A Park and Parking for Peterborough, NH, 2015
with Landscape Architecture by Misako Murata/LMNOP
At the meeting of the Contoocook River and the Nubanusit Brook, Confluence Park embraces Peterborough’s rich riverine landscape. While the proposal incorporates 60 parking places, it reduces the visual impact of the cars and instead acts as a balcony overlooking the natural landscape. The term ‘confluence’ refers to more than the meeting of the rivers themselves: Conceived as a network of flows (cars, pedestrians, bikes...) and the slowing of these flows, (farmers’ market shoppers, picnickers, audience/performance...) the design facilitates fast currents of movement and slow eddies of social interaction. Paths widen and connect to form larger community “balconies” - one pushed into the hillside and one pulling out towards the river. Negotiating the existing slope, Confluence Park connects the deck level with the parking level by various ramps and stairs, leading to a parking level that is punctuated by light and greenery.
The design allows for a wild and natural walk to continue along the rivers’ edges, planted with native moisture loving and cleansing plants, and includes a small pier for dramatic or cinematic performances, along which a small boat can dock and provide a stage set, and from where the town’s Main Street bridge and wier can be seen.