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Charbrook Holiday Party
The annual holiday party at Charbrook was again, a very late night of home-cooked food and gift-giving. The Yankee Swap invite was the highlight, and the gifts inspired a lot of laughter and much drinking. Best wishes for the holidays and a happy New Year to all! From all of us at SSA.
Re-envisioning Pulaski Park
SSA has been working closely with the local community and City officials over the past year on the re-invention of Pulaski Park, the historic central green space located on Main Street in Northampton, MA. A series of public workshops occurred over the summer that helped shape the concept for the park improvements. The concept focuses on making the City's progressive environmental ethic visible in the new park landscape. The site design interprets the historic ecology of the Mill River that once ran adjacent to the park through a palette of native riparian and woodland plants, integrates green infrastructure and the harvesting of stormwater from Main Street into a stormwater garden, creates a new civic green and public plaza, and reclaims the abandoned hillside edge as 'the Overlook'. The City was recently awarded a $400,000 PARC Grant from the State for improvements to the Park! Pulaski Park Receives State PARC Grant »
There is no better way to celebrate fall than with an office Harvest Party. The SSA team and their families gathered at Charbrook for an afternoon of hay rides, trail walks and amazing food!
We are thrilled to announce that our Northeastern ISEC project has broken ground! This project will be under construction for the next two years, with a scheduled opening of Fall 2016. Stay tuned for more as this dynamic project unfolds.
Hardberger Park Land Bridge
SSA is excited to be back at work on implementing the final component of the 311 acre Hardberger Park Master Plan, completed and adopted in 2008. In collaboration with ARUP, SSA will be providing conceptual design studies for a Land Bridge that will connect the east and west parcels of the park, currently separated by the six lane Wurzbach Parkway. This bridge will re-connect the park for both pedestrians and wildlife.
Ferrous Site Park
SSA has begun collaborating on the design of Ferrous Site Park. The project is a 4.5-acre brownfield landscape located in Lawrence, MA, at the confluence of the Spicket and Merrimack Rivers. Historically used as an ironworks facility, the site is home to a 24-foot tall mound of remnant sand castings, a spillway, and a vibrant community of pioneer woodland species, most of which have emerged only since site operations ceased in 2001. The design team (comprised of SSA, D.I.R.T. studio, Nitsch Engineering, RSE Associates, Tillett Lighting Design, and botanist Dr. Peter Del Tredici) is working with Groundwork Lawrence to celebrate the site as a true urban wild through educational and recreational use.
Athena World Cup
In June of this year SSA completed the first space of the Athena Master Plan. The revitalization of the public green in front of building 312 was finished just in time to host major events relating to the World Cup. The new green and surrounding seating area accommodated more than 400 people who gathered to watch the match between the USA and Portugal.
Spring at Charbrook
The studio celebrated a much anticipated spring with our Annual Dig. All hands were on deck to help dig, ball and burlap the trees ready for shipping and planting. Folks also got to meet the newest members of Charbrook, 3 cows and 18 sheep.
SSA, in collaboration with Leroy Street Studio, recently completed the Cove House, a contemporary intervention within a historic and naturalized site overlooking Quisset Harbor. The landscape spans the historic sunken garden of the previous residence, linking the new residence with the landscape and views of Quissett Harbor.
In the fall SSA worked with a local developer to create a temporary landscape in an existing Watertown parking lot slated for demolition next year. The task was to create something edgy and eye catching to celebrate the transformation that will unfold next year. SSA came up with a solution of “packaging” the adjacent native river landscape, bringing the idea of river to street. Standard agricultural containers and roadway culverts are used as planters to provide visual interest and soil depth, while also meeting a tight schedule and budget.
Garden as Art
SSA recently completed a unique conception of a garden, as a frame for the display of art and as art in itself. Working in close collaboration with the owner, artists, and architects, the garden has become an extension of the gallery below. The digital art piece by Leo Villareal washes the garden and Roxy Paine sculpture in every changing hues of color.
On a recent trip to San Antonio over the holidays, one of SSA’s employees was able to capture some images from the now complete Hardberger Park. The first two phases of the 311 acre park were complete in 2010, and the third and final phase just opened with the completion of the Urban Ecology Center. Hardberger Park has proven to be a well used community amenity providing trails, playfields, playgrounds, picnic areas and outdoor classrooms.