An urban oasis within a dense historic neighborhood, Somerset is a neighborhood bar with a series of vibrant gardens that provide transport from the everyday. The site was acquired from under unique conditions placed upon its development: the parcel must be used as a public greenspace for the enhancement of the surrounding community. In a nod to the owner’s late father, Somerset, was built using authentic & interesting materials/objects from around the world, all directly sourced, the goal being to help reinforce the feeling of being ‘elsewhere’ and inspire people to develop and fuel greater interest in distant cultures.
Pulling inspiration from the meandering tradition of the English garden, a playful walk was laid out with strategically placed follies, tufts of tropical foliage, and selective vistas through the site. The collection of imports were curated & used to populate the gardens, creating secluded areas amongst a bricolage of occurrence.
A utilitarian conservatory designed as an “anti-building” is perforated by a series of french doors and a sheltering glass roof; blurring the physical structure. The addition bifurcates the entire site; scaling down the lush gardens into microcosms of program. The gardens sweep under shaded trellises and into the conservatory, forming a continuum of worldly space. Somerset is meant to feel like it’s always been here, and like a welcoming home, to anyone & everyone who shares in its curiosity and spirit.
Landscape Architecture & Community Planning – Implementation