August 17, 2021
When we consider amenities for designing multi-family complexes, the focus lies typically with the “indoor spaces,” but what about outdoor spaces? How to make the best use of the entire site to improve the quality of life of residents? The awkward patches of grass and filthy fenced-in gravel patches they call dog parks say we could do better.
We can start by studying what people like to do outside. In different climates, this may be difficult to answer broadly, but more specifically, what Coloradans like to do outside. Such as hiking paths that snake around the complex and serve as a greenscape setback on the site giving residents an oasis-like setting for their home. Colorado is ranked the fittest state in the country so providing designating cycling lanes and interstitial HIIT equipment along a path would be appreciated.
Colorado is well Known for its natural beauty; however, the reality is that 6-9 months out of the year it’s covered in snow and that should not be ignored. Most outdoor spaces are catered to warmer climates. Here pools are drained in winter and sure; the ice might get you down a jungle gym slide a lot faster, but it won’t help with prying frozen fingers off the monkey bars.
Now, I’m all for curling up under a giant blanket and binging all 6 episodes of Star Wars (Yes, there are only 6), but when I do it out of necessity rather than preference, it loses its charm. To do that in a heated seating area outside, on a projector screen, would be a great amenity to offer residents. meant for sledding. Parents could teach their kids beginner skiing and in the summer the hill is a spot to watch your dogs play.
There is no doubt that every time there is a heavy snowfall, someone in my community will go outside and build a snowman on the top of the mountain. What if we embraced this and set this man up with a snowman building station? Rounded equipment for forming snow and a platform to display his masterpiece. We could do the same for igloos or even set up a battleground for snowball fights. It’s time to stop pandering to the summertime bullies that say its only enjoyable to go outside when its warm.
Dana’s architectural journey began at a young age helping her family build homes. She continued her passion for hands-on application at the University of Arizona where she received her B.Arch. Driven by minimalism and function, she designs with the comfort and logic of the client being most important.