Problem Solver - August 2010
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Simplifying Shelters for Your Site


park is a gathering placeā€”a site where people come together to play and enjoy a little recreation, as a group, as a family or all on their own. But you can't just designate a piece of land as a park and expect people to come. When you provide beautiful elements like shelters, furnishings and more, you create a sense of place that will attract families, groups and individuals.

Q: We are designing a park for our community. What should we know about selecting amenities that suit the aesthetics of the site?

A: Every site is unique and contains different features. Is your site situated in a downtown with historic buildings, or is it a rustic site with woods and trails? Depending on the unique conditions of your site, you'll want to carefully choose the elements you include there. Tailored, classically designed shelters and furnishings will not fit in to your rustic site, just as minimalist wood-post shelters will not suit your downtown site.

Every site needs to be considered on its own terms, and requires you to pay careful attention to the colors and shapes you select. You can find park structures and site elements that are designed to blend in with the local architecture of your area, or ones that offer a statement all their own.

Q: We want to provide beautifully designed shelters that fit in with our site's aesthetic, but we don't have the budget to hire an architect to design something from scratch. Can we get a customized look without the time and expense?

A: Talk to your manufacturer. You might be surprised by the wide variety of choices out there. You can choose from a vast array of shapes and colors, from simple squares and rectangles to hexagons, octagons and more. On top of this, you'll find options that you can specify along with your basic choices, including ornamentation and options like cupolas or special railings, as well as different types of roofing.

And if you aren't finding exactly what you want in the catalog, you can work with a manufacturer to customize the look you are going for. Whether your idea is just a sketch, a mental picture or a complete CAD drawing, you'll be able to work with your manufacturer to make your dream project a reality.

Q: What else should we consider?

A: Be sure that the manufacturer you are working with will be able to meet local building codes. You'll also want to talk to them about the installation process. You should be able to find easy-to-assemble shelters that can be installed quickly.

You also should consider design elements that meet the needs of your specific environment. Are pigeons roosting in the shelters? You can find a design that eliminates bird nesting. Problems with hurricanes or heavy snows? You can find shelters that are engineered to withstand these conditions.


Porter/Poligon Corp.: 800-354-7721