Due to its unique location with nearly a mile of coastal access onto the Narragansett Bay, Rocky Point Park has incredible views. Due to its stunning views, I want to create a new entrance sequence that will highlight and manipulate the viewing corridors for the biggest "WOW" moment. I investigated the most appropriate entrance location due to its ecological impact, its conspicuousness, its current canopy cover, and its potential to create desired viewing corridors. I chose the northern entrance, but in order to get the desired effect, it will need to be re-engineered with a double entrance, wider streets where appropriate, and more comfortable turning radii, along with a changing paving surface when reduced speed is wanted. As a car enters, they are brought into a subtlety designed landscape. The trees canopy is manipulated to unfold as viewsheds emerge. As a car approaches the first "S" curve, the paving changes from a solid asphalt to broken up asphalt, creating a threshold. The road narrows as it becomes a one way street which in turn will slow a cars arrival to the first pixelated viewshed toward the ocean at a rough 30 degrees. The initial view is to get the visitor a sense of arrival and excitement but not completely quench curiosity nor give a full reveal of what Rocky Point has to offer. The second "S" curve gives a little more reveal with a 60 degree reveal toward the open lawns, arch, and bay; however, it is still a fragmented view due to specific locations for predetermined species of trees. Finally, as a car approaches the last slight curve in the road, it opens up to the full 120 degree reveal of the entire bosom of Rocky Point. This location offers uninterrupted views towards the bay in three distinct locations as well as views onto the mysterious coastal shrubland, the expansive meadow, and onto the historical relics like the Arch, the Skyliner, and the Swing.
The historical relics are iconic mementos of the Amusement Park. They act as markers and sentinels, watching over the beloved landscape and guarding the way of its visitors. The Arch acts as the supreme sentinel and most distinguished marker. An arch as an architectural element can have powerful influence on experience, views, spatial relationships, as well as a sense of arrival, threshold, or frame. To further develop the WOW moment in the entrance sequence, specific tree species have been selected like White Oak, American Elm, and Red Cedar for their unique limb structure, they're native to Rhode Island, and tolerant of coastal conditions. Trees where designated along the entry sequence at different intervals to express different sizes of an arch that unfold as a viewshed emerges. Therefore, the width of the viewing corridor is manipulated and the height as well by designing tree type and location. The Arch as a marker and sentinel also engenders the idea of a series of simple, smaller architectural arches to designate entrances to paths, inform thresholds, frame views, and aid as markers for wayfinding. Identified as sentinels, the size and shape of the arch may also inform the type of canopy cover that will exist as a visitor walks along a path in designated areas. These areas are determined by their unique vegetation, canopy cover, topology, views, and programmatic elements available within them.
The topography is dynamic and expressive. Subtle slopes circle about large rock protrusions that erupt from its ancient and arcane origins. The characteristics of upheaval and protrusion that these formations elucidate are also found within a new context of a more contemporary history. The large parking lot from when Rocky Point Park was used by thousands for amusement remains a scare on the landscape. However, through natural processes of time and weathering, it shows signs of cracking and deterioration. Instead of rocks up heaving and protruding, grasses and shrubs emerge, furthering its deterioration and eminent failure. Despite the parking lot and rock formation's appearance of rigidity and immortality, the landforms show signs of weakness and degradation. The transformation from rigid to smooth, hard to soft, compact to broken elucidate the realities of a resilient and ever changing landscape. I want to adapt these ideas of upheaval and transformation to an overall framework within Rocky Point. Wherever a threshold indicating movement exists, there will be signs of upheaval, whether that is through cracked concrete, flagstones, or paver. Movement thresholds relate to places of speed reduction, areas of programmatic shifts, and when a path crosses from one type of landscape into another.
Rocky Point is an inherent natural playscape. Using the definitions of a natural playground and playscape, a new hybrid emerged - an adventure playscape. An adventure playscape is one that repurposes industrial parts or relics for new and innovative uses while allowing all forms of recreation within a natural setting. I sought to create a framework based on these fundamental principles of an adventure playscape- eat, play, relax. Do conduct the methodology of design, I drafted rules of operation that would guide and determine design decisions. They are as follows:
Multiply the usability of existing industrial parts
Add unique structures/materials/areas
Subtract unnecessary man-made components
Divide by an ecological sensitivity
The final framework of the design feature a new and revitalized entry location and sequence, primary and overflow parking, new vehicular and pedestrian circulation, new division of beach functions, a restored tidal marsh, and new amenities like a restaurant, W.E.T.lab, picnic areas, performance area, and observatory.