Parks and other Recreational Environments

The Blue Lagoon
Keflavik, Iceland
Thinking of Einaar
        The Blue Lagoon Prior to Improvements
It was a riot of injuries. Unsupervised bathers, unknowingly floating into lobster boiling eddies - not cool....
Whilst courting my, soon-to-be, Icelandic wife, ushering in the arrival of my first born son, and having recently completed my graduate work in landscape architecture, I thought it best to 'get out there' and start making a living at something more gainful & 'career oriented', than selling cherries at a roadside stand on the Columbia River Gorge.
In that spirit, I developed this site plan while visiting my soon-to-bee's land of origin.  While there in Iceland I was able to meet with the minister of...(jeez, I can't remember his title), anyway, with the proverbial big fish in a small pond, to discuss the native landscape and impacts to its development.  
 
Particularly, the impact of tourism on habitat.
Later, I met with officials at this geothermal site and proposed that I develop a recreational development plan for the Blue Lagoon.
 
Essentially, it is a mitigation plan, a marriage of opposing land uses i.e. recreational vs industrial;  to convert this controversial geothermal facility into 'a more user friendly' bathing spa and beach.
Blue Lagoon Iceland.  Recreational site plan
Proposed Improvements
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Two Windsurfing Parks along the banks of the Columbia River Gorge: The Mosier Waterfront and Camelot Windsurfing Park.
Meanwhile, back at home on the Columbia River Gorge I produced plans for windsurfing parks on both sides of this narrow river corridor.  
 
Windsurfers flock from all parts of the globe to surf here; near perfect conditions, with the river flowing in one direction and the wind blowing in the other - I think it would be 'tactful' to say that it was simply bitchin!
Orientation map.(as soon as I figure out how to place an 'x' marks the spot I will further amend this drawing).
Just east of Hood River, Oregon (my home at the time) is the town of Mosier, just adjacent to the interstate, (a predominate circulation element in the narrow confines of the Gorge).
It is a diorama of spectacular views, racing along the interstate, faces plastered to the windows.  Imagine the frustrations of travel weary surfers; you can look but you can't touch.  
Access to the river was a nightmare for these salivating surfers; dangerous roadside parking was the norm, surfers dodging high speed traffic made the event a roadside attraction for locals.  
Thus, the need for off-road parking, services, and clean access to the Ribba,
('take me to the river, wash me in the waters...')
Mosier Waterfront Development Plan
Camelot - Windsurfing, and a whole lot more Summer fun
The history of this spit of land is interesting.  
 
You can see that this parcel of land is segmented by a series of 'shelter belt' poplar trees.  They were planted and served as windbreaks for agriculture.
 
More recently it was a staging area for 'log floats'.  Barges would tug rafts of freshly cut Douglas Fir trees to this location.  The adjacent land held a mill.  
 
When logging left the N.W., in large part, back in the '80's the site laid fallow;  awaiting its next re-invention.  
And thus my children the story of Camelot unfolds...
I know, 'Camelot' - right - what can I say, I was young and romantic...
And yet, in Camelot, 'it only rains at night, whilst the sun & birdies' sing through the long, eternal summer days....'
 
And, the Gorge in the summertime is indeed a magical place:
Misty topped water falls, double rainbows, terraces of fruit trees and Douglas firs hug the cliff-side edge...a place where you can downhill ski in the morning, stop at a micro brewery for lunch, and then windsurf your respective skinny-white-ass off through the day until the sun dips below hilltop....so yes, Camelot.
Camelot -windsurfing park. Columbia River
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Interpretive site walk plan
I'm going to throw this conceptual piece in because I wore out a set of technical ink nibs on its stippling, and because I think it is a cool example of terraced hillside design.
 
This switchback road bed works gently with the terrain and topography, exemplifying a method of development grading that seems lost to the heavy equipment 'blow & go' culture we live in today.
 
Sun-High is a marine interpretive park and institution for the study of native flora & fauna.  As you drive or preferably walk along these switchback trails one can view the rich abundance of its many habitats.
Terraced hillside with interpretive switchback paths
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                       Ramsey Canyon Hospital and Treatment Center
           - A therapeutic environment for long-term, adolescent care -
Ya, I'm not kidding,
A Psych hospital and long-term adolescent chemical dependency treatment center
......................................................Like I said, 'its a practice...'........................................................
Five acres, to play with (along with a minor hand in the building design I might add).
 I envisioned a heavily treed, park-like environment, but it was in the desert - not very sensitive environmental response.  
 
The design conformed to a model of water-harvesting; passive collection of five acres worth of site & rooftop runoff into burial cisterns.
The grading was subtly pitched (gravity was my friend) towards a series of rock filled holes, (holes large enough to bury a VW or two).  The planting design of canopy trees was choreographed to hug and dance around these cisterns.
 
The soil spoils were utilized on site to build up the flat desert floor into undulating hills and berms.  Much of the leach rock was culled from these spoils.  The only real cost was machine time and we had a backhoe on site anyway during the year of construction.
 
So, there you go....
Water catchment for landscape irrigation
I love this pencil rendered sky-view drawing.  I was listening to music while piddling about at my drawing board when the sound track to the Wizard of Oz played.  After awhile I got up and put in the VCR to watch a bit of Dorthey's journey.  
 
Dorthey's aunts house falling from the sky, down, down down into Oz. This project was my version of Oz at the time...
The purpose of this study was to preserve, protect and enhance this wetland and migratory animal habitat, while developing it for housing, (seems as if life is just one big mitigation plan...)
Imposing the 'Jeffersonian Grid' was just not going to make it on this sensitive site.
 
Site lines for survey were blocked by the very vegetation that we were hired to protect. Beyond the environmental surveys, consultations, and what-not we still needed a simple way to get, the lay of the land.
So, with a wheeled tank of helium and a pocketful of balloons and string, I picked my way across the site, sending up anchored balloons at each possible housing building envelope.  
With a camera tethered to a bundle of helium balloons (pre-drone days) we photographed the site from above.
 
No shit, it actually led to a fairly decent site plan.  
 
My only regret was that it wasn't nitrous oxide....
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Small Heading
               A non-grid approach to subdivision design, (preserve, protect, enhance)