Mill Race Park

Mill Race Park, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc, is located at the confluence of two rivers, and much of the parkland is an active floodplain.

laud8-millracepark4

laud8-millracepark2

Prior to the construction of the park, the site was cut off from adjacent business and residential districts by regional railroad tracks. Community members, eager to put the land to public use, had spent many years informally building trails, but the site remained a large swath of feral landscape.

laud8-millracepark1

Foremost among the constraints of the Mill Race site was the issue of annual flooding. Rather than attempt to prevent or shut out the regular flood waters, MVVA’s design explores numerous ways to integrate this natural annual rhythm into the use and experience of the site.

laud8-millracepark6

The overall affordability and durability of the site materials reflect an intentional efficiency of means and materials in both the construction and the maintenance of the park. The fill generated in the excavation of Round Lake was used to build an earthen amphitheater as well as the berms around the basketball court. Many of the paved surfaces use reinforce concrete instead of asphalt, which can be peeled up by floods. laud8-millracepark3

The steel and glass block restroom walls are raised to allow flood waters to flow through; the playground is elevated on a wide earth platform; the amphitheater stage is nestled into the protected higher ground of the crescent landform. Plantings include mostly hardy native species, including grasses that can weather drought and trees that can withstand saturated soils.

laud8-millracepark5  laud8-millracepark7

Mill Race Park received a 1994 ASLA Design Merit Award and a 1993 Boston Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award.

Source: mvvainc

Advertisements

One response to “Mill Race Park

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s