the quality of the built environment is greatly influenced by the connective tissue which is its public infrastructure. Part of that infrastructure is services - such as public schools, public transportation, fire prevention, and police protection - and part that infrastructure is in physical facilities such as its utilities, roadways, bridges, parks, boulevards, and public rights of way. The "public realm" thus created greatly impacts the human experience - it's quality is what each of us interact with each day walking down the street, driving our cars, viewing or going inside any of the city owned facilities. Thus, the quality of our built environment evolves around the quality of the building and design of our public realm - our public buildings and the infrastructure which surrounds us.
We are firm believers that that the design of the public realm should be influenced by local surroundings. That is why the firm was so excited to be given the opportunity to assist in the creation of a pocket park in a gateway corner of an historic midtown neighborhood called Troostwood at an intersection of a busy, commercial street and adjacent institutional buildings, as well as this transit stop for the local bus system. The Troostwood neighborhood consists of primarily historic older bungalows and two story "shirt-waist" houses built between 1910 and 1930. Character defining features include stone foundations, open colonnaded porches, steeply pitched roofs, exposed rafters and bracketed eaves, all of which are typical of that era. Thus, the design of this little structure utilizes both these materials and forms, while providing a virtually maintenance free facility for the Area Transit Authority. Constructed out of painted structural steel tubes, cut stone bases of local limestone and cast stone caps, standing steam metal roof with a reinforced underlayment and 50 year maintenance free finish, and a steel channel guttering and steel pipe downspout system.
Designed and built in 1997 at a cost of approximately $35,000, it was a very deliberate gesture on the part of the City to support revitalization efforts in this neighborhood not just with housing rehab tax incentives but with the very visible and tangible investment in a quality public realm.