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Chestnut Way Pedestrian Corridor
Located in Quincy, Mass.

Landscape Architecture by Michael Blier, FASLA, Landworks Studio, Inc.

Chestnut Way Pedestrian Corridor

Suspended lights form a ceiling over this section of Chestnut Way in Quincy, Mass., allowing the space to serve multiple functions during the evening hours. The 24,000-square-foot streetscape was completed in 2016 and was designed by landscape architectural firm Landworks Studio, Inc., a 22-year-old firm headquartered in Boston.

Chestnut Way Pedestrian Corridor

This is a pocket park, or parkette, located in the center of the city block. The tree canopy and wood screen wall, which is comprised of Parker composite panels of reclaimed wood (Wonderwall Studios), helps add privacy, defines the area as a small park and adds texture to the courtyard. Several benches were added to this part of the streetscape to offer respite to pedestrians under the shady trees.

Chestnut Way Pedestrian Corridor

Illuminant security bollards and festive bulb lights (California Accent Lighting) help demarcate this area of the street as a separate zone and provide safety at night. The flush curbs, bollards and continuity of paving bands allow the street to transform from roadway to entertainment center.

The "West of Chestnut" apartment buildings that flank the project are located next to the historic office building of the Granite Trust Company. Trying to be respectful of the Granite Trust building and the downtown city environment, the West of Chestnut project turned its focus inward and began development of a new pedestrian corridor named "Chestnut Way."
The lead architectural firm for the project, Landworks Studio of Boston, made many explorations into blurring the bounds between public and private interests and looked into a mechanism for establishing more integrated and dynamic urban spaces. To do this, buildings establish the block's perimeter, while Chestnut Way allows an urban connection that enlivens the center of the block.
Entryways to the two apartment complex buildings were placed in the newly formed Chestnut Way, a wonderfully appointed alleyway sandwiched between the Granite Trust building and the project's Chestnut Building. These entries are on either side of the roadway and provide opportunities for sitting with neighbors or waiting for visitors.

Chestnut Way helps the interior court, located in the heart of Quincy, feel miles away from the active city happenings. This is primarily done by the lighting, as it helps delineate Chestnut Way as a separate, more intimate zone of the city. The catenary lights (Marketlite Series by California Accent Lighting) form a ceiling over a section of the street and denote it as a multi-functional space rather than a normal street.
As the street paving transitions to concrete unit paving (Hanover's Prest Brick), laid in tri-color, large format, irregular bands, the sounds and bustles of the city are left behind and this relatively small, urban oasis presents varied opportunities for public and private use. Flush curbs and continuity of pavers allow the street to transform for multiple functions and eliminate the worry of tripping over a curb. The paving striations add interest to the floor of the space by breaking up the monotony of an otherwise regular street blacktop.

The tree-lined exit drive onto Hancock Street passes under the Hancock Building portal and transitions back into the city fabric. Cast-in-place concrete sidewalks, large shade tree planters and furnishings amend the entire perimeter, setting the stage for the remaining phases of this downtown Quincy redevelopment. The winding corten steel tree grates (Iron Age) integrate with the pavers to provide generous width for pedestrian use of the sidewalk. The tree grates meander down the sidewalk, with the slot pattern continuing the paving pattern.

Chestnut Way Pedestrian Corridor

This courtyard provides opportunity for all sorts of interactions like: gaming, eating and socializing, all of which can take place in close proximity to the double-sided fireplace. The 800-square-foot section of artificial turf provides opportunity for sunbathers, and contrasts the corten steel planters and wood screen wall located close by.

Chestnut Way Pedestrian Corridor

Zigzagging tree grates, also made of corten steel (Iron Age), twist down the sidewalk, as their slot pattern continues in the same direction as the paver pattern. These striations are meant to add interest to the floor of the space while simultaneously offering ample space for pedestrian use of the sidewalk. Honey Locust trees were planted in the grates.

Chestnut Way Pedestrian Corridor

This is an initial concept sketch of Chestnut Way by the landscape architect. Many aspects were considered regarding how to skew the traditional bounds between public and private interests while providing simultaniously a space that accommodates both.

Street trees and large, multi-stemmed shrubs were planted in the corten steel planters (Planterworx Inc.) to provide shade. The angular planters form interesting routes through the plaza and help make the residence's main entry more private. The warm color of the corten steel planters also helps to complement the building's exterior.

A new parkette, situated right off Chestnut Way, was also incorporated into the project. The small 1,600-square-foot public park is filled with trees, bike racks (Streetlife) and benches (Streetlife in Solitude model) and creates a welcome respite for the downtown shopper. Furthermore, this pocket park provides a wonderful opportunity for local office workers to sit and eat during warmer weather, or for nearby residents to simply enjoy the outdoors. The tree canopy and wood screen wall help to enclose the parkette from the rest of Chestnut Way, and visitor parking is nestled nearby.

Another new section of Chestnut Way is a 2,600-square-foot courtyard that is located immediately adjacent to the apartment building's lobby and the Club Room. Here, doorways open to allow indoor / outdoor yoga classes, mixers and general lounging. A double-sided fireplace shares the west wall of the courtyard, while a fire pit provides a second opportunity for three season gatherings. An outdoor kitchen, with accessible food preparation counters and barbeques, fronts the south wall of the courtyard. The entire courtyard is sided by panels of wood (Parker composite panels of reclaimed wood by Wonderwall Studios) that add interesting texture to
the enclosure.
The green carpet, warm corner fireplace (Raw Urth's Telluride model), comfortable furniture and grilling kitchen make the courtyard a great place to entertain and relax. Another great gathering spot is the lounge area at the double-sided fireplace. Overall, the courtyard provides opportunity for all sorts of interactions.

Chestnut Way Pedestrian Corridor

Chestnut Way Pedestrian Corridor

Located in the center of the city, the new Chestnut Way pedestrian corridor and parkette aim to rejuvenate the metropolitan area and establish links for the block's perimeter by providing a connector between Hancock Street and Chestnut Street. Being surrounded by shops and restaurants, Chestnut Way lends itself as a place for social engagements and gatherings in the heart of Quincy.

Chestnut Way Pedestrian Corridor

The diagonal lines of the angular corten steel planters (Planterworx Inc.), contrast with the horizontality of the wood panel walls and the pavers. Placed sporadically, the planters form interesting routes into and through the plaza, as Common Bugleweed and Apple Serviceberry plants grow from them.

In the rear corner of the site, the 1,300-square-foot dog park affords tenants
and local dog owners the opportunity for mingling and exercising their dogs. Furnishings include Murdock's Pet Fountain and Dogipot's Pet Station for convenient waste removal.

With the city of Quincy undergoing a massive redevelopment plan that is estimated to cost millions and finish in several years, the already completed Chestnut way offers the heart of the city a multi-functional and contemplative pedestrian corridor that accommodates apartment residents, local workers and tourists alike.

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June 18, 2019, 9:06 pm PDT

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