Esquimalt Town Square

Esquimalt Town Square

 

Located in the heart of Esquimalt next to town hall, Esquimalt Town Square is designed to create a new public gathering space for the community. The redeveloped site will feature residential condos, a new public library, cafe, restaurant, and office space over a level of underground parking. Comprised of four buildings designed by the highly regarded firm, D’ambrosio architecture, new public amenities include a public plaza/surface parking lot designed to accomodate the weekly community market, small park with retained historic Garry oaks, Garden courtyard, and public artwalk.

Esquimalt Town Square is poised to breathe new life into Esquimalts downtown. An ecologically sensitive design developed by Murdoch de Greeff Inc the site plan features raised rain planters connected to the buildings,  a rain garden in the surface parking lot to capture and treat surface runoff, and onstreet rain gardens to treat storm water from the adjacent roadways.

Murdoch de Greeff Inc developed the landscape and stormwater management plans for this high density mixed-use urban development. As part of the Murdoch de Greeff team, Terence Radford developed concept plans and contract documents.

Grande Prairie, Residence

Grande Prairie, Residence

 

Completed in the summer of 2012, the project involved the design and construction of a new landscape and deck for a recently completed residence in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Working closely with the client, a tiered deck was designed to accommodate a designated cooking area and a larger level for entertaining. In conjunction with the deck a number of small maples were selected to provide privacy and screening of the neighbouring lots from the back yard.  Landscape design for the front yard was comprised of species native to northern Alberta and was designed to create a small screened seating area near the main entrance.  In addition a dry creek bed was designed to accommodated the rain water leaders  and the discharge of the foundations sump.  Trophic Design completed concept drawings, construction drawings, building permit application, and construction.

 

Skwelwil’Em Eco-Cultural Centre

Skwelwil’Em Eco-Cultural Centre

 

Completed as part of my Masters in Landscape Architecture (MLA) thesis in 2013, Skwelwil’Em Eco-Cultural Centre explores the intersection of provincial land conservation policy and the potential for contemporary indigenous land use practices.  The conceptual design focuses on the development of a research, education, and visitor center (Lhasem Village) as the nexus for restoration of an old log sort site within the Squamish river estuary. The project explores how potential developments for first nations on conservation lands can balance economic opportunities and cultural practices to achieve long term management goals in protected areas.

The first nations people of Canada have a culturally rich heritage and connection to the natural environment that is not fully realized or respected by current government policies surrounding land use and planning. The world views of first nations illustrate a deep respect for the natural world that is reflected in their cultural beliefs, stories, and ceremonies.  They have been the keystone species for millennia on this continent and it is through their stewardship the rich biodiversity of this country flourished prior to colonization.

Skwelwil’Em Eco-Cultural Center provides the opportunity for the revitalization of the cultural practices of the Squamish Nation within a protected area. State of the art facilities including greenhouses, classrooms, labs, administration, gathering space, a restaurant, and ceremonial facilities provide the tools to support not only the restoration of the Squamish river estuary but also economic development and educational opportunities. The “landscape exhibits” that surround the facilities reflect the restoration of native ecosystems based on site hydrologic conditions and existing plant community dispersal within the Squamish Estuary. These natural ecosystems are designed based on intensive research into traditional plant use and cultivation known to have historically occurred within the estuary.

 

The Sequoia Centre at McCall Gardens

The Sequoia Centre at McCall Gardens

 

The Sequoia Centre at McCall Gardens was completed in the fall of 2016. The “Celebration of Life” facility was designed to create flexible spaces that allowed for intimate or large scale gatherings indoors or outdoors on the large patio or in the extensive gardens.  Key aspects to the projects success were the retention of a number of mature trees including several large Sequoias, design around an existing fish bearing stream, and seamless integration with the modern west coast building. Working closely with the client, architect, and sub-consultants an extensive stormwater management plan was developed for the site to capture and infiltrate all run-off from the building, hard landscape areas, and parking lot while accommodating a large existing Sequoia as an iconic feature of the main entry.

 McCall gardens is a family run business that spans 4 generations in Victoria.  The original gardens at the downtown facility had been planted and tended by the previous generations of the family.  During the design of the project it was important that the current generations of McCalls be intimately involved from the initial draft layout and planting design to inclusion on the nursery visit to select tree and shrub specimens.   As stewards of the new landscape we felt it important that the McCalls be involved in every step of the project, fully understand the requirements for restoration in the stream side protection area,  and be fully invested in the projects outcome.

The final design was based on a sequential series of moments that bring guests from the main parking area, with restored creek edge, into the facility past the iconic mature Sequoia. Once inside the main gathering space the building opens to the outdoor patio, flanked by a low seating wall and nestled into the hillside, from the patio a gently sloped “processional” trail leads to the Royal Oak Cemetery and burial plots. Planting design for the site focused on deer resilient species, native species, regionally adapted species, and plants with seasonal interest. When established the garden will display a wide assortment of blooms all year round from winter blooming witch hazels and heathers, to the profuse spring displays of rhododendrons, the sweet summer blooms of day lilies and annual hanging baskets, to the muted tones from the inflorescence of ornamental grasses in the fall.

Murdoch de Greeff Inc (MDI Design) was responsible for the landscape design at the Sequoia Centre.  As part of the MDI Design team Terence Radford was responsible for conceptual design, contract documents, construction documents and field services.  MDI collaborated with de Hoog and Kierulf Architects (Prime consultant), Westbrook, AME Group, AES Engineering, Gye and Associates and Cascadia Biological during the design and construction of the project.

For additional information on this project please visit the McCall Gardens website.

 

Siem Lelum

SIEM LELUM

Phase 2 of Siem Lelum, Respectful House, was completed in the fall of 2017. Designed for the Victoria Native Friendship Centre (VNFC), Siem Lelum is a supportive housing unit for young urban aboriginal families.  The site features two residential buildings, a community house, and inner courtyard.  The site is located on Gorge Rd E in the traditional territory of the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations. As a LEED® for homes certified project, management of onsite stormwater and the reduction of potable water use for irrigation were key considerations. The central feature of the landscapes design was the incorporation of a medicine wheel which contains the children’s play area in the inner courtyard.

 The circle represents the interconnectedness of ones being including their connection to each other and the natural world. The paving line divisions are aligned with the four cardinal directions and define the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual realities. The inner circle of the play area is off-centre causing the medicine wheel to be imbalanced. It is meant as a reflection on the intergenerational trauma experienced by residential school survivors and their families. By placing the children in the centre it is a reminder of the importance to balance these worlds and avoid passing on our wounds. Through the traditional teachings of the medicine wheel we can achieve personal reconciliation and bring balance to the circle for our future generations.

The landscape design also features the use of traditional plants important to the Lekwungen people. These include but are not limited to the use of food plants such as Vaccinum ovatum, Evergreen huckleberry around the children’s play area, sage plantings along the Gorge Rd frontage to be used in ceremony, and the incorporation of Scirpus acutes, Tule in the rain gardens, used in traditional Tule basket weaving. Site paving also incorporated a traditional Coast Salish pattern often used in sweaters and in basket weaving.

Murdoch de Greeff Inc (MDI Design) was responsible for the landscape design at Siem Lelum.  As part of the MDI Design team Terence Radford was responsible for conceptual design, contract documents, construction documents and field services.  MDI collaborated with Merrick Architecture (Prime consultant), Westbrook, AME Group, AES Engineering, and Gye and Associates during the design and construction of the project.

For additional information on this project please visit the Victoria Native Friendship Centre website.