The goal of this project was to design a garden that preserves and celebrates the rich history of the Arts Center building, while providing a venue to host performances and special events for the community. Bayer Becker provided a full range of design services from master planning through construction implementation.
The existing site posed several challenges. There were several primary utility lines that serve both the Arts Center and the surrounding properties. Bayer Becker carefully crafted a master plan that explored a number of ways to provide the desired improvements for the garden and associated parking lot, while minimizing the financial impact of relocating or disturbing these utilities. Our team also discovered an abandoned utility tunnel on the site that bisected the proposed parking lot. The stormwater system was designed to minimize the impact on the tunnel while providing effective stormwater management. The system utilized bioswales to mitigate some of the stormwater runoff. Additionally, the service ramp to the building was removed and required careful coordination to fill in the vacant ramp space against the brick façade of the historic structure.
The final garden design includes a Gnothi Seauton inspired garden, a Greek aphorism calling one to “know thyself,” honoring Joe Neyer. A memorial to Joe’s contributions to make the garden a reality, it serves as a community space for meditation and teaching.
With an office in Oxford, our team has had a strong relationship with the City of Oxford for decades that contributed to our success on this project. Our knowledge of the City’s requirements, our experience with State Permitting reviews, and our relationships with contractors helped keep the Arts Center on budget and on schedule through construction.