The Reading Garden
1 Sculptural Gates at One of the Garden Entrances
2 Eye-Catching Quotes En Route to the Garden
Lowry Redevelopment Authority
3 Grand Opening of the Garden in June 2005
As the design team began to create a system of parks and
public spaces for the 180-acre northwest quadrant of the
Lowry community, they discovered a small parcel that
transitions from a residential area to office buildings. They
proposed making the area into a hinge that would help
draw people to the town center and help encourage them to
circulate throughout the community.
The design produced a park and plaza with a wealth of
sculptural forms, a host of literary quotes and several
sculptures from Lowry board members’ own gardens. This
intimate space is cut by a formal walkway running east-west
and a more natural path that crosses north-south.
Landforms, plant materials and hardscape differentiate a
story-time area, a cluster of individual reading nooks and
a tiny amphitheater arranged around a central gathering
plaza, whose seating walls are embossed with book-like
shapes on which residents can have the names of their
favorite novels etched. The walls, lawn and walkways are
graced with quotes.
Because of utility easements that prohibit the planting of
trees on the western half of the site, the plaza is shaded by
large metal canopies. These are stenciled with the word
“READING,” allowing sunlight to silhouette the word on
the plaza floor, while the word “GARDEN” emerges from
the ground in three-dimensional stone letters in a sub-stantial
bench that is also an impromptu stage. The grassy
hillside to the north, which slopes down on three sides of
the plaza, creates an audience space for this stage.
The park opened to accolades from both residents and visi-tors
in June 2005.
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