Dog Park Site Intervention
This project was designed for my Objects in Spaces class where we were tasked with introducing an object into an existing space. My chosen site was the Norwood Estate Dog Park, and my intervention is a dog pool.
To begin, I visited the site and took pictures of the area, documenting things like geography, current assets, parking, and traffic. I conducted desk research on the neighborhood and surrounding area and found that the park was located in Travis Heights, one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Austin. It is a residential area and has little to no commerce.
Visits averaged 45 minutes in the evenings on weekdays and in the morning on weekends. There is street parking and it is accessible by car, bike, or foot.
The terrain has a lot of open spaces despite having many leafy trees averaging 30 ft in height. Despite these trees, the ground receives a lot of sunshine and can become very hot and dry during the day. There is also an unfinished trail lined with fencing on both sides along the top of the park that leads to a large pile of dirt.
The existing method to fight the heat for the dogs is a host from the ground that results in a sloppy, muddy mess. Reviews have found that despite the number of water bowls lying around, there never seems to be water at the park. The few bowls there are provided are dirty and scattered, and visitors end up preferring to bring their own.
The biggest problem with this park seems to be with the lack of available water. Texas summers can be brutal and dogs are only that much more prone to heat stroke. My proposal is to introduce a pool for the dogs to play and cool off in.
I looked at precedents and the top dog parks in America to figure out what the standard ought to be. I created a mind map of what I felt was important to this project and what I wanted it to do. I figured this pool would need to be enclosed so that pet owners who don’t want their dogs to get wet don’t have their dogs interact with it. It would also need to be large enough to accommodate several dogs since this is a fairly popular park.
Overall, this intervention would need to improve the experience at the park for the dogs. This intervention must allow them to cool off without having to pause the play.
The next step I took was designing the pool. I decided on the material concrete since it can be molded to virtually any shape, and the water would contain a nontoxic phosphate remover so the dogs wouldn’t get sick from ingesting the water.
I found a 6 foot depth would be plenty deep for large dogs. Since it isn’t intended for humans, it shouldn’t need to be deeper. The concrete would be half a foot thick, meaning the excavation would need to reach 6.5 ft deep.
I decided on a circular pool that starts shallow and then drops to a bowl at the center. I envisioned it being at the top right corner of the park, right where the pile of dirt once was. I would use the unfinished trail and fencing to my advantage and have it finish off as enclosure for the pool.