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a landscape master plan for

Kripalu

center for yoga & health

Index Introduction & Regional Context History

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Analysis Special Places Vehicular Access & Circulation Pedestrian Access & Circulation Focus: Registration Focus: Parking Focus: Deliveries Focus: Winter Weather Slopes & Drainage Views Legal, Water, Waste & Energy Building Integration Vegetation: Trees & Lawn Vegetation: Gardens & Soils

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Design

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins Spring 2011

Going Forward Access & Circulation Alternatives Vehicular Access & Circulation I Vehicular Access & Circulation II Vehicular Access & Circulation III Additional Parking Guest Registration, Wayfinding & Signs Pedestrian Access & Circulation Building Integration Establishing a Meaningful Landscape Vegetation Plan: East Vegetation Plan: Central Vegetation Plan: South Focus: South Lawn Establishing a Meadow Guidelines for Donated Trees

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Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Introduction Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health is the largest and most established retreat center for yoga, health, and holistic living in North America. Approximately 30,000 annual visitors participate in a range of programs, including yoga classes, yoga instructor training and certification, nutrition, fitness, relationship work, alternative therapies and healing methods, and retreat and renewal weekends.

The landscape Kripalu stewards has a complex inheritance from different eras, different values, and different aesthetics of previous generations of landowners. More than a century of manipulation has altered or interrupted many of the natural systems on the site, while the inadequate infrastructure struggles to support increases in visitation and activity. Kripalu is striving for a way to unite its values and landscape inheritance. In January 2011, Kripalu worked with a student team from the Conway School to evaluate how its values could be combined with its inherited building, infrastructure, and landscape. The result was a handbook of principles, concepts, and questions to map how Kripalu could sustainably steward its land. The framework created by this handbook will help start conversation and guide the decision-making process in the future as Kripalu builds its legacy in landscape. This landscape master plan will build on the principles set out in the handbook by examining more closely the natural and human systems on Kripalu’s property today. The plan will present a variety of options to address Kripalu’s most pressing long-term challenges, along with some early success measures to build excitement and support. Some elements of the plan look five to ten years forward, and others ultimately look ahead further in order to implement restoration of whole systems and full integration with Kripalu’s values.

The Berkshires evoke images of quiet lakes and waterways, wooded hiking trails, and old quaint towns set below green rolling hills. Much of the terrain is rugged and the region supports a mostly rural population. Winters are harsh, but the summers are cool and less humid than coastal areas, and fall foliage is spectacular. The scenic beauty entices many visitors, making the Berkshires a popular vacation destination. New York City and Boston are within an easy day’s drive. The Massachusetts Turnpike brings motorists through the south end of Stockbridge. Boston’s airport is about three hours away, and several regional airports are even closer.

Kripalu guests gathered overlooking the lake from the south lawn.

Kripalu, seen from the Yokun Ridge looking northeast.

Project Vision To align the human experience of the site’s rich landscape with Kripalu’s values of integration, connection, and holistic health.

Project Goals • Clarify and streamline access and circulation • Develop ways for the landscape to direct and facilitate a deeper connection to Kripalu’s special places • Correct uncontrolled or destructive drainage • Create a policy and planting plan for donated trees • Improve entrance visibility from the road

A pocket of land north of downtown Stockbridge forms a distinct bowl shape, hemmed in by the Yokun Ridge along the northeast edge and Rattlesnake Mountain on the southwest corner. All of the land contained inside the bowl slopes down from the mountains, draining into a lake known as the Stockbridge Bowl (also once called Lake Mahkeenac). Kripalu’s campus sits midway up the northeast part of the bowl formation, overlooking the lake toward Rattlesnake Mountain and backed by the Yokun Ridge, the land falling away from the buildings toward the water. The history of the site’s development has largely been determined by the slope down to the lake and its spectacular views. Bowl Shape Framed By Mountains Kripalu Yokun Ridge

center for yoga & health

Kripalu’s 125-acre property sits atop the Stockbridge Bowl in the small community of Stockbridge, located in a unique region of western Massachusetts known as the Berkshires.

Kripalu’s mission is to teach Kripalu guests practice motion the art and science of yoga techniques with an instructor. to produce thriving and health in individuals and society. While yoga remains the cornerstone of its practices and beliefs, Kripalu welcomes spiritual beliefs from around the world, benefits from modern science and technology, and teaches a variety of holistic and alternative techniques. Its values are larger than one system of thought or belief, and according to Kripalu’s website, “for more than 40 years, Kripalu has remained a place where people come together to deeply inquire into the core issues of life, explore new and healthier ways of being, and put inspiration into practice.”

Kripalu

Regional Context

Introduction & Regional Context

Panoramic view from Kripalu south across the Stockbridge Bowl.

a landscape master plan for

Kripalu is an educational institution, dedicated to the inquiry of what creates a fulfilled human life. More than 750 educational seminars, programs, and retreats feature hundreds of professionals and speakers and a wide range of holistic health and spiritual topics.

Stockbridge Bowl

Rattlesnake Mountain

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The Jesuits (1922-1970)

The advent of the federal income tax in 1913 and the coming of WWI in 1914 marked the end of the Cottage era. As the huge estates became increasingly expensive to run, many were sold into other uses or lay empty and burned. Shadow Brook changed hands several times and the property was divided. Stokes’ fellow industrialist Andrew Carnegie eventually bought the cottage; he died there in 1919. In 1922, Carnegie’s widow either sold or donated Shadow Brook to the Jesuits, an order of the Catholic Church, who began using the Tudor-style mansion as a seminary.

In the years following the Civil War, economic growth exponentially increased and expansion on the western frontier accelerated at an unprecedented rate— and all those migrating families, outpost settlements, and infant frontier cities desperately needed infrastructure. A handful of men in position to provide it laid the railroad lines that connected the east and west coasts, amassing immense fortunes in less than a generation. Many expanded their initial fortunes in banking and other areas. Their unimaginable wealth, and their direct control over whole industries, granted them equally significant political power.

Anson Phelps Stokes was to completely reshape a small piece of that lakeside Berkshires scenery. Stokes made his fortune parlaying his family’s textile trade into mining, banking, and railroads. In 1893, he bought 900 acres above the Stockbridge Bowl and employed an army of designers, workers, and craftsmen to carve a massive country estate out of the hillside, called Shadow Brook.

Houses of the Berkshires

Croquet lawn at Shadow Brook, overlooking Entrance to Shadow Brook, from the east the Bowl on the left. through manicured perennial beds.

Sweeping, open views to the Stockbridge Bowl from the Shadow Brook mansion.

History Kripalu (1983-Present) Kripalu began as an ashram in 1966. Founded as a community of people passionate about practicing yoga, seeking personal and spiritual fulfillment, and engaging in service, the ashram had several homes in Pennsylvania and gained a substantial following there. They began looking for a larger establishment and in 1983 Kripalu came to occupy the Shadowbrook building in the Berkshires. The seminary building had been vacant for thirteen years and was in disrepair, but volunteers and ashram members painted and cleaned the four-story building themselves, opening on Christmas day. In 1999, Kripalu was reborn as a non-profit educational center and yoga retreat.

Houses of the Berkshires

The Berkshires had long been a place of natural beauty but were initially too remote and isolated for many to enjoy it as a destination. After the railroad came in the 1830s all that changed, ironically making it possible for the western railroad profiteers to arrive in droves some forty years later. As word of the artists colony and bucolic scenery in the Berkshires made its way to the homes of the industrial elite, the rural towns of Stockbridge and Lenox suddenly found themselves inundated. Wealthy families built increasingly lavish summer homes along the rim of the Stockbridge Bowl, drastically altering the landscape around the lake for their own use and enjoyment, creating lawns, gardens, orchards, and farms in a once wooded area.

The new seminary building was named Shadowbrook in honor of the former mansion, and is sited further west on the property.

Today Kripalu still resides in the old seminary building, whose south face and poor insulation make it difficult to regulate temperature and energy use. They hope to retrofit appropriate infrastructure, parking, and universal access for almost 30,000 annual guests into a landscape originally designed for the enjoyment of only a few. Kripalu is also searching for ways to integrate the historical remnants from previous generations of landowners, and the landscapes they left behind, with their own holistic values. They aspire to hold onto a connection to their landscape inheritances, while building a more sustainable legacy for the future.

Kripalu

The Cottage Era (1880-1920)

Shadow Brook, with its one hundred rooms, was briefly considered to be the largest private residence in America. While some of the estate was left in natural woodlands, approximately thirty acres near the mansion were regraded and sculpted into tennis courts, a grotto garden, stables, orchards, and production farm fields, all sweeping down in a spectacular view to the cleared banks of the Stockbridge Bowl.

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Sheep farming in rural Berkshires.

By the early 1800s, Stockbridge and neighboring Lenox were regionally known for their natural beauty. The beginnings of a tourist economy sprang up and the railroad came to the area in the 1830s. A community of writers, artists, and influential thinkers began to call Stockbridge and Lenox home, and several well-known fictional stories and poems helped publicize the scenic attractions. Many of these artists later moved on and left the Berkshires altogether, but the reputation of the area was already spreading.

Shadow Brook estate, facing south to the Stockbridge Bowl, overlooks formal gardens, lawn, and ornamental trees.

Lenox Library

Lenox Library

Lenox Library

Settlement did, however, reach what became known as Stockbridge, Massachusetts, in the form of a Christian mission founded in 1736. Stockbridge remained a remote outpost for another thirty years. Life there centered around farming and small industries, and its few residents survived in what was still thought of as wild lands.

The Jesuits trained several generations of future clergymen in the original cottage building until it burned to the ground in 1956. At that time they were experiencing good enrollment and anticipated needing a larger facility. They chose to rebuild not on the mansion’s foundation, but Ruins of the Shadow Brook mansion after it at a new location slightly to the west. burned to the ground in 1956. The new Shadowbrook building sits atop another regraded hill, overlooking a sloping lawn and the lake. Enrollment did not continue as they had hoped and in 1970, the seminary closed its doors.

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Native people occupied the strip of mountainous land known today as the Berkshires for centuries, but never in large concentrations. The rugged landscape, harsh winters, and successful attacks on prospective settlers helped ensure that the region was one of the last to be colonized in Massachusetts.

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

History

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Labyrinth 7

9

Allee on South Drive

Allee on Route 183

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Tanglewood

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Winding, scenic, and flat, the east drive is a favorite destination for walkers in all seasons.

The ruins of the mansion lie at the halfway point on the east drive. A flat grassy area extends south where the house was sited, dropping away to reveal stone foundations, survivors of the fire that destroyed the building. Further down the slope to the south is a Camperdown elm, gnarled and spread like an umbrella, a relic of the estate. Stonework extends east from the mansion foundation where mature hemlocks have grown up since the fire, shading this quiet spot. Across the east drive is the grotto garden, a wall of ledge that was fashioned into a garden to greet guests arriving at Shadow Brook. Once water was contained around its perimeter and ducks swam there; today it is planted with perennials. 4

Above the grotto garden, the Swami Kripalu Meditation Garden rests in the shade under tall evergreens. This is a new special place added since Kripalu came to the property. The garden is defined by white gravel in the center and small shrubs at the edge. 5

Lake House & Beach 11 Stockbridge Bowl

Stone gatehouse and pillars. The gatehouse from the Shadow Brook estate has fallen into disrepair but is still an interesting destination on Kripalu’s property.

East drive. The scenic driveway is a favorite place for people to play games, practice yoga, or just walk.

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200’

400’

These trails connect to the old allee along Route 183. A huge sycamore is alone among the maples and ash that compose the allee. Large beeches populate the interior edge of the hiking trail that parallels the allee. 9

3

Gould’s Meadow

Berkshire County Day School

A stone gatehouse and a set of stone pillars at the property’s east entrance are original to the Shadow Brook estate. The gatehouse has fallen into disrepair and is missing a roof, but the structure is still intact. 1

6

An apple orchard planted by the Jesuits after the new seminary was built can be seen from rooms

A stone turret, part of the mansion foundation. The mansion, Camperdown elm, and stonework are one-of-a-kind destinations on the Kripalu campus.

A much younger allee of shagbark hickories and sugar maples follows the south drive as it climbs toward the building. These trees likely date from the seminary’s construction in 1957. 10

The lake house and beach on the shore of the Stockbridge Bowl can see up to 20,000 visitors in a season. The lake house enjoys a great view of the lake and the mountains beyond. 11

Visiting educators stay in the Brook House and some volunteers live on site in the Hill House for a period of months or a year. 12

Kripalu is also connected by proximity to other attractions, such as Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, whose performances can be enjoyed from Kripalu’s grounds. Several wellknown hiking trails are just north of the property and can be reached by trails that connect from Kripalu. The Berkshire County Day School was once a working farm on the Shadow Brook estate.

Swami Kripalu Meditation Garden. Shady, serene, and cool, the meditation garden is a quiet place to think and reconnect with the teachings of Kripalu.

Labyrinth. A place of profound experiences, Kripalu’s labyrinth was inspired by survival and rebirth in the face of adversity. It was created about ten years ago.

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Trails Along Stream 8

Main Parking

A stream separates the old mansion and estate area from the new building associated with the Jesuits and Kripalu. Quiet and wooded, the walking trails along the stream are contemplative and serene. 8

Kripalu

Ma Buildiinn g

Swami Kripalu Richm ond M Meditation ounta 5 in Roa Garden Hill House d 12 Grotto Garden 4 1 2 East Drive Gatehouse 3 Mansion & Pillars Ruins, Stonework 83 1 e t Rou

Kripalu’s property includes a combination of historical sites, spiritual gardens, and vista points with scenic views. Beloved by staff and guests alike, these special places are the touch points for people in Kripalu’s landscape.

Analysis

Annex

6 Orchard

North Parking

The labyrinth, created by Kripalu, sits just under the crest of a hill on the south lawn. Inspired by several stories of survival and rebirth, it has powerful spiritual energy and people report profound experiences in its path. 7

a landscape master plan for

Brook House 12

inside Kripalu’s building, especially the dining hall.

Special Places

Kripalu stewards a number of special places, including beloved historical remnants and spiritual destinations.

Trails on Yokun Ridge

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Special Places

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South Drive 5

in Roa

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2 East Drive

Mansion Site

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ounta

East Gate

183

South Gate

The east drive, a scenic half-mile lane, moves almost due west through a semi-wooded landscape, passing the historic mansion’s foundation and grotto garden. The narrow lane tightly accommodates two-way traffic, including guest, staff, service, and delivery vehicles, and pedestrians using it as a footpath create potential conflict. Speed bumps were recently installed along the east drive’s length to slow vehicles and ensure pedestrian safety. There are no signs to direct arriving motorists toward the building, creating confusion and anxiety. 2

The east drive terminates at a four-way intersection and a short-term parking lot. There is one sign at this intersection, but its does not help visitors understand where to go or what to do next. From this intersection, guests can’t see the registration entrance, which is hidden by a protruding spur on the north side of the building, and long-term parking lots are either uphill out of sight or hidden by the building. 3

Stockbridge Bowl

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Registration Entrance

D

Delivery Entrance

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South Entrance

ST

Staff Entrance

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200’

400’

Kripalu’s second and less-used property entrance is at the south gate, which also intersects with Route 183 further to the west. Kripalu’s entrance sign sits within a larger entrance garden that marks the driveway, but the sign is angled so that only guests approaching from the west can see it. Guests arriving here see the length of the south drive and the entire south face of the building from the turnoff point at the road. 5

The south drive is more direct than the east drive, cutting straight uphill toward the front of the building. This driveway dates from the construction of the new seminary building in 1957. An intermittent allee of sugar maples and shagbark hickories follows the drive until it meets the main parking lot. Arriving guests can instantly see and understand how to navigate this combination of driveway, parking lot, and south building entrance. This intuitive arrival process is on the opposite side of the building from where guests are expected to register. 6

When they see this somewhat ambiguous sign at the end of the east drive, Kripalu’s guests are still looking to both park and register.

East Drive

Loop Road Main Parking Lot

East gate. Traffic arrives at Kripalu through this entrance at a triangular street intersection. The sign is quite small and may be hard to see.

East drive. Currently used by most guest, staff, and delivery traffic, the east drive is narrow and is also a favorite pedestrian path, creating potential conflict.

End of the east drive at the Shadowbrook building. The multi-pointed intersection is confusing and destinations are out of sight around the building.

South gate. Guests can see the entire building from the road at the south drive, making arrival logical, but the registration entrance is hidden behind the building.

Loop road leads around both sides of the building to parking. Guests arriving from the east cannot see the main parking lot or registration entrance.

center for yoga & health

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Main Parking

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VehicularAccess & Circulation

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Kripalu

Four-Way Intersection & Short Term 3 Parking

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Most guests enter Kripalu’s property for the first time through the east gate at the triangular intersection of Richmond Mountain Road and Route 183. In the shade of mature trees, Kripalu’s contemporary sign sits in a small garden. Historic stone pillars and a gate house that belonged to the original Shadow Brook estate mark the entrance and are one of Kripalu’s special places. 1

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

North Parking

Motorists can access the main parking lot from either side of the building on a loop road. The west half of the loop requires passing the delivery entrance and may confuse guests with its resemblance to a service alley. The eastern half is more open and scenic, with a great view south toward the Stockbridge Bowl. Neither of the loop access points is signed to direct guests to parking. 4

Analysis

Driveways with different characters, few signs, and destinations not visible around buildings confuse and frustrate arriving guests.

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Vehicular Access & Circulation

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There are no sidewalks connecting the north parking lots to each other or the building, leaving pedestrians at the mercy of moving vehicles. Pedestrians walk in the road, sometimes heading away from the building before turning and retracing their steps. 1

1

2 East Drive

D

4

Pedestrian Route to Building

R ST

The main parking lot presents a series of challenges to guests and staff trying to reach the building. Sidewalks leading from the lot to the south building entrance are misaligned and disconnected; pedestrians must choose whether to hop the guard rail or walk in the road to get across the south drive. Once en route, people climb up a steep hill and walk at least 400’ to reach the entrance (see Focus: Parking on page 7 for a more detailed parking analysis). 3

S

Pedestrian Route to Building

Kripalu’s trails also connect to larger, regional trails, or to nearby locations such as Monk’s Pond or Gould’s Meadow. The connecting trails and the path to the lake house, which sees 15,000-20,000 people in a season, are especially well used. None of the trails are signed; the map provided by Kripalu may not have enough landmarks to be of full use to many of their guests on or off the property. 8

Individuals and groups of pedestrians use the flat east drive as a recreational footpath daily, creating potential conflict with vehicles entering and exiting the property (see Grounds and Walking Trails inset). 4

3 Main Parking

Guests heading to the lake house on the shore of the Stockbridge Bowl must cross the south drive and Route 183. Many simply walk all or part of the way down the south drive, placing themselves in the path of vehicular traffic.

to Monk’s Pond (offsite trail)

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North Parking 100’

200’

R

Registration Entrance

D

Delivery Entrance

S

South Entrance

ST

Staff Entrance

A trail through the woods at Kripalu. Narrow trails like this are difficult for groups to walk abreast in. Signs, more surface differentiation, and a level tread would encourage more use of the trail system.

7 Onsite Trails 6

South Lawn

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Main Parking 5

Lake House

South Drive

Kripalu

8

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South Drive

0

Some guests and staff who want to go more directly toward the building simply struggle down the steep embankment with suitcases in tow. 2

Registration Drop Off

Maintained woods trails run throughout the eastern half of the property. These paths are of varying widths and are either soil paths or wood chipped paths. Some of them are broad and well-maintained, but some need work to be wide enough for groups to walk on comfortably. Pedestrians may not be prepared for an undesignated change in trail surface. 7

to Gould’s Meadow (offsite trail)

Stockbridge Bowl Guests walking though the aisle of a short-term parking lot. There are no sidewalks near this lot, forcing pedestrians to walk behind parked cars where drivers have impaired visibility.

Sidewalk near the Annex, looking southeast. The guard rail does little to erase the feeling of hostility created by this sidewalk, balanced between a blind corner and a steep embankment to the parking lot.

center for yoga & health

Pedestrian movement around the building is centered on accessing parking and building entrances.

Pedestrian Access & Circulation

North Parking

Alternately, people heading to or from the lake house or labyrinth often improvise a path straight up the south lawn. The 10-15 percent slope of the lawn is too steep for comfortable walking; this route requires rigorous effort. 6

Analysis

Pedestrians often borrow roads, struggle with slopes and distance, or improvise their own routes.

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Pedestrian Access & Circulation

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4

Registration Circle

Guests who have completed registration must move their cars to long-term parking elsewhere on the property, doubling the number of car trips in this small area.

Kripalu’s guest entrance is located on the 1 northwest side of the building. This entrance serves guests in part because the flat grade of the parking lot nearby supports universal access. Inside the building the registration desks are built to service this entrance.

The registration entrance is adjacent to the delivery entrance, where kitchen trash and compost are stored. Delivery traffic and odor from the composting food scraps unpleasantly disrupt the arrival process (see Deliveries on sheet 8 for an in depth discussion of the delivery entrance).

A small, unmarked circle allows guests to drop off passengers and suitcases on the curb. The absence of clear signs and street markings means that guests enter the circle from both directions and park wherever there is space to leave a car, creating confusing and hazardous conditions.

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D

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Registration parking is perpendicular to the access road, reducing visibility for motorists trying to back out. These spots are all 10-minute limit spots reserved for registration or handicapped spots. The time limit on these spots is sometimes ignored by people looking for longer-term parking, making it difficult for registering guests to park close by. 3

R ST

S

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Registration Entrance Delivery D Entrance S outh S Entrance Staff ST Entrance

Peak visitation at Kripalu may include as many as

800 people 600 cars per day

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100’

Mon Tues Wed

200’

Thurs

Fri

Sat

Sun

Approaching the registration area from the east drive. Guests can’t see the entrance on the other side of the building’s spur ahead. There are few signs to help them.

The registration circle. Motorists arriving at peak check-in times may find that confusion and frustration override the convenience of parking so close to the door to register.

Sign for 10-minute registration parking. These signs are often ignored by guests and staff looking for choice parking close to the building.

Panoramic view looking south at the north side of the building, including the registration circle and parking lot. The registration circle permits universal access but can’t be seen by guests entering from the east or south roads, and is often crowded and confusing. There is no pedestrian infrastructure to protect people accessing their cars across this lot.

Kripalu

South Drive

Guest arrivals (orange) and departures (green) at Kripalu, sorted by day of the week and hour of arrival. The registration entrance can become crowded and hectic with as many as 100 guests per hour checking in or out at peak times, especially Friday and Sunday.

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Main Parking

center for yoga & health

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East Drive

3

Analysis

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Focus:

2

Registration

North Parking

Vehicular and pedestrian activities occur in concentrated bursts and overlap in a small space, creating potential conflict and congestion.

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Focus: Registration

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Old Tennis Court Lot

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Kripalu’s attendance often exceeds their parking capacity by 100-125 spots. The large lots go partially empty during the week, but on weekends when there is peak visitation people are forced to park on the shoulder and anywhere else they can find to leave their cars. Additional parking will be required to safely accommodate guest and staff cars on weekends.

North Parking 140 Spots

Registration Circle

Three of the north lots have permeable gravel surfaces, which infiltrate water, while the fourth is a converted tennis court with an impermeable surface. These lots together can accommodate approximately 140 cars. None of the lots are signed. The permeable lots are unpainted and drivers don’t have room to turn around on finding that there are no available spaces and must back out of the individual lot onto the access road. These haphazard lots can be clearly seen from Richmond Mountain Road and higher up on the ridge, compromising neighboring views. 1

East Drive

Registration Parking 2 70 Spots

D R

Demand for parking often exceeds Kripalu’s supply. Parking is scattered, irregular, hard to find, and poorly signed, compromising the guest arrival process.

ST

Short-term parking designated for registering guests is adjacent to the north side of the building and has a 10-minute limit. Handicapped parking is also located in two areas of this lot, near both the staff entrance and the guest registration entrance. Guests and staff sometimes simply ignore the time limit on these spots, especially in poor weather or when other lots are full and parking is hard to find. 2

The main parking lot is located southwest of the building and can hold up to 300 cars on three tiers. Guests and staff use it but there are no signs to communicate who is allowed to park in the main lot, and for how long. Cars in this lot are visible from neighbors further up the Yokun Ridge and across the Stockbridge Bowl, but the top tier is only slightly visible from within Kripalu’s building and the south lawn. 3

The south loop can hold 24 cars immediately in front of the building. These spots are available for guest long-term parking and staff. Handicapped parking for the Annex is located in this loop. 4

Focus: Parking

Permeable Lots

mo

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Rich

BI

Analysis

Focus: Parking

Parking Tiers, Main Lot

Registration Entrance Delivery D Entrance S outh S Entrance Staff ST Entrance R

South Drive

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Parking Tiers

Main parking lot. Weekdays find this large parking lot mostly empty, but capacity is exceeded on weekends. Steep slopes separate these parking tiers.

0

100’

South Drive

Registration

South Loop Parking

Building

B

BI 0 100’ Section B-BI. A pedestrian using a direct path from any parking lot to the building must navigate slope of at least 10% percent, walk at least 400’ feet, and cross at least one driveway or additional parking lot.

200’

Impermeable lot on old tennis court, part of the series of north lots. The spaces in this lot are more generous than the permeable lots nearby. The north lots together hold approximately 140 cars. None of them are signed; together their configuration is confusing and hard to navigate.

Kripalu

Main 3 Parking 300 Spots

South Loop 24 Spots

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North Parking Lots

Registration lot, looking east toward the east drive. 10-minute turn around on these parking spots is sometimes ignored if parking is hard to find elsewhere.

View toward main parking lot from Shadowbrook. Only the top tier of parking is visible from the building, but neighbors up the ridge can clearly see the entire lot.

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Delivery traffic compromises the guest experience by sharing roadways, interrupting registration activity, blocking parking, and contributing to congestion. Kripalu’s two delivery areas are located on the north side of the building on either side of the registration area.

North Parking

The mailroom and staff entrance is east of registration within the 10-minute registration lot. Deliveries at this entrance are primarily large box trucks or package delivery trucks. The national package delivery services come at least once every day but sometimes as many as two or three times daily. Housekeeping and linen deliveries also use this entrance. Staff report seeing as many as five vehicles at a time at this entrance; on a very busy day, there could be as many as twenty trucks spread throughout the day. 1

West Delivery Entrance: Kitchen & Housekeeping

Registration Circle

East Delivery Entrance: Packages & Service East Drive

2

The west delivery entrance supplies the kitchen, which can feed almost 800 staff and guests per day; several tons of fresh vegetables are delivered daily in a semi-truck. Box trucks make up the majority of the other kitchen traffic. At a busy time several trucks can converge on this entrance at once, blocking off access to the registration area and standing across part of the driveway that leads to the main parking lot. 2

The west delivery entrance is also the location of recycling, trash dumpsters, and kitchen compost, which are picked up once or twice a week. In warmer weather the trash, and especially the compost, produce odor encountered by people coming and going from the registration area and guests whose rooms are above them. Workers putting trash in the dumpsters may also track material from the composting waste into the building.

D R

ST

Focus: Deliveries

mo

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Rich

Analysis

Focus: Deliveries

1

Main Parking

Registration Entrance Delivery D Entrance S outh S Entrance Staff ST Entrance

Delivery truck traffic on the east drive. Serenity on this scenic drive is compromised by constant traffic, including noisy trucks using the flat east drive for access.

0

East Delivery Entrance. Package delivery, service, and repair vehicles park at this entrance. On a very busy day, there can be as many as 20 trucks throughout the day.

100’

200’

West delivery entrance, adjacent to the registration entrance. The kitchen receives a semi-truck of fresh vegetables each day, which means that the truck must come through the registration parking lot and back into this entrance. Compost and trash dumpsters (seen in this photo) produce unpleasant odor experienced by guests coming an going nearby.

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South Drive

Kripalu

R

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Trash truck travelling through the registration parking lot toward the west delivery entrance. Dumpsters are picked up weekly or twice weekly, depending on season.

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B

The driveways narrow with each snowfall and vehicular-pedestrian conflict increases. Guests and staff continue to use the east drive in particular as a footpath, in part because other trails and grassy areas that are walked on in fine weather are covered in snow. Pedestrians walking in the road are trapped between the plowed embankments and on-coming cars.

I

1

2

North Parking

Closed 5 Sidewalks

The permeable lots north of the building heave under frost, leaving potholes and puddles in the spring. Snow is piled between them, which narrows the lots and access road and increases vehicular-pedestrian conflict. 2

ST

S

In the main parking lot, very steep slopes between each tiered parking terrace require almost constant attention from staff during a storm. The sidewalks and roadway on each side of the lot leading to the next tier ice over within minutes of clearing and are continuously hazardous to pedestrians and motorists alike. The snow load on the embankment between each tier becomes heavy as snow accumulates and is plowed up into piles during a snowy winter; large blocks of snow sometimes drop onto and damage a car parked on the lower tier.

1 East Drive

Main Parking

3

3 Icy, Steep Tiers B 4

Snow Piled in Last Row

Registration Entrance Delivery D Entrance S outh S Entrance Staff ST Entrance R

0

200’

400’

Snowfall blanketing Kripalu’s sign at the south entrance. Snow narrows the driveways, increasing risks to pedestrians using them as footpaths.

South Drive

Parking Tiers, Main Lot

3

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South Drive

The south drive intersects Route 183 on a steep curve where the road is banked away from Kripalu for drainage. Motorists exiting Kripalu from this entrance lose traction as they try to accelerate while turning uphill, sometimes sliding off the road and requiring assistance to get out of the ditch. 6

North Parking Lots

South Loop Parking

Registration

Building

6 South Gate

Slopes between parking tiers in the main lot. The steep slopes are icy for both vehicles and pedestrians and require almost constant attention from maintenance staff.

BI

B Section B-BI. Many of the winter hazards are created by the natural slope of the property. Maintaining the infrastructure for winter safety is a challenge.

Preparing for winter maintenance in the main lot. Parking bans, which would make plowing easier, are impractical because parking is in such short supply.

Sidewalk from the main lot to the annex. An extremely steep slope makes this sidewalk treacherous in winter. Maintenance staff close it for the entire season for safety.

0

100’

Sidewalk connecting the annex to the main lot. Water pools here as it melts, rapidly turning to ice. This section of the sidewalk is also closed all season for safety.

Kripalu

R

a landscape master plan for

D

Sections of sidewalk near the new annex become dangerous in winter weather. A walkway from the parking spurs on the main lot, located at the northwest corner and approaching the annex from the west, is so steep and remains so icy that maintenance staff closes it for the entire winter. Melting ice pools on the sidewalk north of the annex and constantly refreezes, making this entrance hazardous all winter. 5

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The lowest aisle of the main lot, on the western edge, is used to store snow that is plowed away from parked cars, leading to a loss of up to 30 percent of the capacity of this lot. The increased demand for parking makes enacting a parking ban (using barriers to set aside rows that can be quickly plowed and re-opened) impractical, resulting in extra staff labor to plow around individual cars as they leave, occasionally resulting in property damage. 4

Analysis

Richm

Winter weather makes drastic changes to vehicular and pedestrian circulation patterns at Kripalu by narrowing roadways, reducing parking, and rendering pedestrian paths slippery and dangerous.

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Focus: Winter Weather

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North Parking

Kripalu is located between a mountain ridge and a lake, and the site naturally slopes south down toward the Stockbridge Bowl. As visitors explore the property, they are faced with varied topography. Areas regraded for infrastructure may be level, but some extremely steep areas act as barriers to pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Guests have an easy time walking on slopes less than 5 percent in parking lots and around the building. Any guest moving between the main and north parking lots and the building, however, must hike up or down slopes of 10-15 percent, which requires vigorous effort. 1

3 East Drive

There are few areas for people to comfortably enjoy outdoor recreation near the building, where slopes quickly begin to challenge to pedestrians. People going across the south lawn to the lake or labyrinth must also trek long distances at these rigorous grades. 2

1

3

Main Parking

Slopes of >25% erode easily once disturbed and should be excluded from circulation patterns, except for stairs installed for pedestrian safety. Slopes of this grade are primarily on the periphery of the campus, such as between the north parking lots and Richmond 3

2 South Lawn 5

From the north edge of the property along Richmond Mountain Road to the south entrance on Route 183, there is a 210’ elevation drop over a horizontal distance of 1650’. The average slope in this distance is 13% (see section below). 4

Uncontrolled drainage has caused infrastructural damage to the southwest corner of the main parking lot, which is only 4 years old. The asphalt curb and parking lot road bed have begun to separate, and the curb and adjacent guardrail are slumping onto a rip-rap embankment. This erosion appears to be the result of water draining at high rates from upper parking tiers to the lower corner and snow removal in the winter. Stormwater overwhelms the curb and drains into the ground upstream of a wetland instead of the detention ponds at the foot of the lot. Costly maintenance will be required to correct the damage, and continued uncontrolled drainage will negatively impact water quality in the wetland. 5

>25%

Registration

Richmond Mountain Road

15-25% 10-15% 5-10% 3-5% 0-3%

Labyrinth 100’

200’

Route 183

C

South Lawn 1650’

Parking Lots

0 100’ Getting to the building from the parking lots requires navigating slopes above 10 percent in all cases if a direct path is taken.

CI

a landscape master plan for

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210’

4

C

The south lawn, looking up at the building. Walking up the 10-15 percent slopes from the labyrinth or the lake house requires exertion.

Main parking lot looking northeast toward the building. Steep slopes pose a challenge to pedestrians trying to reach the building after parking.

Kripalu

South Drive

Embankment between tiers in the main parking lot. A 40 percent grade, covered in rip-rap, prevents pedestrians from climbing between the parking tiers.

Slope between the north lots and the building. At more than 25 percent grade, this slope will be unstable if disturbed. Pedestrians use it for access to parking.

Drainage damage to main lot. Uncontrolled drainage has taken a toll on this four year old parking lot, separating the edging and eroding under the rip-rap embankment.

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Slopes & Drainage

Ric

Mountain Road, or near the streams on either side of the building. An important exception is in the main parking lot, where the embankments between regraded tiers are so steep that people cannot climb them to get to the next tier. The slope between the north lots and the registration entrance also exceed 25%.

Analysis

C

Kripalu’s building and infrastructure are built into slopes too steep for comfortable walking.

I

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Slopes & Drainage

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Views of the Stockbridge Bowl and distant mountain ranges can be enjoyed from various parts of the property. Large trees in the distance frame the views from within the south face of the building, the upper elevations of the south lawn, and portions of the orchard and north parking lots. Vegetation around the building looking toward the lake is kept open to maintain the views. 1

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Meditation Garden

8 Main Parking

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Similar views to the lake are seen from the Swami Kripalu Meditation Garden. Nearby, vegetation at lower elevations has grown just enough to block the once scenic vista from the former mansion site. Spectacular views are part of what make these places special to Kripalu guests and staff. 2

183

6

The shoreline in front of the lake house is also kept open, providing sun bathers, swimmers and kayakers views of the water and mountains. 3

On the eastern side of the property, shorter views of special places such as the mansion ruins, the grotto garden, and historical stonework are framed with vegetation. The views here are revealed slowly as people walk along the drive or through the special places, enjoying the intimacy of each space and the feeling of being in a series of outdoor rooms. 4

Scenic Vistas Outdoor Rooms Blocked View Registration

Long Views

Within Campus

Blocked Views

3

View south over the Stockbridge Bowl from the building. Sweeping views take in the shagbark hickory allee, the labyrinth, and the lake in the distance.

Within Campus

Registration Entrance

Stockbridge Bowl

0

200’

Pedestrians on the south lawn can easily see destinations such as the labyrinth and bottom of the south drive, where the trail to the lake house is. Special places that are within easy sight draw visitors out into the landscape. 7

The main parking lot is tucked into the hillside, hiding all but the top tier from people on the grounds and in the building. Neighbors further up the Yokun Ridge and across the Stockbridge Bowl have a clear view of the entire lot, however. People parking here can see the entire south side of the building from anywhere in the lot. 8

The naturalized areas on Kripalu’s campus, those in woodlands or forest, blend in with the surroundings, even from across the lake or higher elevations on the Yokun Ridge. The parking lot infrastructure, night-time lights, and the stature of the building itself can be an abrupt intrusion to an otherwise pure, natural view of the green hills of the Berkshires—one of the reasons why people are so fond of the region.

400’

View from the Swami Kripalu Meditation Garden, looking across the mansion site to the Stockbridge Bowl. The mansion ruin is directly below and across the east drive from the meditation garden (the remains of a stone turret are visible on the right). This view is in jeopardy from the canopy trees reaching maturity down the hill, which are obscuring the lake.

a landscape master plan for

Lake House

Motorists turning onto the south drive from Route 183 immediately spot the building, perched on top of an open grassy slope. Views across this open pocket allow visitors to easily know their location and spot important infrastructure as they arrive, park, and enter the building. Shadowbrook dominates the landscape when seen from the south, looming over arriving guests. 6

View from the lake house. The beach is a popular destination in the summer. Guests are treated to views of the lake shores and the mountains north and south.

Shadowbrook building as seen from across the Stockbridge Bowl. The building and main parking lot interfere with Kripalu’s neighbors’ scenic views.

center for yoga & health

North Parking

Views

Orchard

Kripalu

1

As motorists reach the end of the scenic east drive, the woodlands open and they are confronted with multiple roads and the building, which is a jarring contrast to the park-like east drive. The northern spur of the building blocks the view of the registration entrance. This confuses guests and contradicts their otherwise pleasant experience. 5

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Scenic views to and from the property were the basis of its development and continued use. Today some of the views have been compromised.

Analysis

Views

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East Drive Main Parking

South Drive

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Wetland Buffer Scenic Mountain Act Boundaries

Stockbridge Bowl

Legal Analysis

Annex

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Heating Fuel Tanks

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Wastewater Treatment Center

Stockbridge Bowl

Water, Waste & Energy Analysis

d

The Town of Lenox supplies Kripalu’s potable water. On average 22,000 gallons are consumed daily and then processed by a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility, which is capable of processing up to 59,000 gallons daily. Located on the southwest side of the property, just north of Route 183, it pumps treated water into leach fields across Route 183 where it filters into the ground.

Propane and # 2 heating fuel currently supply heat, hot water, and cooking needs. The building is heated by forced hot water. The heating system was not originally piped in zones to supply balanced heat to the building’s current volume of use. The fuel tanks are underneath the parking lot adjacent to the northeast side of the main building, which needs to be considered with future use of the lots. The # 2 fuel will soon be replaced by piped natural gas.

The Scenic Mountain Act covers approximately onethird of the property, along the northern edge and including the north parking lots, the orchard, the guest registration area, and a portion of Kripalu’s main building. Administered by the Conservation Commission, the act uses the protection of natural resources as an opportunity to also preserve scenic views and the rustic character of the Berkshires. The “removal, filling, excavation or other alteration of land,” including changes to watershed resources, water quality, topography, or vegetation, that could diminish scenic views are regulated through this act. Kripalu’s position on the inside of the bowl-shaped slope between the ridge and the Stockbridge Bowl means that neighbors uphill and across the lake have clear views into and across their property. Any action on the site that could negatively affect the view across Kripalu’s property is reviewed to meet these requirements, which could influence the design for any future infrastructure. Two streams on the property drain into the large wetland just north of the Stockbridge Bowl. A 100’ buffer on either side of a perennial stream or vegetated wetland boundary is required. Some pre-existing development falls within these buffers, such as the lake house and portions of the north parking lots. Extra precautions are needed to ensure that infrastructure within these protected areas does not compromise their ecological health. Kripalu’s property is made up of three separate parcels, one large parcel north of Route 183, and two adjacent smaller ones between Route 183 and the Stockbridge Bowl. The property is zoned R4, for Residential with four or more acres of land. Required setbacks are 50’ from front, rear, and side property lines. The Stockbridge Bowl has an additional zoning setback of 150’ from the water’s edge and a maximum dock intrusion of 25’ into the lake. Pre-existing development falls within this setback at Kripalu’s beach, lake house, and storage shed.

Runoff from the newly constructed annex and the main parking lot drain west into a detention pond. All other stormwater and surface runoff drain into streams and the wetland. Only the shorefront of the lake house drains directly into the Stockbridge Bowl. The grounds and gardens at Kripalu are not irrigated. Minimizing water use, processing it, and returning it clean to the earth on site helps close the loop and contributes to conservation and preservation of the natural resources of the Berkshires of which Kripalu is an integral member.

Waste Fresh fruit and vegetable scraps from the kitchen are fed to livestock at Fadden Farm in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Post-consumer food scraps are composted by Holiday Farm in Dalton, Massachusetts, and used to fertilize their organic food crops. In total, 75% of Kripalu’s food scraps and waste are composted. This minimizes Kripalu’s contribution of unnecessary waste into landfills. Kripalu’s staff and guests generate an estimated 168 tons of trash yearly. To minimize additional landfill trash, Kripalu has already reduced the use of disposable dishware by washing utensils and dishware instead. 80% of paper products and bottles or cans are recycled. An inter-organizational policy encourages employees to conserve paper by only printing emails when necessary. Additionally, batteries, light bulbs, ink cartridges, furniture, carpet, and waste from gas powered equipment are recycled. Kripalu is taking steps to make significant reductions in waste, and aspires to become more sustainable. To further model holistic living, Kripalu has an opportunity to close the loop of consumption and reuse much of what the organization consumes.

Electricity fulfills all other energy needs. 130,000 kilowatt hours are used monthly. Kripalu is replacing old bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs, and old light fixtures and appliances with Energy Star rated new ones. This effort demonstrates a dedication to resource conservation. The 51,000 ft2 roof of the main building is a membrane material with stone ballasts, with a 30-year lifespan. Although not currently used to produce energy, it may have the potential to harvest solar energy. The Annex, Kripalu’s newest building, meets LEED certification requirements for efficient energy use and heating systems. It can be a model for sustainable retrofits to the older main building as improvements are needed.

Water, waste, and energy systems may be addressed in more depth by subsequent studies.

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Portions of the property are restricted to protect scenic views, natural resources, streams, and wetlands.

Legal, Water, Waste & Energy

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Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

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Analysis

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North Parking

Legal

12/31


Guests arriving at Kripalu at the south entrance are immediately greeted by the looming building.

Seen from across the Stockbridge Bowl, Shadowbrook’s size appears magnified against the rolling hills.

The absence of any distinct social space for humans outside the building further isolates it by separating activity that goes on inside from anything happening outside. The building starkly separates the indoor and outdoor experiences of the site and is disconnected from the landscape around it.

Kripalu

Even up close, looking at the terrace where people gather to socialize, the building seems to dominate the space.

a landscape master plan for

The building’s architecture sets it apart from the romantic landscape of the Berkshires.

Integration

The building is defined by its differences from the romantic landscape of the Berkshires, seeming more severe by the contrast. No part of the building extends out into the landscape.

center for yoga & health

There are few tall trees near the building to help it seem less imposing, especially at the front where the view to the lake would be compromised by their height. Mown lawn surrounding the building only emphasizes the strong verticality of the architecture.

Building

The size and presence of the Shadowbrook building is magnified by the natural topography of the site. The slope that sweeps down to the lake adds height and bulk to the front of the building from as far away as the foot of the opposite shores of the Stockbridge Bowl. It looms over guests arriving on the south drive and using the south lawn.

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

The starkly modern Shadowbrook building is poorly integrated into the landscape, making it appear larger and more oppressive than it is.

Analysis

Building Integration

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7 East Drive 4 Trees Around Main Building 8 South Lawn

6 Mansion Site 5 Camperdown Elm

Allee on 1 South Drive

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Many of the most loved and distinct landscapes are concentrated at the mansion and around the main building. Vegetation accents these desirable places by providing serene and social spaces, framing intimate and sweeping views, and creating the feeling of shelter.

Trees

Native tree forests of the region include species of red spruce, balsam fir, sugar maple, beech, birch, oak hickory, and ash. Understory communities are dynamic and have changed over time with the change in cultural use of humans.

Allee on Route 183

A shagbark hickory and maple allee that was installed during the Jesuit era lines the South Drive. Although intended for cars, many people walk on this shaded road, which is slightly less steep than the south lawn, to get to the lake or the labyrinth. 1

A maple and ash allee adjacent to Route 183, planted during the Shadow Brook era, lines a trail between the south entrance and east gate. 2

Lawn

40 acres of Kripalu’s property are maintained as mown lawn and are cut every 5-10 days, depending on the specific location and the time of season. 5

The mansion site and shoulders of the east drive are flat areas of lawn, which people frequently use to exercise, relax and explore. 6

7

People seldom use open mown areas east of the mansion site on the east drive.

The steep south lawn extends from the south face of the building to the south gate of the property. People are often seen relaxing, socializing, or napping under trees on the lawn surrounding the building, particularly in the spring and fall. In the summer, the lack of shade makes the lawn less appealing. The farther away from the building people are, the more likely the lawn becomes used only as an improvised path to the lake, as it is the most direct path between the lake and the main building. 8

The orchard north of the building was planted around the time the Shadowbrook seminary was built. It provides the cafeteria with fresh cider in the fall and can be seen from the dining room, providing guests with a view. It can be accessed from a hillside north of the building and the north parking lots.

Allee on Route 183. Old maples and ash line the roadside between Route 183 and one of Kripalu’s walking trails. Recently, the health of both species has begun to decline.

0

200’

Orchard. The orchard offers both an attractive view from the dining hall and fresh produce, which each fall is pressed into cider and served on site.

400’

Camperdown Elm. This extraordinary relic of the mansion is a beloved landmark on Kripalu’s campus. The woodland edge is kept back from this treasured tree.

Mansion Lawn. Flat and grassy, the mansion lawn is a natural spot for play and yoga practice. It is one of the only flat areas on the entire 125-acre campus.

a landscape master plan for

Stockbridge Bowl

Kripalu

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As guests explore the property, they see and walk among trees, lawn, garden and woods. Visitors may not distinguish the invasive plant species and wetlands.

A notable tree on the property is the Camperdown elm south of the mansion, enjoyed by many for its beautiful form and for its resilience in surviving the mansion fire.

Vegetation: Trees & Lawn

3 Orchard

Trees planted around the main building and at the mansion site offers guests shady places to chat, relax, or eat where the canopy provides a sense of comfort. 4

Analysis

The majority of Kripalu’s 125 acres are vegetated. Much of this vegetation was established and defined by prior land use. Various types of vegetation are associated with outdoor destinations and activities at Kripalu.

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Vegetation: Trees & Lawn

South Lawn. The lawn nearest the building is a popular place to relax on a warm, sunny day. The lawn becomes steeper and is less used farther from the building.

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183

North of the grotto garden and higher in elevation is the Swami Kripalu Meditation Garden, where people enjoy a sweeping view of the Stockbridge Bowl and far mountains. People also sit quietly on benches or meditate. Shade-tolerant plants border the rectangle of white crushed stone, which is surrounded by a canopy of hemlocks. 2

The Ayurvedic garden features herbal plants to educate students about the millennia old practice of Ayurveda. It is an enclosed space northeast of the Annex, where people can spend time and admire the garden. 3

6 Labyrinth 5 South Entrance Garden

Soils Soils of the Berkshires region are typically low acid to slightly alkaline; the top layers are acidic and the substrata (the layers closer to the bedrock) are alkaline. Soil tests indicated that the top 6”- 8” of the south lawn on the west and east sides of the south drive had a pH of 5.4 and 5.8. The soil between the trees of the allee on the south drive had a pH of 7.3, which may have resulted from salt used for winter road maintenance. All soils had low lead levels. The pH balance and soil composition determine which plant communities will be successful on Kripalu’s campus.

The terrace gardens, directly adjacent to Shadowbrook’s south building entrance at the top of the stairs, overlook the south lawn and provide a view of the lake. These gardens are easily accessible and provide flat gathering places. The only outdoor seating near the building is here. Guests are able to socialize and eat at tables under shade structures for relief from the sun. 4

The south and east gate are identified by a silver Kripalu sign on a low rock, surrounded, but not concealed by, plants. The angled signs are not easily visible to motorists from either direction. Guests on the woodland trails can walk through the south entrance garden on their way to the lake house.

7 Lake House

Grotto garden. The rock wall is planted with sun-loving perennials that thrive in all-day exposure, but it is open to passing traffic on the east drive.

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Swami Kripalu Meditation Garden. This quiet and serene garden overlooking the mansion site is a place for contemplation.

400’

Ayurvedic Garden. This herb garden has a special function as the living classroom for ayurvedic students learning the art of herbal healing.

a landscape master plan for

Stockbridge Bowl

Kripalu

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Terrace Gardens. Popular because of the view and sense of enclosure, the terrace fills up quickly at meal times in warm weather.

center for yoga & health

3 Ayurvedic Garden

and

The Shadow Brook era left a grotto garden on 1 the north side of the east drive, across from the mansion site. The rock garden is fully exposed to sun and vehicles all day. Gardens from the Jesuit era survive, but have been changed by Kripalu’s groundskeeping staff.

Vegetation: Gardens & Soils

Gardens

The labyrinth on the west side of the south drive was planted to honor survival and resilience. It allows people to meander through a circular pattern defined by conifers, grasses and other perennial plants. 6

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

The mixed use of the property has produced gardens and destinations from different eras, with different intentions.

Analysis

Vegetation: Gardens & Soils

Labyrinth. The labyrinth is composed of spiraling evergreens and perennials. It sits just under the crest of a hill in the south lawn.

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Going Forward

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Going Forward

The rich inheritances of previous generations on the land means that guests have many choices once they leave Kripalu’s building: the labyrinth, the mansion ruins, and the lake front beckon—all from different directions. These special places have varying levels of unexplained meaning and connection to Kripalu, leaving guests to wonder about their significance and relationships to each other. Using landscape elements to direct people to special places, create conspicuous gathering areas for social interaction, and frame the significance of key destinations will refocus the campus around Kripalu as the spiritual center.

center for yoga & health

Shadowbrook looms over the landscape, disconnected from the vernacular of the scenic Berkshires by its imposing architecture. Guests are unprepared for its imposing bulk and may not be able to overcome their first impression to admire Kripalu’s commitment to reuse. Integrating the building back into the landscape will help it seem more rooted, perhaps helping guests understand more readily how Kripalu came to embrace it for its possibilities.

The landscape in which Kripalu’s guests ultimately find themselves could serve as the mechanism to firmly establish Kripalu as the spiritual center of the campus, connect people more deeply to each other, and integrate the site’s fascinating history into the spiritual journey people come to Kripalu to pursue.

Kripalu

Working with existing infrastructure and implementing the right combination of solutions to correct poor circulation may be complex, but understanding guest expectations for a clear and logical arrival process is simple. People expect to see their destination from the driveway, to park close to the building, and to proceed directly and easily to the building’s entrance. As people move out into Kripalu’s landscape, guests assume that sidewalks are safe and anticipate relaxed walking unless a trail is signed for rigorous hiking. Meeting expectations for safe, comfortable, and sensible circulation is a minimal threshold for Kripalu’s long-term success on this property.

Inside the old Jesuit building, antiquated utilities are inefficient and costly to maintain, and a southern exposure and poor insulation combine to make the building unpredictably hot and humid. Kripalu has already begun retrofitting more efficient appliances and wastewater systems, and will continue to close open energy loops and minimize waste.

a landscape master plan for

The essence of Kripalu is in its spiritual teachings, which encourage personal empowerment, integrity, and holistic thinking. The essence of Kripalu, however, is not apparent in its driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks. When arriving motorists are confused and frustrated before they can park their cars, and when people struggle to move comfortably through the landscape, the challenges of Kripalu’s circulation systems are diminishing the quality of their guests’ experiences.

Design

Kripalu’s south entrance, looping up from the south drive.

16/31


Kripalu’s registration process and parking are integral to the circulation system, and are addressed in Guest Registration (sheet 21) and Additional Parking (sheet 20).

A New Gatehouse

Reroute the South Drive

Additional Parking

Close the East Drive to Vehicular Traffic

A New Receiving Building

• • • •

East End Becomes A Park

Parking Deck with Green Roof

a

Chakra Path on the South Lawn

Chakra Path to the Special Places

800 people 600 cars per day

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Design Directives

• • • • •

Enlarged and Interplanted North Lot Pedestrian Circulation

Close the South Drive to Vehicular Traffic

Self-explanatory logic on roads and paths for drivers and pedestrians Minimal pedestrian and vehicular conflict Vehicular traffic does not interrupt guest experience Ample parking, with easy access to and from building and parking lots, year round Separate guest and service zones Slopes and surfaces are comfortable to navigate Paths and roads are well marked and have a purpose Signs direct and educate Lighting keeps pedestrians safe, while not interfering with neighboring views Parking lots do not dominate the scenic views, either from within or across the property Fire truck access around all buildings

center for yoga & health

Improving Richmond Mountain Road Access

Access & Circulation

Separate Guests from Staff & Deliveries

Kripalu

One Way Traffic on Existing Driveways

The alternatives shown here are discussed in more detail on the following sheets. Many of the components included in this section could combine with others to form a more comprehensive alternative. Some pieces would be simpler to enact now, or in the next few years, to alleviate the most urgent risks where vehicles and pedestrians are interacting. Others seek to address systemic concerns with larger solutions that may require more time Peak visitation at Kripalu and funding. may include as many as

a landscape master plan for

Vehicular Circulation

Kripalu’s current vehicular circulation patterns are deeply problematic for arriving guests. The circulation system was designed for a much smaller volume of people and cars than Kripalu now sees regularly. Simplifying how guests navigate to and around the building will ensure that Kripalu can continue to host large numbers of people without compromising their own holistic values or the site’s long-term viability.

Design

Access & Circulation Alternatives

17/31 Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.


Traffic is one-way along existing driveways, arriving on the east drive and exiting on the south drive. Guests park in the north lots and enter the building on the northeast corner, at what is now the staff entrance; some guests may exit directly onto Richmond Mountain Road instead of using the south drive. Staff continue on around the building to park in the main lot and use the south building entrance. Deliveries remain in their current location on the northwest corner of the building. Pros: • Guest entrance is visible from the end of the east drive, allowing guests to see their destination as soon as they arrive at the property • A temporary 10-minute parking lot for registration is already located outside the northeast entrance • Northeast entrance can support universal access without significant alterations • Dilutes the volume of vehicular traffic by diverting guests and staff to opposite sides of the building • A spur on the back of the building isolates the noise, odor, and truck traffic of the delivery entrance to the northwest entrance • Uses existing roadways and parking lots Cons: • Vehicular-pedestrian conflict is not addressed on the east drive • Existing parking in north lots is insufficient and more than half the guests still have to park in the main lot southwest of the building, which is no longer intuitively connected to the guest entrance • Drivers re-entering the property need to exit the south drive and come back around on the east drive, or on the north drive from Richmond Mountain Road • Most traffic is now directed to exit at the seasonally dangerous intersection of the south drive and Route 183

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Separate Guests From Staff & Deliveries Creates two separate zones of circulation, with two-way staff and delivery traffic on the north side of the building and two-way guest traffic on the south side. Staff and delivery entrances remain in their existing locations. Parking north of the building is for staff and guests use the main lot on the south side. New guest entrance is on the south side of the building. Pros: • Guest entrance is visible along the entire length of the south drive, allowing guests to see their destination as soon as they arrive • A small lot immediately south of the building could be used for registration • Traffic on east drive is reduced by as much as 2/3 to staff and delivery vehicles only, reducing vehicular-pedestrian conflicts • Dilutes the volume of vehicular traffic by diverting guests and staff to opposite sides of the building • Uses existing roadways and parking lots Cons: • The south entrance must be modified with ramps between the parking lot and terrace to support universal access • Vehicular-pedestrian conflict is only partially addressed on the east drive • Most traffic is now directed to exit at the seasonally dangerous intersection of the south drive and Route 183 • Existing parking in north lots is insufficient and many staff still have to park in the main lot southwest of the building, taking spots otherwise reserved for guests, unless the parking is expanded • Main parking lot is far from the building and requires climbing a steep slope • Guests no longer experience the scenic qualities of the east drive during arrival, and may not be aware of the special places located on the eastern half of the property

Improving Richmond Mountain Road Access Promoting vehicle access from Richmond Mountain Road reduces traffic on the long approach roads of the south and east drive. Pros: • Arriving, parking, and entering the building is easy and logical for staff and returning guests already familiar with the property • Minimizes vehicular-pedestrian conflicts near the building and on the east drive • Can accommodate vehicles regardless of traffic patterns elsewhere on property Cons: • Current driveway exit onto Richmond Mountain Road is at an awkward angle with poor visibility to the west • Upper half of the driveway is tightly curved and too narrow to accommodate increases in traffic volume • Driveway is shaded year round, making it icy and difficult to maintain in the winter • Existing parking in north lots is insufficient and a large proportion of guests or staff still have to park in the main lot southwest of the building

Legend Guest Staff

traffic

traffic

Delivery

& &

traffic

entrance

center for yoga & health

Existing Driveways

Vehicular Access & Circulation I

on

NTS

Kripalu

One Way Traffic

NTS

Design

NTS

I

a landscape master plan for

Vehicular Access & Circulation

entrance

&

entrance

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

18/31


South Drive

to

Vehicular Traffic

The south drive is closed to vehicles. Guest, service, and staff traffic enters and exits through the east drive. Guest parking and building entrance is on the south side, separated from the staff parking and entrance on the north. Pros: • Vehicle congestion is minimized on the north side of the building • Dilutes the volume of vehicular traffic by diverting guests and staff to opposite sides of the building • Guests have instant view of the lake as they turn south from the east drive • Deliveries are isolated from other traffic at their own entrance on the northwest side of the building • Reserves the south portion of the campus for pedestrians Cons: • Vehicular-pedestrian conflict is not addressed on the east drive • Existing parking in north lots is insufficient and many staff still have to park in the main lot southwest of the building, taking spots otherwise reserved for guests, unless the parking is expanded • East gate may need to be reconfigured to accommodate pump fire trucks

Legend Guest Staff

traffic

traffic

Delivery

& &

traffic

entrance

entrance

&

Close

the

East Drive

to

Vehicular Traffic

East drive and east loop closed to vehicles (except for necessary maintenance and emergency vehicles). Guest, service, and staff traffic enters and exits through the south drive. South building entrance becomes main guest entrance and registration. Delivery and staff entrance locations remain the same on the north side and are accessed by driving west around the building. The east loop driveway is removed and becomes a pedestrian zone. Pros: • Guest entrance is visible along the entire length of the south drive, allowing guests to see their destination as soon as they arrive • Eliminates vehicular-pedestrian conflict on east drive by removing all traffic except for necessary maintenance or emergency vehicles • Dilutes the volume of vehicular traffic by diverting guests and staff to opposite sides of the building • Vehicles no longer circle the entire building, allowing people to directly access the grounds on the east side without crossing a driveway Cons: • Concentrates guest traffic on south side of building, where noise may amplify in the enclosing arms of the building • Most traffic is now directed to exit at the seasonally dangerous intersection of the south drive and Route 183 • Congestion still possible at north side of building as staff pass the delivery entrance and compete for limited parking • Parking lot is far from the building, and pedestrians are required to climb a steep slope to the entrance

Reroute

the

South Drive

Rerouted drive meets Route 183 along a flat section, creating a safer exit from the south drive. Its curving path more comfortably climbs from the entrance on Route 183 to the existing main parking lot. Pros: • Dilutes the volume of vehicular traffic by diverting guests and staff to opposite sides of the building • New drive has a safer intersection with Route 183 to minimize winter accidents • New drive can reveal the building more slowly behind the hill where the labyrinth is located • Allows the south lawn to be a single unit used for ecological or social space, rather than bisected by a straight driveway Cons: • Concentrates guest traffic at south side of building, where noise may amplify in the enclosing arms of the building • Vehicular-pedestrian conflict is only partially addressed on the east drive • Cost to regrade and repave a driveway, and move the curb cut

center for yoga & health

the

NTS

Kripalu

Close

NTS

Design

NTS

Vehicular Access & Circulation II

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

II

a landscape master plan for

Vehicular Access & Circulation

entrance

19/31 Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.


III

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Legend

Staff

traffic

Delivery

NTS

Pros: • Gatehouse can distribute property maps and direct guests to a specific parking area in response to conditions and attendance Cons: • Vehicular-pedestrian conflict is not addressed on the east drive • Traffic may bottleneck at gatehouse during peak arrival times • Aspects of current registration contributing to circulation problems are simply moved out of the building to the gatehouse, not addressed

traffic

entrance

&

entrance

NTS

A New Receiving Building Deliveries will go to a satellite location away from the main building. Kripalu staff will transport goods up to the building in smaller loads. Pros: • Eliminates large truck traffic along driveways and near the building • Could be designed to increase storage ability over the main building, potentially reducing the number of deliveries necessary Cons: • Staff would be required to transport goods from new site to main building • Retrofitting an existing building, or siting a new one, may require permitting for construction within wetlands buffers or on steep, erodable slopes • Cost to retrofit or construct a building, and improve or extend driveways to support large truck traffic if necessary

Kripalu

A new gatehouse completes part or all of the registration process, alleviating some of the hassle and congestion at the building. A gatehouse could be implemented along either driveway.

&

entrance

a landscape master plan for

A New Gatehouse

&

center for yoga & health

New Gatehouse

traffic

Design

Guest

Vehicular Access & Circulation III

Vehicular Access & Circulation

20/31 Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.


The tale of parking on Kripalu’s campus is one of two extremes: huge parking lots go partially empty during the week, and overflow on the weekend onto the driveway shoulders, row end caps, and temporary 10-minute spots. Big weekends may require as many as 100-125 additional parking spots to accommodate all the cars onsite. There are few locations to add this many parking spaces on Kripalu’s property without seriously compromising nearby wetlands or views to the lake (their own and their neighbors). Consolidating additional parking with existing lots conserves desirable views, concentrates limited staff and resources for maintenance, and is a vital part of creating a clear arrival process for guests.

South Drive South Drive NTS

Enlarged & Interplanted North Lot

NTS

Parking Deck

with a

Green Roof

North parking lots are consolidated, organized, and expanded to accommodate 250 additional cars. Tiered parking levels are separated by gently sloped rows of trees and shrubs. The new lot is a permeable soil surface.

A parking deck with a green roof consolidates and expands parking, adding nearly 600 additional spots. The deck is constructed to blend with the naturalized surroundings.

Pros: • Holds roughly 250 additional cars • Tiered parking is easier to plow, with a 1:3 slope between tiers to hold snow safely • Straight rows are easier for guests to navigate and maintenance staff to plow • Slopes between parking tiers are wide enough to allow mature trees to flourish, and shade parked vehicles • Mature trees will conceal the parking lot and cars from neighboring views • Improved grade can easily accommodate traffic and pedestrians • Permeable surface allows water to infiltrate rather than run off • Clear and logical path to guest entrance

Pros: • 200 spots will fit into the existing footprint • Drastically reduces or eliminates winter maintenance • Green roofs are low maintenance once correctly established • Green roof conceals parking lot from neighboring views • Improved night lighting is hidden from neighboring views • Paths from upper deck meet the ground at a flatter and more comfortable grade, making it easier to approach the building on foot • Prevents rain from carrying surface pollutants on parking lot to storm drains

Cons: • The lot is within the Scenic Mountain Act, which means that neighboring views cannot be compromised by parking improvements • Removes some or all of the orchard, depending on how many additional spaces are created • Initial cost

Terraced Parking Lot

NTS

Section of enlarged north lot. Islands between the parking aisles are sloped and vegetated providing shade for vehicles, concealing neighboring views. Its permeable surface allows water to infiltrate rather than runoff.

The parking lots north of the building, unlike the main lot, do not currently generate excessive runoff because the permeable surface helps to infiltrate water rather than channel it away. In consolidating the lots into one much larger parking area, care should be taken not to shunt too much water over the edge of the hillside toward the building, where it will gain speed as surface runoff on pavement, heading around the annex toward the detention ponds at the foot of the main lot. Keeping the permeable surface will continue to allow water to infiltrate. Interplanting with a variety of canopy and understory trees, shrubs, and ornamental grasses will uptake water through root systems and slow surface water down. The parking deck’s green roof covers the existing main lot, preventing surface runoff from forming and instantly reducing pollution and sedimentation into nearby water systems. In a 1” rain storm, this would reduce over 5,800ft3 of polluted stormwater from running across the 70,000ft2 parking area into the detention ponds. The reduction in runoff across the lot’s impervious surfaces will also extend the lifespan of the asphalt, which has been prematurely degraded by destructive runoff and constant winter maintenance.

Cons: • Initial cost • Construction near steep, erodable slopes above a wetland buffer and stream must be addressed carefully

NTS Section of parking deck with green roof. Extending each tier to the western edge of the main lot increases its capacity to 900 vehicles. A green roof conceals the lot from neighboring views. It also reduces winter maintenance and protects water quality.

A larger parking lot with a single surface, consistent aisle width and parking space size replaces four small inconsistently sized and shaped lots.

center for yoga & health

Guest Entrance

Additional Parking

Parking Deck w/ Green Roof

Parking at Kripalu is not only related to the guest arrival process, however. Huge parking lots absorb no water during rain or snow events, overwhelming stormwater systems by flooding them with sudden volume. Water running off Kripalu’s impermeable surfaces accelerates, picking up speed as it rolls downhill, channeling across erodable soils into nearby streams, wetlands, and the lake. Pollutants from vehicles, salt, and winter road sand may be carried with stormwater directly to the Stockbridge Bowl. Kripalu’s parking solutions will inherently affect their drainage and stormwater management as well.

Design

Guest Entrance

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

Existing North Lot East Drive

Kripalu

East Drive

a landscape master plan for

Legend Area of Additional Parking

Enlarged & Interplanted North Lot

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Additional Parking

21/31


Several aspects of the current registration procedure contribute to excess congestion at the building’s entrance and in the short-term parking lot outside the door. Kripalu’s guests have very limited ability to complete their own registration or check-in electronically. The booking system on Kripalu’s website does not include a real-time room inventory and requires that a Kripalu employee research and assign an available room after a guest has requested one online. Without a fully automated system, guests cannot return to their reservation later to check-in prior to arrival. Creating advance check-in would create an opportunity to stagger arrivals, alleviating congestion at the registration entrance. In order to meet their guests’ needs at arrival registration should take place wherever the relationship between driveways, parking lots, and building entrance is the most visible and clear to approaching motorists. Other entrances could be modified to support universal access (which might be appreciated by guests handling suitcases as well); visitors could be directed to registration desks from another entrance with signs or the desks could be moved. The frustration and distress guests experience during arrival negatively impacts the overall experience of Kripalu. Changing the registration process to allow guests to do more of it themselves, staggering their arrival times, and shifting infrastructure inside the building to accommodate the most clear arrival process will help guests be more ready to enjoy their stay with Kripalu.

Roadside Signs

Kripalu’s signs are sited in attractive gardens, but their position low to the ground makes them harder to see from inside a vehicle. The metal reflects light and at certain times of the day is difficult to see at all, or is obscured by glare from the sun. Stockbridge’s zoning by-laws require that signs be no more than four square feet in total surface area. While they may not be able to enlarge their roadside signs, there are some measures Kripalu can take to make their signs more visible to passing motorists. Changing the material to be non-reflective will help motorists find them in bright light situations. Elevating signs at drivers’ eye level will increase their visibility. This could be as simple as a post arm with a shingle sign (which can accommodate metal). At the south drive, a new column could reference the stone columns at the east drive without mimicking them.

Navigational Signs

on the

Campus

Roadside Sign. The seasonal display at the foot of this sign is smaller than Kripalu’s entrance garden, but the sign is very visible because it is well positioned for passing motorists to see and is elevated to their eye level.

Guests arriving at Kripalu receive very little direction about where to go once they are on the property. The only permanent navigation sign is at the end of the east drive, and it employs terms that aren’t meaningful to guests still orienting to the campus. There are several other signs to direct people to parking and registration, but they are removed in winter because of the snow piles along the edge of the driveways.

Mon Tues Wed

Many visitors use Kripalu’s trails to connect to others nearby. The trails map provided by Kripalu does show their onsite trails, but without landmarks to help orient hikers. People using the trails to go offsite are sometimes confused and upset when they can’t figure out where they are in relationship to where they want to be. None of the trails on the property are signed.

Thurs

Fri

Sat

Sun Guest arrivals (orange) and departures (green) at Kripalu, sorted by day of the week and hour of arrival. The registration entrance can become crowded and hectic with as many as 100 guests per hour checking in or out at peak times, especially Friday and Sunday.

Trails should be signed at the trailhead and anywhere they intersect with a road or another trail. Signs should include a map, with a specific way of identifying where the viewer is on the trail system at that point. Trail maps need more landmarks and more offsite information, possibly with pictures to help firsttime visitors orient and acclimate.

a landscape master plan for

Trails Signs

Kripalu

Navigational signs should direct motorists at every vehicular intersection, and periodically along the east drive where the main destination is out of sight. Signs should employ meaningful terms so that drivers can make quick decisions about which direction they should choose. Parking lots should be signed at every entrance to confirm who should be using them and for how long. Signs should be sturdy and permanent enough to stay in place during the winter.

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Kripalu’s roadside signs can be difficult to see from a passing car. Once on the property, motorists will find only a handful of navigational signs directing them to parking and the building. Trails are totally unmarked and hikers often report confusion when using the trails map provided by Kripalu, which does not show enough landmarks to orient guests.

Guest Registration, Wayfinding & Signs

One of the most significant components in the access and circulation patterns at Kripalu is the registration process. The current procedure creates bottlenecks at the registration desk and in the parking lots, requires extra effort and patience from guests, and strains multiple physical systems on the property.

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Wayfinding & Signs

Design

Guest Registration

22/31


NTS

Park

Chakra Trail

on the

South Lawn

The east drive, currently open to all vehicular traffic but frequently used by visitors as a footpath, would become a pedestrian only zone, with exception of necessary maintenance and emergency vehicles.

Dedicating the south lawn to pedestrian activity provides paths and destinations close to the building, sympathetic with the contours of the steep lawn. Resting places represent the human chakras.

Pros: • Intentional loop trails encourage exploration and provide a sense of security as they assure a return to the beginning location of one’s walk • Exploration of the east property becomes safe and more relaxing without the anticipation of having to move out of a vehicle’s path

Pros: • From the main building, people can see there are places to go with an easy way to get there • The underused, but maintained lower elevations of the south lawn now serve a purpose which people are encouraged to use • Resting areas within the path provide respite and entertainment for guests

Cons: • Prioritizing pedestrian access on the east drive concentrates vehicular traffic elsewhere

Chakra Trail

to the

Special Places

Using existing special places to represent the human chakras, this trail extends over the majority of the property Pros: • The intentional, long trail with intermittent destinations encourages exploration and exercise on the whole property Cons: • Assigning meaning to places, rather than letting people find meaning may be discouraging to those seeking an open ended experience

Cons: • Trails would need to be circuitous to maintain a more accessible grade of <10%, otherwise they would still be steep • Length of path from Route 183 to the main building increases with an effort to make it more comfortable

Kripalu

a

NTS

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East End Becomes

NTS

center for yoga & health

Pedestrian Paths

Design

Legend

Pedestrian Access & Circulation

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Pedestrian Access & Circulation

23/31 Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.


Extending the popular front terrace to welcome people into the campus and showcase the incredible view to the lake will bring the building out into the landscape, rather than isolating it as a solitary sentinel watching over new arrivals.

Horizontal lines of vegetation make this very modern building less imposing.

Shade structures can be any style and in addition to their functionality, help break the strong vertical lines of a tall building.

Kripalu’s mission is one of inclusion and holism. The building’s institutional appearance is at odds with the core message of Kripalu, and can alarm guests when they arrive and use the grounds. Intertwining the structure with the landscape will welcome people to this place of special learning that is seamlessly integrated into the lush surrounding landscape.

Integration

Kripalu

A green wall can disguise extreme architecture under a blanket of leaves, literally wrapping the landscape around the building. Changing or covering Shadowbrook’s white marble would also reduce its monopolizing effect. If a new façade is applied, it could be of a highly insulated material that also conserves energy. Shades or awnings are also an option to give the sheer front of the building depth and help mitigate the hot sun from its southern exposure.

center for yoga & health

Living walls reduce the visual size of even very large buildings. This structure is also integrated into the surroundings with terrace gardens where people can sit in the sun and relax.

a landscape master plan for

Vines form a skin on the building, softening its hard edges. Even though the vegetation is elevated off the ground, it visually connects the building with the nearby ornamental tree.

The scale of the building could be broken down by tall vegetation. Trees don’t grow as tall as the building but are between the height of humans and the five-story height of Shadowbrook. Their fullness, soft texture, and seasonal interest can be a pleasant contrast to the severity of a very modern building. Ornamentals are already growing in the center of the parking loop south of the building; new trees could provide continuity as the landscape transitions to a more integrated one. Using vegetation to frame and filter the view of the building from further away can reveal it slowly, rather than all at once, helping people adjust to its large monumental façade.

Building

The two primary ways Kripalu can accomplish this integration are using vegetation to reduce the visual size of the building, and to adjust the appearance of the façade to soften it and make it more fitting to the rural, natural vernacular of the Berkshires.

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

The Jesuits originally built the Shadowbrook building as an institution where would-be priests were brought to the Berkshires to study and train. This history is still reflected in the stark, building looming over the hillside, dominating Kripalu’s campus. Its architecture is poorly integrated with the lush landscapes of the rolling Berkshire hills and it stands alone as an anomaly within the naturalized grounds. Its façade commands attention from arriving guests, overshadowing other more positive first impressions. Integrating the building into the landscape will reduce its monumental scale to something more human scale comfortable.

Design

Building Integration

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Using Vegetation

to

Define Places

as

Special

Vegetation will instruct people moving through the landscape, subtly distinguishing special places from ordinary ones. Mown lawn will signal a special or social place, inviting people to walk where they will, meditate, lie down and enjoy the sunshine, or gather for conversation. Meadows with mown paths will gently direct people toward special places, encouraging them to stop at resting areas along the way and experience the rich wildlife habitat this ecosystem provides.

The most beloved destinations on the Kripalu campus, such as the mansion site and the labyrinth, offer a combination of prospect and refuge. Prospect, or wide scenic views, over the Stockbridge Bowl and surrounding mountains has characterized the property for over a century and remains one of the most vital aspects of the landscape today. Refuge describes the feeling of privacy or protection created by a smaller space, a retreat or shelter. People are powerfully drawn to places that combine overlooking views and yet still feel enclosed and protected. Using vegetation to separate and enclose smaller spaces within larger ones like the south lawn will create new places that feel comfortable.

The vegetation on Kripalu’s campus has a strong influence on the quality of the human experience in their landscape, and is also a reflection of the ecological integrity of the land they steward. Aligning the landscape with Kripalu’s values means that the maintenance of this vegetation should be as holistic and authentic as the experiences people have on the grounds. The vegetation design directives should guide the way vegetation on the site is maintained, replaced, and used to create human experiences. The vegetation on Kripalu’s campus has a strong influence on the quality of the human experience in their landscape, and is also a reflection of the ecological integrity of the land they steward. Aligning the landscape with Kripalu’s values means that the maintenance of this vegetation should be as holistic and authentic as the experiences people have on the grounds. The vegetation design directives should guide the way vegetation on the site is maintained, replaced, and used to create human experiences.

Design Directives Vegetation at Kripalu should: • Some of the best places to observe Kripalu’s stunning views are uncomfortably open and exposed (such as the south lawn, on the left). The labyrinth encloses people within its spiraled paths, but people coming and going to this special place are in full view of the building (above right).

Social Places Are Special Places Too

People come to Kripalu for contemplation, but they also come to experience connection to other people pursuing the same inner journey. Kripalu’s programs strengthen relationships and their outdoor activities bring new friends together. Fine weather finds people making do with temporary outdoor social spaces, walking in groups along the east drive, or sitting out in full view in the open south lawn. Space near the building set aside for gathering and socializing, however, is notably absent. The band of lawn closest to the south side of the building already has soft grass and good views, important components of a comfortable place to sit and talk. When shaped into smaller rooms with trees and shrubs, and defined by the nearby meadow, it will make an ideal social space. Taller vegetation surrounding lawn will signal that this is a special place, and people will more freely mingle where they can feel refuge. Vegetation creates change relatively quickly. Donated trees can create a transition between the social spaces of mown lawn and the naturalized areas of the campus. Lawn left unmown will form a taller meadow. Entrance gardens with the same plants, or similar compositions with different plants, create continuity. Any of these vegetation strategies can work with any of the circulation alternatives—and with the existing patterns already in place on the site. By making intimate spaces where people feel comfortable and protected, and creating areas where people can gather and make connections with each other, Kripalu will be establishing a meaningful landscape for its guests and staff.

• • • • • • • • • • •

Help integrate the building into its surrounding to create a cohesive landscape Define special places and set them apart from ordinary spaces Facilitate direction and movement throughout the landscape Be maintained to keep or regain desirable views without compromising natural resources Be used to screen undesirable views Require minimal use of petroleum-fueled equipment Be maintained organically, free of chemical herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers Be maintained to promote woodland succession and limit fire danger Be supportive of natural plant and animal communities Replace horticultural and exotic plants from past eras (as they naturally die) with native species, as appropriate Help protect other natural resources (such as water, by filtering unintended runoff) Provide food for Kripalu’s visitors

center for yoga & health

Vegetation can be a tool to connect people more deeply to the landscape, to each other, and to themselves. Vegetation as a pattern can communicate where people should go, and how they should get there. Revered special places like the mansion ruin, with its small outdoor rooms and mementos of other Old trees around the mansion ruins create small outdoor inhabitants, teach valuable rooms where people feel protected and comfortable. lessons about how to make people comfortable in the landscape, heightening their enjoyment of the experience and connection to the place.

Vegetation Creates Prospect & Refuge

Meaningful Landscape

These special places help guests connect more deeply with Kripalu’s teachings of integration, connection, and holism. However, a lack of definition between some special places and surrounding landscapes diffuses their potency. Acres of uniformly mown lawn blend together areas where no one goes with those of extraordinary significance. Areas where people enjoy outdoor yoga or activities are open and exposed to passing traffic. Abrupt transitions between more naturalized zones and the infrastructure around the building take guests by surprise, as one landscape simply stops and another begins. Spaces where people feel comfortable gathering and socializing exist only inside the building, limiting an important aspect of the Kripalu experience.

Vegetation

Kripalu

Some places on Kripalu’s property are so intuitively special that people are drawn there. Some of these places are beloved for a magnificent view to the Stockbridge Bowl and the mountains beyond. Others are simply quiet, serene places where people find connection to whatever larger purpose brought them to Kripalu.

with

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Meaningful Landscape

Design

a

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Establishing

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The vegetation plan is a comprehensive look at how vegetation can improve existing and create new special places. The changes will have social and ecological benefits. Additional concepts for how vegetation can help humanize the building and reduce maintenance on the south lawn are explored in Focus: South Lawn (sheet 29).

Lawn Communicates Use: Lawn is reserved for special places and social space where people should gather. Consistent application of this principle will create a subtle communication system, guiding people toward areas that hold more meaning and are more highly maintained to encourage exploration. Other areas are allowed to become meadow, transitional woodland, or forest.

East 1 Entrance Gate

4 Mansion Site 2 Abandoned Nursery

183

Mown Lawn

200’

3

400’

East Drive: The east drive is attractive to pedestrians. It should be

considered functionally as a social space. To support the idea that lawn always denotes a special place for people, the grass should be reduced to only a mown shoulder, allowing people a place to walk if they need to get out of the way of passing vehicles. Grass beyond the mown shoulder can become a meadow or woodland, requiring less maintenance. Small trees can be planted on either side of the drive at the mansion site and grotto garden, creating a barrier between these open sites and vehicular traffic on the driveway. Small trees will not affect the view of the lake from the meditation garden above. 4

Stockbridge Bowl

Abandoned Nursery: This space is already like an outdoor room.

The attractive mature trees are adjacent to a reasonably flat area and are surrounded by woodlands. If maintained with mown lawn, this area can serve as a gathering area, yoga space, or social destination.

Meadow

0

Entrance Gates: Ornamental vegetation should be consistent

in form, although not necessarily the same species if site conditions are considerably different. Continuity in form, scale, and composition of the entrance gardens will help guests understand that both entrances lead to the same place. 2

Woodland

1 South Entrance Gate

1

Mansion Site: This is a landmark destination for people and should

receive appropriate maintenance and repair to honor its significance. The lawn should continue to be mown and the site should not receive any new built structures or vegetation. In order to preserve its historical qualities, the stone foundation should be repaired and maintained with materials similar to those originally used to construct it. Although the mature hemlocks growing in the stone walls provide refuge for people, they should not be replaced as they naturally die, so that the stonework is not further compromised. Trees below the foundation have matured to block the desirable view of the lake. If not within the 100’ stream buffer, they may be thinned to regain the vista. The Camperdown elm dates from the original mansion and is a one of a kind connection to the site’s past. When it dies, Kripalu may elect to replace it with another tree or honor it with some kind of memorial. Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

Kripalu

te Rou

d

management: Invasives have been identified in the wetlands, woodlands, and woodland edge. To increase ecological integrity of the site, invasive plants should be removed. A professional should be contacted for specific removal strategy, but there should always be a plan as to how and what will replace the invasive plants prior to their removal, and a property-wide evaluation of invasive plants should be conducted.

center for yoga & health

East Drive

in Roa

a landscape master plan for

3

Invasive

ounta

Vegetation Plan East

ond M

Design

Richm

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Vegetation Plan: East

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Swami Kripalu Meditation Garden: The horizontal ground

and vertical tree trunks define the space. Interplanting canopy trees with mid-height understory shrubs would enclose the space in a more comfortable way. It is important to maintain the open view to the Stockbridge Bowl, so new vegetation should not block the southern edge of this garden.

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Ganesh Shrine: Because the east drive is elevated over the nearby stream, tires of passing vehicles are at eye-level and roughly thirty feet away from people seeking serenity at the shrine. Planting shrubs or small trees with dense foliage will buffer some noise and exposure from the driveway. 3

Orchard: Access to the orchard requires climbing a very steep hill and it may become more of a destination if a covered staircase is installed connecting the building to nearby parking lots. Evaluating its capacity as a social place will inform its maintenance needs. As a destination, the grass may continue to be mown. If used only for making cider and as a place to be seen from the dining room, a meadow should be allowed to grow to provide pollinator habitat, increasing the spring flowers and fruit set. 4

7 Slopes West of Main Parking Lot

South Drive 8 Allee

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Allee Along Route 183

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eliminate the need to mow, and deter people from traversing the steep hillside.

Woodland Meadow

200’

Ayurvedic Garden: This location requires further evaluation of how all guests use the space. The Ayurvedic students use the garden in cycles and for specific purposes and a work bench for students may be appropriate. If the garden is to become a popular gathering space, it’s central lawn should be retained. 6

Mown Lawn

0

Orchard Slope: Plant with woody shrubs to prevent erosion,

400’

of Main Parking Lot: Although an effort has previously been made to vegetate the slopes, it is important to continue to plant them in order to stabilize the soil and reduce erosion. Irrigation and more attentive maintenance may be required to establish plants in this location, but maintaining slope stability will contribute to healthier water quality and reduce ongoing maintenance. Healthy vegetation on this slope will block some views of the parking lot from other properties.

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Slopes West

South Drive Allee: Establishing the long-term future of the south

drive will determine how its vegetation is managed. The existing allee trees could continue to serve as an allee or become part of the woodland if the woods extend into the south lawn. The pH of the allee soil is very high, likely from winter salt use. If this begins to negatively affect the maples (which are salt sensitive) or shagbark hickories, the slippery roads could be dressed with sand instead of salt, as a way to protect the existing trees.

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Swami Kripalu 1 Meditation Garden

Kripalu

3 Ganesh Shrine

Design

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Allee Along Route 183: This historic remnant enhances the experience of walking parallel to the road. Working with professionals to maintain the health of these old maples and ashes is important; pulling away wood chips that could unintentionally smother the tree collar will contribute to their longevity. As they naturally die, they can be replaced with shade-tolerant canopy trees that will in time provide the same protection. 2

4 Orchard

Vegetation Plan Central

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Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Vegetation Plan: Central

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Stockbridge Bowl Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.


Woodland Edge Surrounding South Lawn and Labyrinth: This area is not used by people and should revert to

vegetation that requires less maintenance and increases ecological health. The woodland edge can be increased into the unused southern portions of the south lawn, concealing the waste treatment facility from view at higher elevations and views of the parking lot from across the lake. Bringing woodlands in around the south gate can frame the labyrinth while still allowing it to be seen from the building, and reveal the building slowly to arriving guests (see Guidelines for Donated Trees, sheet 31). 2

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Lake House: The gravel path to this destination should be

maintained for safe access and to ensure that the gravel doesn’t wash into the wetland. There are invasive burning bushes on the shore side of the lake house, which should be removed so they don’t spread to the surrounding wetlands. They should be replaced with native shrubs.

Labyrinth

Meadow

Woodland Edge Surrounding South Lawn and Labyrinth

used frequently and should remain mown lawn to denote it as a social place. Lawn below the area that is used for gathering can be replaced with a meadow with mown paths to define access to special destinations. For guidelines, see sheet 30, Establishing a Meadow. Alteration of the south lawn can support new places in the landscape that are connected to Kripalu’s teachings about personal exploration and learning the meaning of a fulfilled life. Pockets within the expanded woodland and meadow can provide refuge and views, framed by vegetation.

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South Lawn: The area of the south lawn closest to the building is

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Kripalu Stockbridge Bowl

New Forest

Meadow

Mown Lawn

To maintain views of the lake, mature trees en masse should be planted no higher in elevation than mid-slope on the south lawn. Further study is needed to identify the exact elevation at which the view to the lake is compromised from different viewpoints.

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the labyrinth is in the correct place. If it needs to be relocated, it should be sited in a flat location that is easily accessible from the building.

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Labyrinth: Changing vehicular traffic patterns warrants evaluating if

center for yoga & health

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Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Vegetation Plan: South

Lake House

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Stockbridge Bowl Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.


The south lawn is mown only in places where people go, so that mown lawns and paths connect people to destinations. Establishing meadows and bringing the woodland edge into the open space are ways to replace existing lawn. This is also an opportunity to create new special places for visitors and staff. This plan depicts a simple way to do this, while the subsequent concepts for the south lawn are more detailed and provide more special places.

Legend Forest Meadow Mown Lawn

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400’

South Terrace

Terraces on the sloped south lawn can be graded to alleviate some of the steepness visitors experience. They can have multiple purposes. In honor of the garden that was replaced with the new main parking lot, the terraces could be a place to admire ornamental gardens. Alternately, they could be demonstration gardens, educating visitors about the joys and merits of growing one’s own food for health. The terraces could be an integration of these two concepts.

A new sweeping path is more sympathetic with the topography, making a more enjoyable climb from the lake trail or bottom of the south drive to the main building.

To the northwest of the terraces, a circle of trees mimics the current circle to the east. They both provide visual interest and a place for people to relax near the building in shade.

Within the meadow, there are relatively flat, grassy places to spend time. Individual trees in the meadow and south of the gathering spaces provide shade and comfort. Shrubs on the north side of the gathering space provide a sense of seclusion opposed to the once exposed, open lawn.

The woodland edge surrounding the south lawn is brought in where the lawn is not frequently used. It also conceals views of the waste treatment facility from near the building and the parking lot from across the lake. A meadow surrounding the labyrinth and on the lower portion of the eastern part of the south lawn maintain openness for views of the lake, but also minimizes maintenance. Paths mown in the meadows guide people to the labyrinth and lake.

Design

200’

The south lawn stays fairly open. The meadow and spaced trees that provide shade and create views (without blocking the vista of the lake) add character to the lawn.

The terrace is extended for flat, outdoor space adjacent to the building. A vinecovered pergola provides shade for people sitting on the terrace. The pergola begins to integrate the building into its natural surroundings when people look at it from lower elevations and from across the lake. Grass and pavement provide accessible places to gather. The south loop goes through the lower terrace where guests could someday register out of inclement weather, and continue on to the main parking lot. Slopes west of the main parking lot are vegetated to minimize erosion. Meadows are located on very steep slopes and where the backhoe needs to access the ponds to dredge them periodically. The extended forest edge and individual trees on the south lawn slowly reveal the building.

center for yoga & health

Meadow

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Focus: South Lawn

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Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Focus: South Lawn

29/31 Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.


Image Source: Cornell University

The large tracts of mown lawn that people do not use could be replaced with spaces similar to the existing special places where people enjoy spending time. This is an opportunity to change the maintenance regime, increase the ecological integrity of the landscape, and use the vegetation to facilitate other actions. The best way to establish a meadow from mown lawn is to start fresh in the spring. An evaluation of existing plant species can be done by mowing twice in the meadowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first year and monitoring it over the spring, summer, and fall to assess the plant species that grow in it. The first mowing should be done in late March or early April, before birds nest. The last mowing should take place after the first killing frost, but as late into the fall as possible to allow migrating birds to feast on seeds and insects. Once a meadow is established it can be mown annually or once every two years. The plant material that is mown may be left to provide nutrients for the soil. Alternately, walking paths may be mown throughout the meadows to guide visitors to other destinations.

Image Source: Mount Cuba Center Inc.

The curving edge of the mown path, arching around a tree and out of sight, entices people to follow it around the corner to see what comes next. This landscape is lower maintenance than large areas of mown lawn.

Mature trees enclose a defined space and provide shade for people walking or resting along the wide, curving mown path.

Sowing wildflower seed in the fall or planting plugs in the spring can supplement existing plants. Some companies offer specialized seed mixes based on location and soil requirements. If possible, it is best to get mixes from locally sourced seed banks. Seeds are generally less expensive than plugs. To provide pockets of shade and increase the ecological integrity of a meadow, shade trees may be planted. Red maples grow quickly and are attractive in the fall. The acidity of white pines makes it difficult for some invasive plants to grow near them. They also begin to form a woodland so may be well suited for the space between existing woodlands and the new meadow.

a landscape master plan for

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Individual trees of varying heights growing in a meadow offer enough refuge to make an open space feel comfortable. People are less inclined to walk through meadow where there is no path.

The abundance of invasive plants on Kripaluâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s site is partially determined by prior use of the land and what species are currently present. Management of invasives should take place after other plants have seeded, after migrating or nesting birds are gone, but preferably before the invasives go to seed, which varies by species.

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Replacing turf with meadow and shade trees decreases maintenance cost and time, increases visual interest, and provides habitat for animals while increasing ecological integrity.

Establishing a Meadow

Meadow

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

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Design

Establishing

30/31 A formal lawn gathering area bordered by a stone wall fits well between a wild meadow and woodland.

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.


Notes

Acer rubrum

Red Maple

60’ x 40’

Red fall color

Acer saccharum

Sugar Maple

60’ x 40’

Yellow, orange and red fall color; susceptible to salt

Cladrastis kentukea

American Yellowwood

40’ x 40’

Fragrant, white, pendulous spring flowers

Fagus grandifolia

American Beech

60’ x 60’

Attractive smooth bark; bronze fall color; hardy

Hamemelis virginiana

Common Witchhazel

18’ x 18’

Midsized, multi-stemmed shrub for varied height of meadow and woodland edge; small yellow late-fall flowers

Ilex glabra

Inkberry

7’ x 9’

Colonizing, evergreen shrub; great for mass plantings

Juniperus virginiana

Eastern Red Cedar

25’ x 8’

Evergreen conifer; hardy

Liriodendron tulipifera

Tulip Tree

80’ x 40’

Beautiful, large, late-spring flowers; tall, clean structure; prefers moist soil (lower on south lawn is better)

Ostrya virginiana

American Hophornbeam, Ironwood

35’ x 30’

Attractive trunk and branching structure visible in winter; pyramidal shape

Quercus coccinea

Scarlet Oak

70’ x 40’

Attractive trunk and branching structure visible in winter; red fall color

Thuja occidentalis

American Arborvitae

50’ x 15’

Evergreen conifer; hardy

Until a more detailed planting plan is firmly established, this may serve as guide for how to use donated trees. These native trees and shrubs are ideal for the soil conditions at Kripalu. Additional native species may be considered. Some of the large shrubs and conifers may be better suited for massing or screening, and other trees can be planted individually as specimens. As the commitment is made by Kripalu to reduce unused lawn, trees can be established in two ways within the meadow and special places. As the meadow develops and tree seedlings emerge, native trees can be left (staked to indicate location so as to not mow it down) and allowed to grow. Alternately, young native trees can be planted. Once the desired shape of the woodland edge is determined, trees should be planted, as time progresses, from the existing woodland edge into the open meadow space. Trees can complement meadows, and as individuals be a graceful melding of a meadow and woodland edge. Varying the canopy height and shape provides visual interest. They also provide shade for people, habitat and forage for animals, and can stabilize soil on slopes.

Spacing Trees

Image Source: Duke University

Image Source: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Donated trees can be planted in the meadow and extended woodland edge, or can be transplanted at a later time. Consider maintaining views and spaces to walk easily in the middle of meadows. Planting trees spaced wider apart than the size of the mature canopy will allow them to stand as specimens on their own. Trees planted close to the woodland edge can be closer together.

Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple)

Cladrastis kentukea (American Yellowwood)

Juniperus virginiana (Eastern Red Cedar)

Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip Tree)

Quercus coccinea (Scarlet Oak)

center for yoga & health

Average Size at Maturity (Height x Width)

Guidelines for Donated Trees

Common Name

Kripalu

Botanic Name

Erin Hepfner & Kate Tompkins The Conway School www.csld.edu Spring 2011

Donated Trees

Design

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Guidelines

31/31 Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.


A Landscape Master Plan for Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health