A meandering pathway leads visitors over a wetland, above native plants, and to the doors of the new Stevens Creek Nature Preserve.
Stevens Creek Nature Preserve
Charlotte, North Carolina
Fiberglass grating, concrete footers, and galvanized steel structure suspected over a retention basin
1,240 square feet
On maps we see creeks as thin blue lines. On the rare occasions when we actually get down to the shores of a creek, we see only one particular moment of liquid movement—but have no sense of the creek’s larger passage across the land. Meander Walk gives visitors to the Stevens Creek Nature Preserve a kinetic sense of a creek’s meandering form. Instead of walking a straight line of a sidewalk, visitors take a creek-like journey from the parking lot to the front entrance. When people visit the new Stevens Creek nature center building, everyone will feel the sinuous passage of the creek, and get a visceral sense of this meander pattern by moving with the creek’s form.
Meander Walk is a curving walkway from near the parking lot to the nature center's main entrance. The path creates the sense of a stream’s pattern and gives visitors a kinetic experience of walking the meander before they enter the building. The project's ADA-compliant extruded fiberglass grid gating is dyed a cobalt blue. The walking platform crosses over the detention basin where rain from the site collects.
The meandering walkway is slightly suspended above the wetland swale in some places. The fiberglass grid allows light and rain to penetrate to the meadow below. In some places, the underlying vegetation may poke through the path surface in a pleasant interface where human-made structure meets nature.