Offshoots is creating a native contextual landscape for this proposed LEED platinum project for a net-zero neighborhood in West Roxbury with Merge Architects and Wondergroup.
The buildings are a contemporary take on the local vernacular, utilizing the gable roof as an architectural component and shared community spaces for more interaction. The existing site is a disturbed landscape, once formerly clear-cut farmland and now two acres of mostly invasive, non-native undergrowth with young canopy trees. Because of the property’s adjacency to Allandale Woods, the project prioritizes new ecological and pedestrian connections through the site. Existing trees are preserved wherever possible, especially along Allandale Road where a 20’ wide buffer of existing trees along the roadway will be maintained. Each unit is connected to the shared street with a pervious paver driveway that will help to recharge stormwater.
Bioswales and vegetated rain gardens will line the paved areas where possible, and multiple small scale stormwater treatment sites will be created to both retain and filter water. All landscaped areas will be designed with native plants, creating new habitat and an ecological seed bank for the adjacent Allandale Woods. The site will be landscaped with primarily native species; only very small lawns with vegetable gardening areas have been provided for individual unit owners and no areas of grass are included in common areas. These strategies will not only provide ecological benefit, but will minimize garden maintenance and water requirements to create a long term self-sustaining landscape.