Returning to Peru is always a great experience which brings back a flood of memories of adventures and misadventures during the Peace Corps. I had a few days in Lima to shop in the organized chaos that is the Malvinas market, getting quotes for various materials we want to use in the park. I took advantage of my time in Lima by getting reacquainted with the delicious cuisine, visiting Panchita frequently to eat my favorite dishes (Tacu Tacu Lomo Saltado, Aji de Gallina, Ceviche to name a few)
Then it was off to Puente Piedra. I do not have much time here, and there is a lot to be done. Our first priority was to refine the design of the park making sure we were within budget. The first visit to the project site in Eliseo Collazos was jarring. All of those topographic lines on our plan did not quite convey the drastic change in height from the soccer platform to the road, the locations for our park terraces.
In the following days, Jorge Alarcon (Coco) and I surveyed the site to verify that our plans were accurate and to get a realistic idea of how large the soccer pad could be, while leaving room for water storage tanks. It was a great learning experience for me, where I could employ the 3, 4, 5, triangle technique I learned in Design/Build at a larger scale to make precise, square marks in the sand.
The next Sunday meeting, we presented a schematic plan to the community, soliciting more feedback about priorities and realistic expectations of our modest budget. They seemed to understand that things like bathrooms and playground structures may have to happen in Phase 2 down the road, but we will design open spaces on the plan for the additional programs to be developed in the future.
Sadly, Coco had to leave us for his floating gardens project in Iquitos, but I did not have to wait long until Brian Gerich and Ben Spencer (designers of Architects Without Borders-Seattle) arrived to help conduct additional surveys to measure the change in height using a hose, water, string and string levels. Who needs fancy surveying equipment? Not us!
With the necessary data gathered, and we were able to being meeting with local contractors to get quotes for project. I never thought my first contractor/architect conversations would be in Spanish, but with Ben and Brian’s experience we were able to move onto the next phase.
The quotes came in, and we refined the design to fit the budget. At this point, we were able to show some basic images of the project to the community for their final sign off. I worked some SketchUp magic over sight photos and produced these renderings.
We are in the process of writing up a contract, and hope to start construction on Monday, August 15! It has been a fun process and the community is very excited for their improved public space. Now that the infrastructure is set, our next step is choosing the types of plants they would like to grow, developing the Fog Water Farms/Park into an enticing green amenity to the quickly developing community of Eliseo Collazos. Stay tuned!