Master Planning for Maximum Benefit

Master Planning for Maximum Benefit

The beginning of a project is a critical time. As our architectural services timeline shows, initial decisions are the most costly to un-do.  While a building’s carpet, windows or mechanical system can be replaced, changing the building’s roof design to install solar panels is not really practical.

So, when a client like the Friends of the Farm approached SOA to develop a preliminary Master Plan for the Clary-Shy Urban Agriculture Park, we were excited to assess arrangements for the Park’s multiple functions.  The Master Plan aimed to site each space to maximize environmental benefit and resource sharing:

  • The Farmer’s Market Building is sited on an east-west axis, which creates a huge south facing roof facade, preserving the option for future solar panels.  Space at the east and west ends of the buildings was reserved for future above ground rainwater tanks to help irrigate the adjacent Urban Farm.
  • Parks & Recreation Multipurpose Building is connected to the Farm Offices, but has it’s own separate entrance.  The goal was to allow the two buildings to function independently, while sharing some spaces, like restrooms or a kitchen.
  • The 4-acre Urban Farm centers its most interactive spaces, including edible landscaping and an Outdoor Classroom, next to the pedestrian promenade leading to the Farmers Market Building.
  • Reducing the amount of additional parking may be possible as the project goes forward because team members approached the school district about sharing their nearby parking lot, which generally sits vacant when the Farmer’s Market is in full swing on Saturday morning.