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Springwood Apartments Restoration

Kent, Washington

Landscape Architect/prime :
Architecture :

Vision Plan

Completed 2005

Permeable paving, raingardens, riparian zone education and monitoring

King County Housing Authority

Johnson+Southerland helped KCHA develop a vision plan for renovating and transforming Springwood Apartments--one of their older public housing projects. Very dense with a diverse, low-income population, it was built on the old model of barracks-like apartment blocks set in large green spaces. Soos Creek, an important anadramous fish-bearing stream, runs through the site.

The Vision Plan set in motion the process to transform Springwood Apartments into a social and environmental model project. In addition to remodeling all of the units, the plan envisioned eliminating some buildings to decrease density, enlarging some units to accommodate larger families, changing the buildings to make them more attractive in order to foster a sense of identity and ownership, creating two public play areas [one adjacent to the recreation center that is oriented toward teens and young adults], and developing effective private and public spaces and pedestrian amenities. The project would model innovative storm water management techniques and make a better relationship between the neighborhood and the creek. Specific ideas include permeable paving, raingardens, improving the riparian zone and creating carefully designed, limited access points for education and creek monitoring.

Johnson+Southerland provided a site master plan as well as illustrations for building façade treatment, landscape and storm water concepts.