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Gillson Park Beach House
Wilmette Park District
5 Acres / 5,200 SF Building
Woodhouse Tinucci Architects
Inspired by the historic dune landscape of the site, both the architecture and landscape are an extension of this sinuous beach vocabulary.
With the demolition of the existing beach house and parking lot, a decidedly lighter, more transparent design was imagined by the architects to leave the panoramic views of the Lake Michigan shoreline as unimpeded as possible. Our team designed a dune landscape to envelop and complement the graceful new architectural design, selecting native plantings suited to the sandy conditions. Drifts of seasonal color are woven through the masses of marram grass providing ecological diversity to harmonize with the surrounding Gillson Park.
A 325 car surface parking lot was also developed as part of the new beach house. Light colored pervious pavers were used in parking areas, with shade tree and ornamental grass filled bioswale planters artfully arranged throughout the lot to choreograph views to the lake, treat surface runoff, and satisfy the local landscape ordinance. Colorful, yet sand-tolerant, plantings billow alongside bike and pedestrian paths that enter the site, providing a welcoming experience for visitors.