Love The Outdoors
Richard Arentz & Joe Sampsell, Arentz Landscape Architects, LLC
Being in nature often provides one with a sense of calm and peace. We leave the stresses of a busy city to drive to the countryside to embrace the fresh air, arresting views and beauty of the outdoors. Capital cities all over the world often have surrounding areas to which its inhabitants escape –one such area for residents of Accra is the Aburi Mountains, to which many slip away for an early morning hike. As landscape architects, we design serene environments in the heart of many lively urban conditions. We want residents of the environments we design to pull into their driveways and exhale a deep breath as they step into an oasis that allows them to leave the city, the traffic and their work behind.
Our work as designers begins with analysis and exploration to understand the fabric of local culture, history, and materials. Our work is a response to the context of a project, including the natural, built and sensory aspects that make up a place. The Ayi Mensah Park development team experienced our award-winning designs across the United States and the Caribbean. In seeking our engagement for Ayi Mensah Park, they expressed the importance of ensuring that this flagship community was an urban oasis, making the most of the foothills of the Aburi Mountains.
The concept for the Ayi Mensah Park community began with the notion of a community built around a significant park. Garden walks link residents to the central park. The network of green spaces affords the opportunity for both active and passive uses, including a large central lawn surrounded by lush gardens, active playgrounds, a sports court, a swimming pool and clubhouse. The design of green spaces draws upon the rich palette of plant material that thrives in Ghana and indeed onsite, including the preservation of a mature Baobab tree within the central park.
In collaboration with local architects, botanists at the Aburi Botanical Gardens and the insight of prospective buyers, we designed a community we hope residents will love. A space where children love to play on the central park lawn, where families love to gather around the pool and enjoy a barbeque with friends, where neighbors love to come together, and where balcony views are enriched by lush plantings and greenery.