Sunday, August 2, 2009

Holistic Creekside Design

Team "A" reviews its concept for the Dixon Creek site, June 27, 2009.

For those of you that missed it, AIA-SWO helped produce a successful community design charrette on June 27 in Corvallis. “Our Urban Stream Charrette" focused on Dixon Creek in Corvallis, specifically where it crosses below 9th Street. The goal was the creation of a collaborative design process and a robust vision for the site. The results were shared with the larger community of Corvallis at the da Vinci Days Festival, July 17-19, 2009.

The charrette involved seventeen participants organized into three teams. The challenge to participants was to collaboratively design a vision for specific places. The teams produced designs with many commonalities and differences. From all reports, it was a good process.

There were seven goals for the charrette participants to consider:

  • Improving creek visibility.

  • Increasing transportation alternatives within and throughout the site.

  • Providing infrastructure for local enterprises.

  • Improving water quality and habitat.

  • Creating a variety of transitions from public to semi-public to semi-private to private.

  • Creating an educational landscape that tells a story of Dixon Creek.

  • Creating a neighborhood identity i.e. "Creek Town".

With these objectives as a starting point, the three teams added their own lists of goals based on individual and professional experience. The results were varied, robust visions of and inspirations for a more sustainable future in Corvallis at this diverse and representative site. Organizer Chick Gerke, AIA, says that the event may become a model for a series of urban design workshops in Corvallis. These future charrettes could potentially lead to real plans of action and inspire new visions.

An urban stream concept.

Thanks to the members of the “Corvallis Design Group” for organizing and facilitating the charrette:

Chick Gerke, AIA - Charles R. Gerke, Architect
Lori Stephens, AIA - Broadleaf Architecture
Kristen Anderson - Emerald Forest Architecture
Tony Noble - Noble Urban Design

Thanks too, to Renee Benoit, our AIA-SWO summer practicum student from the University of Oregon, for her assistance with charrette logistics.

Tony Noble explains the results of the charrette to a visitor at da Vinci Days, July 19, 2009.

For more information about the results and to see additional images from the charrette, check out the Holistic Creekside Design Workshop blog at

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