THE HIVE at Overland Eco-park is an inclusive gathering area that boasts multiple areas to explore. Currently the site is home to a flat 108 acre golf course with a lack of gathering spaces, open spaces and urban transit for the community. Surrounded by the Overland Neighborhood, Santa Fe BLVD and Ruby Hill Park, THE HIVE is a lively affordable collective that’s fun for all ages. The park is an active remediating site for flooding of the South Platte River and the once over irrigated golf course that currently resides there. THE HIVE has interactive wetlands that are made from steel grate paths that allow the users to feel like they’re floating over nature. The affordable housing complexes are graded higher than the wetland so the runoff flows to the middle. The wetlands feed into a cottonwood grove that directly filters pollutants from urban runoff. While meandering through the paths, a food truck area will act as a “hub” or HIVE for gathering and eating with an area of many uses; such as concerts, gatherings, events and festivals.
The site promotes sustainable design through returning to natural processes, planting noninvasive species that remediate the overly fertilized land and promote awareness of the importance of protecting natural areas. In the Southwest corner, a cut and fill of the river to build up a hill will slow down the water flow and allow the natural processes of the riparian zone to take effect. I wanted to promote the aspect of direct bioremediation through phytoextraction, so by building up the land and widening the river, flooding will not affect the surrounding neighborhood and be better controlled. The hill would be used from the cut of the bank to force the water into the built wetlands of the site. I mapped the low points (sand pits) as areas for the wetlands.
In the Northwest side, the gabion structures act as fishing spots, pathways to get across the river or direct access to the river. I designed these to directly remediate water and soil, as the water flows through the structure, it slows and cleanses. Cottonwood whips were added to grow overtime to create an experience during the fall and spring seasons. Secondly, there are tree-bump outs, which are planted in this spot specifically for the benefit the tree has for cleansing polluted soil and its resilience to moist areas. As the water rises and falls, the trees will either float on water or be exposed to an island-like area that people or animals can relax on. Lastly, the phytoextraction floating boxes directly cleanse the water. The fish, micro-organisms, pollutants and plants work together enhancing photosynthesis and producing more oxygen in the air and water to create less dead zones. Overall, this is a bioremediation project that can be used on any river to help slow the flow to cleanse the pollutants out of the water for a better city system.