The ACE Design Build team traveled to the Chinese American Service League to host a design charrette for Ping Tom Memorial Park. The design was initially supposed to be for a community garden, but as we split into different teams, new ideas surfaced. Approximately 20 ACE representatives, 10 community members, and multiple designers and park district officials came together for the charrette.
Team Julia focused on working north of the field house, incorporating a picnic and relaxation area into a traditional Chinese garden setting. One of their most innovative proposals was moving the already existing dirt into a cohesive pile to form a physical barrier against the noise pollution of the train and to act as a viewing point for the Chicago skyline.
Wentworth Group also worked north of the field house, deciding to focus their design around programming alternating with the time of day. They also decided to incorporate traditional Chinese aesthetics, as well as designing reversible game surfaces with trellis-type surfaces that were able to compromise the garden idea with the desires of the community members.
THE GREENHOUSE GROUP
The Greenhouse Group formed one design that could be placed in two different parts of the park. They designed a greenhouse and a gazebo, which synergized the Chinese concept of Yin Yang with the community members’ requests for shade and Tai Chi structures.
Team Pagoda focused on a pagoda centered in the area north of the boathouse that had a terraced ornamental garden and a view of the Chicago skyline. (Their idea was, by far, the best. And most liked by everybody.)
MR. YANG’S GROUP
Surprisingly, there was not much support for a community garden from CASL members; most advocated for either an ornamental garden or no garden at all. Dan Cooper, the environmental engineer rep from the park district further stressed the idea of not having a community by telling the team that having edible plants in the area was not recommended, due to the excessive spraying of pesticides
“No farm.” -Everybody