We began this design process with several visits to the site and surrounding areas. Two partners and one project leader from our office have visited the site and surrounding area three times each.
We were instantly convinced that in order to animate and reinvigorate the waterfront we would need to facilitate a pedestrian community independent of automobile traffic. In order to do this we need to increase the regular foot traffic in the area by adding density. Rather than blocking out the existing strengths of the area, we strongly believe that by adding density we are adding connectivity to the surrounding areas, stitching together the last fragments of the South Riverwalk with human activity, making it even more livable than it currently is.
The Rain Tree
Preserving the Rain tree is very important to Marina Lofts, and we accomplish this by relocating it to the south end of the Eastern Parcel, and re-frame it as a centerpiece to a south-facing Rain Tree park. We have consulted leading experts that have assured us that this is a safe procedure even if it is costly – and we have secured that this is an expense that Cymbal is committed to carry as a cornerstone of Marina Lofts as this tree is crucial to us, the client and the community.
Existing boat storage remains intact, with boating activities that easily pass back and forth beneath the legs of the Eastern building.
The Street Life
On the ground floor of each development we have provided as much retail and live/work space as possible to make the pedestrian experience as engaging and attractive as possible.
It has been brought to our attention by a few people that our current design seems to have too little green, and even though the anticipated life will require some paved surfaces we believe it would only enhance the design intent to strengthen the lushness of landscape and increase the amount of green surfaces – horizontally as well as vertically. We are in fact working on this right now.
We hope this serves to clarify our intentions for the Marina Lofts along the New River. It is our hope to strengthen the design as we go along by continual incorporating feedback into the design.
The big ambition w Marina Lofts is to provide a new urban neighborhood w a livelier public realm that fuses urban density and green landscape in a new hybrid landscape and architecture.