Albion Park Splashpad
Mayor Joe Curtatone of Somerville is on a quest for design excellence. It is his goal to have each of the city’s newly renovated parks be worthy of local and national awards. Weston & Sampson was chosen to assist the city in transforming a 0.9-acre site from a paved wasteland into a vibrant, active space that serves the multi-generational population of the neighborhood and city alike.
Working closely with the community through several public meetings and on-site design workshops, Weston & Sampson’s landscape architecture team developed three different schemes for consideration. The best features of each scheme were combined into a preferred scheme that was ultimately endorsed by the neighbors and nearby business owners.
The redeveloped park takes full advantage of every square foot of space on site and includes a widened public sidewalk with planting and on-street seating, a passive entrance plaza with cafe tables and tree plantings, a multi-sport game court that features modern structures to support basketball, street hockey, and soccer all on the same court, community gardens, swings, and an interactive splash pad surrounded with an arbor and native plantings.
There are active children’s play areas for both 5-12 and 2-5 year-old age groups, which are surrounded by individual play elements, including a seesaw, spring animals, and spinning features. The park’s centerpiece is a raised lawn that is supported by four rows of terraced seating on two sides and gentle slopes on the other two. The lawn can be used for events and picnics and also provides a vantage point of the entire site from the top. The terraced seating has already proven popular for individuals or groups to observe various court games, for community events in the plaza (including the park opening), and for conversation.
The park was dubbed by one city employee to be "the best park this city has ever had."