The Fall Semester of 2013 provided me with an opportunity...

...to work on a project that filled my greatest interests within the profession. Our charge was to partake in a project that worked within the context of Ames, Iowa between the Downtown Main Street District to the Campustown area that centered around Welch Avenue. I focused on a small three block street within Campustown on Chamberlain Street. Seeing as how it was a block south of a major thoroughfare in Lincolnway, intersected with a popular pedestrian street in Welch, and bookended by a new Intermodal Facility and a Parking Garage, it made immense sense to design a pedestrian mall. 

 

Skills Learned/Refined:

  • Photoshop (site plans, sections, and perspectives)
  • Sketchup (just a little)
  • AutoCAD.
  • Urban Design.
  • Conceptual Design.

Decorative Plan of the Chamberlain Pedestrian Mall Proposal. 

By creating an urban forrest with the trees, there was an immediate investment in something considered to provide one of the greatest returns for cities on investments in trees. By framing the central block between Stanton Avenue and Welch Avenue, the trees as well as central amphitheater provided a great area for gathering. Whether the program included beer gardens, patio space for restaurants, or live music, it would be a flexible space desperately needed in Campustown. 

The big move was made by creating an urban forrest. 

Inbetween each tree would be a lit walkway as well as a place for seating. 

A view within the center space between Stanton Avenue and Welch Avenue. 

This project was a great first taste of what urban design and planning can do. While it was an early project for me, I reference it often. I am in constant reflection about what something similar to this could do for Ames. This first crucial step allowed for me to better understand my theory of design, and how we as Landscape Architects can affect a community, and provide richness to a person's life.