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Murphey School
Raleigh, NC
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  • Project Scope:
    Renovation of 2 outdoor spaces
    Incorporated Sustainable/Green Technologies
    Horticutlure Therapy
    Developed through community design charettes
    Developed 2 Schematic Design alternatives

Sustainable Features:
Rain barrels for water collection & irrigation
Permeable paving
Edible landscaping
Green Walls
Increase biodiversity & wildlife habitat
Solar tiles/ lighting
Furniture with recycled content

Horticulture Therapy Features: Raised planter beds
Covered work areas
Storage for tools
Accessible walks
Intimate versus group spaces
Sensory plantings
Plantings to mark the passage of time with seasonal interest
Flexible spaces

HagerSmith Design’s Green Committee wanted to find a worthwhile community project where sustainable technologies and elements could be incorporated for a donation of the firm’s services. The schematic renovation of two dilapidated exterior spaces at Murphey School was identified as an ideal project. Built in 1916, Murphey School is one of the oldest school buildings still in existence in Raleigh, and was the first integrated school in the capital city. It is now a 52-unit affordable housing complex for seniors managed by DHIC with a wing dedicated to the Burning Coal Theatre. Located in the Blount Street Historic District, and within the Blount Street Commons Master Plan, the two garden spaces have interesting context in downtown Raleigh.

As an inclusive way to engage residents and the local community and in order to achieve a more innovative sustainable result, the Schematic Design process was conceived as a series of design charettes, The first was a focus group meeting with Murphey School residents to develop programming and visioning ideas. Next, a large Community Design Charette was held onsite at the Burning Coal Theater. This collaborative event was attended by HagerSmith and guest design staff, sustainability professionals, DHIC staff, a NCSU graduate studio, the sustainability directors for the City of Raleigh and Meredith College, and some City of Raleigh municipal leaders. A final charette took place at HagerSmith Design in which the schemes from the community charette were analyzed, and the best elements identified. This baseline of various programming elements, green features, and horticulture therapy principles were then used to develop two final design scheme alternatives, one organic and the other formal in nature.

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Designed and Developed by: Center Line Productions