Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It all comes down to space

I love this photo. It's from a planning workshop I participated in today for a new community we are creating called Waterset in Tampa, Florida. We've looked at and re-worked land plans on this site for the past number of years while waiting for the right time to bring this new community to market. Small scale land plans. Large scale land plans. Different configurations of the same land plan. Color ones. And others in black and white.

We've studied the product mix and changed it to evolve with changing buyer needs, re-re-re-drawing the land plan based on what the market and buyer research told us. All the while, we had assumed the siting of homes on one of the main connector streets, adjacent to what could be either model homes or potentially builder spec homes. All the while, assuming the houses lined up a certain way along the block.

It wasn't until today, when our team of architects and planners gave us the to scale model and little wooden houses that new ways of looking at this piece of land we've studied over and over emerged. The simple "tweak" of a few homes creates a special place at the end of a block. This creates a special view and sight lines that make what we've been working on without it all make sense.

Just like back in the day when much of my time was spent creating marketing collateral and I would make myself a smaller scale paper mock-up (hand-folded and held together by simple staples most often) before I wrote a word of the copy, today I was reminded again about the power of space, and the things we can see when we play with real models in the physical world.

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