News

Protecting the Land & Water Conservation Fund at Fisher Hill

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Congressman Joe Kennedy, the Environmental League of MassachusettsMass AudubonThe Nature Conservancy and other organizations were at Fisher Hill Reservoir Park last night discussing the importance of protecting our natural spaces for future generations through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The LWCF is set to expire later this year unless Congress acts to fund the program. We are honored he chose this spot  - a park we designed and which benefitted from some LWCF dollars - to speak about the importance of LWCF.

Learn more about the initiative through the Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition.

Two KMDG Projects Awarded by BSLA

We are excited to announce that the Boston Society of Landscape Architects has honored KMDG with two design awards. Both Fisher Hill Reservoir Park and Suffolk University’s Roemer Plaza have won Merit Awards for Design.

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Fisher Hill Reservoir Park
The project captured an important opportunity to transform an abandoned piece of public infrastructure into a public park for passive and active recreation. The distinctive landforms and architecture of this former Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) facility were retained and integrated into a park serving new functions.

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"love that the topography was kept as a repurposed landscape remnant." -bsla jury

Elements such as a wall and topographic marker indicating the high-water mark, allow visitors to experience ‘plunging’ into the former watersheet of the full reservoir.  Granite pavers with a carved map of the state-wide water supply system, of which the reservoir was a part, help contextualize this place in the state and neighborhood, and illustrate how our water resources are still delivered. The fully accessible path network allows universal access to the various artful play elements, prospect points, and diverse, native, woodland and meadow plantings that give the park scale, seasonal interest, and ensure a rich botanical future.

See more of the project here.
 

Roemer Plaza at Suffolk University
The redesigned Roemer Plaza transformed an underutilized 1960s era open space into a multi-functional, university plaza, that provides flexible circulation and much needed campus gathering spaces within a tight urban fabric. When Suffolk University purchased Massachusetts’s Metropolitan District Commission’s (MDC) property on Boston’s historic Beacon Hill, their proposed new building presented the design team an opportunity to re-envision the adjacent run-down plaza.

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"the human scale of the space and careful three dimensional study of the stair and terracing are well done, adding a lot of value to this space." -bsla jury

 

 

Identifying the need for a campus identity and connectivity through this space, the design approach addressed the topographical and structural constraints of the site. With the plaza sited above an existing structure, the design features an amphitheater of stairs and seating that reconnects the existing upper and lower plaza levels to facilitate stronger circulation and provide a seating/stage relationship that allows Suffolk University to hold outdoor campus events. Pockets for plantings were carefully coordinated to work with the existing structural loads. Our commemoration strategy focused on the great places that are a result of the MDC. Eighty MDC place names are raised from a black granite plinth centered in the plaza. In addition to the plinth, panels standing 12’ tall and 175’ long, exhibit historic maps, plans and photographs highlighting important MDC projects around the greater Boston area.

See more of the project here.

Fisher Hill wins BSA Honor Award

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Congratulations to Touloukian Touloukian and team for winning a 2017 BSA Honor Award for Design Excellence for the Fisher Hill Reservoir Gatehouse and Comfort Station.

View looking across the reservoir at the historic gatehouse. Both the Reservoir and Gatehouse were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.  

View looking across the reservoir at the historic gatehouse. Both the Reservoir and Gatehouse were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.  

Looking across a bioretention basin at the Touloukian Touloukian designed comfort station. 

Looking across a bioretention basin at the Touloukian Touloukian designed comfort station. 

Saving Places: Fisher Hill Reservoir Park

Check out the recent National Trust for Historic Preservation article on Saving Places featuring Fisher Hill Reservoir Park. The article describes the work by Touloukian Touloukian that went into preserving the historic gatehouse from studying existing buildings built by the architect of the gatehouse, Arthur Vinal, to the details of matching paint colors and the spacing of muntins. Read the full article here

 

Precast Award for Excellence

Fisher Hill Reservoir Park picked up its second award! The Architectural Precast Association selected the precast water feature at Fisher Hill for their Awards for Excellence

Precast water feature being set and positioned on the original Fisher Hill Reservoir berm

Precast water feature being set and positioned on the original Fisher Hill Reservoir berm

The project demonstrates thoughtfulness in both design and context, as well as in execution of craft.
— APA Jury

The idea behind the inclusion of a water feature at the park is to reinforce the fact and connection that this park was once a functioning reservoir. One of the driving forces of the design was to create a water feature that could stand alone as a sculptural element when there is no running water. The design features four different precast finishes set on different planes. The idea behind the different finishes and planes is to observe how water responds to the piece, creating ripples and catching light in distinct ways. The water feature sits to one side of the main promenade with a gentle slope into the moving water flow which allows kids to easily engage with the piece.

Two Projects, Two Wins

We are excited to announce two of our projects were among the winners at this year’s American Institute of Architects (AIA) New England Design Awards! Our recognized projects were Suffolk University’s Roemer Plaza and Fisher Hill Reservoir Park.  

Roemer Plaza – AIA NE Citation Award for Institutional work

Roemer Plaza – AIA NE Citation Award for Institutional work

Roemer Plaza at Suffolk Universty’s Beacon Hill campus was an underutilized, disconnected space situated above a parking garage and divided into two parts by a 14’ grade change. The plaza was transformed to a continuous public open space with a forecourt for nearby state office buildings and an exterior classroom for the university.

Fisher Hill Reservoir Park – AIA NE Merit Award for Historic Preservation + Adaptive Reuse* 

Fisher Hill Reservoir Park – AIA NE Merit Award for Historic Preservation + Adaptive Reuse* 

Fisher Hill Reservoir Park was a KMDG design that preserved the important historic reference points on Fisher Hill by keeping the reservoir’s earth structure and historic gatehouse. Our partners Touloukian Touloukian won for Historic Preservation + Adaptive Reuse for the work to preserve the gatehouse at Fisher Hill Reservoir Park. Congratulations Ted Touloukian and team!

Click Roemer Plaza and Fisher Hill Reservoir Park for more information on our projects.  

*Touloukian Touloukian's work at Fisher Hill Reservoir Park won for Historic Preservation + Adaptive Reuse

PLANTING AND CONSTRUCTION AT FISHER HILL

Spring planting is happening at Fisher Hill Reservoir Park in Brookline! Plugs of a wide mix of perennial grasses and flowering plants are being planted in the wet meadow and the bioswale which edges the parking lot. And, we’re seeing the results of fall planting : a walk around the woodland path reveals early blooming Amelanchier (shad bush) drifting along the back side of the embankment. Furnishings are also being installed on the Promenade.

More information about the project can be found HERE.

Fall Color At Fisher Hill

Fisher Hill Reservoir Park is really starting to take shape.  Below are a series of photos from construction over the past month while the foliage was really popping.

For more information on the Fisher Hill, see our project page.

Construction

There has been a lot of progress at Fisher Hill this summer.  Planting is in full force, and the site work including grading and concrete is coming along nicely.

At Roemer Plaza, planting has been completed, concrete work is nearing completion and paving is well under-way.

Click to expand the images and for additional info.

Construction

It has been a busy summer of building. Below are some photos from a few of the projects in various phases of construction. Click to expand the images and for additional info.

Field-Trip-Friday To Northern Design Precast

 

Furthering progress for Fisher Hill Reservoir Park, we took a trip up to Northern Design Precast in Loudon, NH, where they're preparing a mock-up for our 80' precast concrete water feature on the park's promenade.  We've used four different surface treatments: light acid etch, medium sandblast, heavy sandblast and a custom corrugation to help guide and channel the water.

More info on Fisher Hill Reservoir Park.