Reveals: Franklin Park


Nearly half of Franklin Park, Olmsted’s crown jewel in Boston, has long been closed to the public. A redesign therefore means more than just an expansion of the park’s area. It’s an opportunity to create a cogent, stitched experience across a formerly bifurcated site.

Reveals: Franklin Park unifies the site through three measures. First, the redesign provides a sense of place and identity in the park, which presently suffers from limited visual differentiation. Second, it introduces new gathering spaces, sprinkled throughout the entire expanse. And third, Reveals proposes a wandering, explorative journey that stitches together the two distinct ends of the park - the west, with the rugged beauty of Olmsted’s Wilderness and the east, with its vibrant civic entrance abutting Blue Hill Avenue.

The dominant gesture is a network of sunken forest clearings connected by circuitous pathways. These open nooks are large yet sheltered, providing multiple opportunities for tranquility and intimacy. Circuitous paths strategically obfuscate visually and auditorily between the open spaces. And variation in the forest density offers brief glimpses of what lies ahead. Throughout the journey, the topography embraces the visitor and gradually reveals each sunken oasis.