KSC Professor Peter Temple's Collabrative Architectural Project Team 1 - Derek Small, Nick Lima & Jenna Gibbons

Our team’s main goal in the renovation of the Samuel E. Paul War Memorial Park was to create an environment that promoted health and wellness throughout the town of Troy, New Hampshire. In order to achieve this main goal, we believed that we had to also achieve a set of smaller goals and we had to incorporate the park into the rest of the town. This could be achieved with a pathway system, creating a pedestrian highway which the citizens of Troy could use on foot or bike to get around the town in a more environmentally friendly way. We believed that by tying the park into the rest of the town, people would begin to use the park more, and this would promote a healthier lifestyle. By encouraging a more active lifestyle through the use of the park, we hope to reconnect the people of Troy to their natural surrounding environment.
The first time our group arrived at Samuel E. Paul War Memorial Park in Troy NH, we could tell that it had been quite a gathering spot. However, years of less attention and use has lead to the decline of this once beautiful place. From what we could tell, the footprint of the park was larger than anything any of us had previously worked with. It contained two full-sized baseball parks, and the lower ballpark was brand new, however the dugouts were vandalized so much that they were unusable. The other was equipped with a new scoreboard, which was also vandalized with graffiti. A new playground area was installed adjacent to the upper ball field. However, next to that was the existing Skate Park. The ramps of the Skate Park were all in bad shape, and the concrete pad they sat on was cracked and worn. The Skate Park did not belong next to the playground. This was the first of many challenges that our team faced. The location of this Skate Park had to be distant form the playground, but should also be located somewhere where the Troy police could keep an eye on it from the road.
 Located next to the skate park was a basketball court. It too was in pretty bad shape and could benefit from an upgrade. Down behind the courts was an old shack, and it functioned as the old food stand and storage area. However the foundation was beginning to crumble and the wood siding was beginning to let go; the reasonable solution seemed to be to tear it down.
Finally, to the rear of the park were the beach area and the pavilion. The pavilion was in good shape and showed much promise for being a useful structure. Adjacent to that at the beach area were several worn picnic tables, along with some nice foliage and trees. It was sad to see such a potentially nice space in such decline.


Design Development
The first thing our team did, after taking a walk through the park, was to begin to brainstorm ideas about what could be done with the place. This proved to be a challenge, as every map and chart we looked at provided no topographical information regarding the contours of the site. So we gathered our resources, and located a retired geography professor from Keene. He taught us how to use a surveying transit, and we quickly got to work. We returned to the site, where group member Nick Lima began to measure the contours of the land using the transit. With the help of Gabe, a member of the other group, we were able to create a topography map using the data.
With these measurements, our groups were better able to conceptualize the site that we were working with. Our group came up with several ideas which Derek Small was able to record using simple hand drafting. After creating two dimensional drawings of ideas, Nick went ahead and made a three dimensional physical site model using the topography map that we put together. We presented these ideas, along with the three dimensional model, to the clients. After the critiques, we used the notes that Jenna Gibbons had taken to improve our designs and expand on other concepts. In addition to the drawings and the model, Derek put together a three dimensional computer model. We believed that with this a client who was not familiar with architectural drawings could get a better understanding of the changes that the park could undergo.


Major Challenges
The first problem we encountered when beginning the project was the New Hampshire climate at the time. The park was covered with about a foot of snow. This made the visualization, as well as the mapping of the topography, very difficult. The teams had to work through the weather, regardless of what the climate or conditions were.
The preservation of natural features was another challenge the teams faced. When it came to restoring the park, both teams had to focus heavily on creating places for activities, while protecting and enhancing the main natural features of the park. Our team noted the placement of trees throughout the park, and believed that by relocating certain trees we could create a more open view of the water. We also expanded the beach to allow more people to use the waterfront.
Another one of the big problems we experienced along the way was the placement of the Skate Park, which was a very popular feature in overall use of the park. It had to be located in such a place that it could be easily viewed by patrolling police officers, and it also had to be distant from the playground. We decided that the best place to put the skate park was right at the entrance of the park. The parking lot could be expanded, and the Skate Park could be placed somewhere within it. The basketball court, currently adjacent to the Skate Park, could be placed somewhere down in the tree line at the north end of the park. The courts posed much less risk of vandalism.
Another big issue was the former snack shack. Would it be more costly to remove the shack, or would it be more costly to renovate it? Our group weighed the different options, and decided that it was in everyone’s best interest to get rid of the old shack. Not only was its foundation beginning to shift, but the asbestos roofing was a hazard. We saw this removal of the shack as a sort of platform for ideas, as it opened up potential to replace it with something better. A newer, more multifunctional space could be put where the old shack was, and that could prove to be a big help to both beachgoers and other users of the park.
The placement of the old bathroom building proved to be quite challenging as well. We knew this was an important issue because it was such an ugly building and it was the first thing you saw upon entering the park. It cluttered the entryway and blocked views of the tree line and foliage. What our team decided to do was to take the bathroom facilities of this building and incorporate them into the new building that was to replace the old snack shack. This, along with the replacement of the basketball court and the skate park, would allow the park to open up to a more natural setting, free of clutter and obstructions.
The final challenge we faced was working with a client for the first time. We now had to get to know the thinking of both the clients and our professor. Their insight into their wants and needs quickly turned into a balancing act. By working with multiple people, we had to learn to work with a set of varying opinions that lead to a new series of challenges every week.


Final Design
In our final designs, we decided to start with an expanded parking lot. Along with that, we could place the Skate Park close to the road to allow for easier oversight, and the basketball court would be placed toward the rear of the park. This meant we could keep the new playground in its same location, next to the upper ball field. The Skate Park would also be fitted with a new roof system that featured photovoltaic panels that could be used to provide some of the energy required to power the new multipurpose building. The lower field would be removed to allow for a space that could be used for special events such as weddings or family reunions. The bathroom facility and the old shack would be torn down, and in place of the old shack, would go a new multipurpose building. The beach could be expanded with more sand to allow for more use. Finally, a pathway made of packed gravel would be arranged throughout the park. The path would be lined with markers, so that people could track their distance, and there would be benches so that they could rest. This path would extend around the park and across the dam system and lead back to town.


What We Learned
We believe that this project did a great job of bringing people together in order to achieve a common goal. The team was fun to be in, as it promoted the exploration of different views from different perspectives. Another fun feature of the project is that it allowed us to work with new design challenges. It’s a breath of fresh air to work with something outside of the normal building system. Finally, we learned how to work with an actual client. It’s nice to hear an opinion from someone who wasn’t an architect. It feels like we are actually working with a real client, rather than for a professor. It feels good to see how our work could actually make a big difference in the lives of the people of Troy. 

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Final PP.pdf1.47 MB