An elder-housing apartment complex in the Bay Area, Eden Lodge was in need of renovation, with an outmoded and inefficient irrigation system, an excessive area devoted to water-intensive lawn, and a surfeit of common areas for the property’s residents to gather.
We replaced the lawn with a variety of less water- and maintenance-intensive plant materials. We created a variety of areas for folks to gather, in groups large and small. But the biggest difference we made was in the unused yard space around the perimeter of the apartments:
The Vegetable Gardens:
We installed vegetable gardens for the residents around the perimeter of the complex, along with benches, work tables and a compacted gravel floor for safe footing. The vegetable beds are raised 18″ with rims wide enough to permit seating. Although we originally planned on providing automatic irrigation to the garden beds, we discovered that watering the gardens provides a great deal of satisfaction for the residents.
The vegetable gardens are an immense success, and there is a waiting list for garden space. The residents spend long hours puttering in the garden, sitting in the benches to admire the view, or visiting each other’s garden and sharing helpful hints. The gardens provide the residents with exercise, fresh vegetables, and an opportunity for meaningful activity. Many of them agree that the time they spend gardening is the highlight of their day.
The Construction Documents:
Renovations are some of the most complex projects we design. We strive to utilize existing plantings and infrastructure to the extent possible, while focusing our improvements on the areas where they will provide the maximum benefit. Exacting documentation is required to ensure that our design concepts are properly reflected in the final product.