Immediately during conception, questions of a project’s scope and character arise. We have developed a rapid sketch process that looks at conceptual design possibilities offered by the project site. Basic development parameters can be evaluated and established quickly and early in the project. Alternative concepts can be quickly explored. They are critical and effective tools in establishing project scope and determining financial feasibility. This approach garners project team support and confidence in the design concept. Our planning studies often evolve into completed projects with little change from the original concept.

Here are planning concept studies demonstrating the increasing refinement of both the design concept and project parameters. They progress to a point where the concept becomes a hardline design ready for zoning submission, public presentation and civil engineering.

Site planning begins with creative conceptualizing where we evaluate project needs, site configuration, its access, topography, landscape features, drainage and other physical factors. We integrate those with the project’s visual imagery and development objectives to shape a vivid community identity.

Residential design has seen a rise in interest in planning principles advocated by the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU). CNU professes a holistic process that includes architecturally defined community spaces, the creation of “events” within a site, the creation of an identifiable “streetscape” and a strong pedestrian community experience. Such planning stimulates innovative architectural concepts. CNU principles are increasingly effective as project size increases where a variety of densities, a synergistic combination of uses and an increase in choices of transportation more readily evolve into a desirable and sustainable community environment.


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Atkins Circle

A high density residential project of over 400 living units on a site of challenging shape. Circulation was solved by a flowing avenue spine that sweeps into a large loop thus providing comfortable auto and pedestrian circulation while maintaining efficient safety services access. There is no “dead end”. Buildings are deliberately and effectively arranged to create a distinct community identity. The scale of the buildings and their architectural character shape the streetscape corridor. Sidewalks, streetlights and other pedestrian street amenities have created considerable resident use.



















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Age of Steam Roundhouse

An historic industrial recreation where multiple iconic railroad structures are grouped according to a time-tested functional need. Though the steam locomotive is no longer a part of the American railroad industry, it and its support facilities were an ubiquitous part of everyday life for 125 years. This project is an historic live recreation of the placement and sequence of once commonplace steam loco service facilities. The turntable, roundhouse & backshop, water tank and ashpit serve the steamers directly while the storage building and trackage provide space for other historic steam related support equipment and rolling stock. Planning provided for an extensive stormwater management and flood control system including a pond. The water tank provides storage water for the building’s fire protection system as well as for the locomotives. There is space allocated along the service tracks for a future coal fuel supply tipple or coal dock.


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Towne Boulevard

An early concept study that offers and captures an initial planning concept. This study shows a smooth circulation route through the site’s multiple uses. It finds “events”- community spaces – along the way. The plan mitigates the substantial site encumberances of a large utility easement and a stormwater management pond by controlling their impact and, to the greatest extent possible, making an amenity of them. The buildings are arranged along the circulating avenue to create a streetscape and community identity thus stimulating pedestrian activity. Parking is largely screened from the avenue.


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Bayfront Resort

A lakeside single family residential community plan where boat, automobile and pedestrian avenues knit the community. There is a strong sense of arrival, attractive architectural presence, good safety services access and many “events” for each of the boat, the auto and the pedestrian as they circulate through the site. The boat channels become a different kind of village street by fronting homes along them and providing pedestrian walks and useful pedestrian amenities along the way.


























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We worked with Syed Design Group, a design firm in Rosemary Beach, Florida, on this resort community plan which provides a wide variety of home types. A “town center” signals arrival and sets community identity. Homes are oriented to establish a streetscape while screening most parking. The plan integrates a modified grid, stormwater management basins, recreational facilities, neighborhood greens and an irregular, circuitous wetland and nature preserve. The pedestrian finds many “events” occurring as they walk through the neighborhood.






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renderings-2Community Square

A proposed project located on an old city thoroughfare that uses traditional building character to create a street edge and streetscape for the neighborhood. Corners are formed with modern iconic forms and lively commercial graphics. The corners define a private drive with urban pedestrian amenities that leads directly to a large rear parking space. A unique opportunity to share a church parking lot to the rear allowed for wide street front exposure. The result is an attractive commercial development with excellent visibility and convenient access for pedestrian and vehicular customers alike.
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A planned warehouse & business park developed to attract established corporate owners. Our office worked with the developer to prepare sales and zoning drawings and materials. We assisted in determining road configuration, parcel configuration and right-of-way landscape standards. We developed a strong and high quality entry identity which integrates an identity wall, the Citygate logo and the landscaping and lawn space. We assisted in preparation and publishing of the Citygate Design Guidelines which establish quality standards to be followed throughout the park. Park members include USPS, FedEx and Trane.























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Glenn Oaks2013-04-18-BirdsEyeColorCropped3

What does the planner do when presented with a dense multifamily project on a heavily wooded site? Existing wooded areas and their individual trees are very sensitive to changes in their environment. Our solution was to identify the best wooded clusters and establish them as central community greens with little new construction. We then held all intensive development work tightly to the periphery reducing encroachment on the greens. It worked. The main access road approach faces a green and a high proportion of living units face a green while remaining convenient to all the amenities. A few islands on the perimeter were fortuitously large and well enough located to save an existing tree. All factors create a desirable and convenient community.







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Jolly Bay




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