2022 GFD 🏆 Awards

Gold Winner | Twin Oaks Community Garden | ISTUDIO Architects

One challenge often found in developing urban public spaces is finding space.  An overgrown, pest infested hillside overlooking a soccer field was transformed into a verdant community garden. Design challenges included errant soccer balls, shadows of tress and difficult accessibility requirements on the steep slope.  The team solved the complex network of challenges by intersecting concrete walls, forming terraces of garden plots with a winding pathway, anchored by two colorful gates and a pavilion at three corners of the site.

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Gold 🏆 Winner
Global Future Design Awards 2022

Twin Oaks Community Garden
Public Landscape Architecture (Built)

ISTUDIO Architects

Rick Schneider

Design Team
Rick Schneider

1390 Taylor Street NW, Washington, DC 20011

United States

©Dan Snook Photography

A concrete pathway provides firm footing for ADA access and gardeners with wheelbarrows.  Each run is gently sloped across the grade, connecting to the straight-run stair at the switchbacks. Garden beds of various heights and depths are designed to be accessible by gardeners of all sizes and abilities. Areas along the path accommodate beekeeping, compost piles, and a greenhouse.

A plane of greenery is lifted above the lower terrace, visible from the upper terraces, appearing like a piece of terrace raised on steel struts.  The pavilion is carefully sited between the drip line of the tall oaks at the top of a steep slope overlooking the baseball field.  The planted roof slows down rainwater runoff, filter particulates, and reduce the urban heat island effect.  The pavilion becomes an artful lesson in smart storm water management.  The pointed corner is a place of prospect that overlooks the surrounding neighborhood.