An outdoor pavilion with palm trees and a pool on the water at dusk.
Creating an environmentally progressive and context-sensitive, luxury, multi-family development in Central Florida is not the norm. Lakewalk at Hamlin leads by example to show developers, design consultants, and the public that eco-friendly and pedestrian-focused designs can be beautiful, functional, and economically viable. The landscape architect artfully integrated low-impact development stormwater interventions, local materials, and native plantings into common spaces, making them part of the everyday experience. The Dix.Hite + Partners team worked closely with the civil engineer to develop an ambitious overall LID strategy, making the Lakewalk at Hamlin stand out as one of the most forward-thinking, multi-family, residential properties in Central Florida.
The dry retention basin in the stormwater park doubles as open space for activity and relaxation. An overlook deck with shaded seating and a grill extends into the retention area providing a central gathering space.
Gabion baskets filled with Florida fieldstone hold and define the edges of the stormwater park, a dry retention area lined with swaths of native cordgrass and interspersed with Bald Cypress.
The backbone of Lakewalk at Hamlin’s overall LID system is a stormwater park where runoff overflows into a terraced dry retention basin that doubles as open park space. Flush curbs facilitate stormwater flow into a series of LID swales and planters situated throughout the development. Boardwalks over these planted swales lead residents onto the front porch of their unit, providing unique character and bringing them closer to the functioning system every day.
Naturalized stone and native plantings within the swales help abate stormwater flow and facilitate water uptake and filtering of pollutants. Permeable parking areas are designed throughout the site with exfiltration type pavers atop below-grade reservoirs that store water for infiltration into the soil. Pervious, crushed shell parking areas allow for quick infiltration and reduce the cost associated with pavers.
Designed to be both high-end and context-sensitive – Lakewalk is an uncommon example of a luxury, multi-family development. Local materials, native plantings, and a LID stormwater system enhance its unique character.
Crushed shell defined with concrete curbs creates a LID system where water can seep into the permeable parking areas. Planting strips with native ground cover separate the parking spaces and expand the permeable zone.
LID stormwater systems are integrated into common spaces, making them part of the everyday experience for residents. Planted swales along pathways gather stormwater from downspouts allowing for pretreatment and infiltration.
Flush streets enhance the pedestrian experience for all ages and abilities while also directing stormwater into planted LID swales. Boardwalks cross the swales to create unique thresholds to the residential units.
By using primarily local materials and native plants, the development fits well within its ecological and cultural context to enhance the notion of what luxury can mean in Florida. The mostly native planting palette minimizes the use of herbicides and pesticides, provides a food source for pollinators, habitat for wildlife, and celebrates natural Florida landscapes. Indigenous fieldstone and crushed coquina further strengthen this visual and physical connection to the Florida environment.
The littoral edge of Lake Hancock was restored to reestablish the water’s edge providing habitat for local fauna. A lakeside path connects residents to the pool, club amenities, and extends into the Hamlin Town Center.
by David Hoppes, PLA
Vice President, principal, and partner at Dix.Hite + Partners, David Hoppes has practiced Landscape Architecture in Florida for more than 25 years. David’s passion for landscape architecture can be boiled down to a simple idea: “creating great places for people to live, work and play.” David’s passion is seen clearly in an engaging public awareness tool that he helped create, called “What If.” The project helps local Orlando residents reimagine their public spaces and streets and helps them visualize alternative uses for the places they frequent. David earned his Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Purdue University, and is a Registered Landscape Architect in the State of Florida.
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