Landscape Architectural project
Creating a new space
Student input sought in special landscape project
Students from all different disciplines had an opportunity to develop their creative sides when they designed plans for how to renovate an interior courtyard in Building C on the campus of the Center for Career Services.
CLARB, Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Board Certified Landscape Architect Gregory Mercurio, of Carriage House Designs in Valhalla, worked with students during a two-day workshop.
On the first day Mr. Mercurio shared with students what an Architectural Landscaper is, what type of education and certifications are required and suggestions on how they can get started on thinking about the space. He also briefly discussed the history of courtyards and how they’ve been used in the past.
Students and their mentor also visited the campus courtyard to see for themselves the current conditions and to take measurements.
While there, students from the Animal Science program, and their chinchilla, stopped in to explain further what they hoped would be incorporated as part of the design.
Presently the courtyard has an asphalt floor, an old picnic table and a few planters, not all of which have plants growing in them.
The goal is for students to design a space where animals from the nearby Animal Science lab can be safely brought to get some exercise, and also be a space that students can enjoy. Requirements for the site include flooring material that can be easily cleaned, a koi pond, seating, a hose, storage area for cleaning supplies and raised bed planters.
Animal Science student Miranda Reynolds, said she hoped there could be a floor surface that would be easy to clean and reminded participants that rabbits will eat anything. She also envisioned the koi pond having seating around it for students to enjoy. She also thought adding a mesh covering over the top of the courtyard would be a good idea, so any birds brought out could not fly off.
Martin Varges, a senior at New Rochelle High School, is studying Architecture and Interior Design and currently works for a landscaper.
He signed up for the project with ideas on what types of plants to use and perhaps adding some grasses as well, he said.
“I always pass by there, and I always look out and see it so empty,” Certified Nursing Assistant student Janice Rodriguez said. “I wondered if they could do something good with the space.”
She decided to try her hand at submitting a design because she said she loves plants and would like to see more in the space.
“I didn’t know what it entailed until I got here,” Jalen Bridges, a fellow Certified Nursing Assistant student said, when she signed up to participate.
After learning more from Mr. Mercurio and thinking about the times she played Sims 4, a simulation design game, she thought she could contribute to the project.
Jalen said she wanted to include a pond in her design and admitted she was puzzled on how to also create a space that could accommodate birds.
José Rodriguez, a senior at Port Chester High School and an architecture student, joined the project during the second workshop.
“I’m just a very hands-on person,” José said. “It seemed like a good opportunity to learn something and understand what I am getting into,” he said of coming up with a design of his own. He will be attending SUNY Delhi in the fall and plans to study architecture.
Upon seeing the courtyard space, José quickly had some ideas. He suggested adding some birdhouses or perches between the brick wall that divides the first and second floors of the building.
“Bird perches with decorative vines around would make it look nice,” he said.
He also thought of adding a small animal house, or a pigeon coop to the space. It would be a shelter for smaller animals to use when out there.
Later in the session, José and Miranda shared more ideas.