BURNHAM Park will be dominated by greenery, pathways and pocket gardens after the local government approves the design for the area’s master development plan of the University of the Cordilleras (UC).
As of this month, the design is 40 percent complete, project head, Architect Roberto Romero of the UC, College of Engineering and Architecture said.
UC recently inked a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the City Government to design the park’s master development layout, for free. The city government on the other hand would provide personnel and technical assistance to UC.
Included in the areas designed by UC are the Rose Garden, Burnham Lake Drive, Igorot Garden, Pine Trees of the World, Ganza parking, Melvin Jones football grounds, Athletic Bowl, picnic groves, skating rink, old auditorium site and the bus terminals across the Orchidarium.
Romero said that commercial activities will remain in the area but this will be confined in selected sites only, such as in the eateries at the back of the Igorot Garden.
Romero briefed members of media Friday about the designs his group, composed of 30 people has prepared.
The buildings conceptualized by UC will all conform to the latest in architectural designs – environment friendly known as green architecture.
The Rose Garden will be transformed into a senior citizens’ garden where catwalks and promenades will be built. A mini amphitheater will be constructed and to live up to its name, Romero said various species of roses will be planted all over the area.
Original access to the area will be maintained, although, Romero said the group might recommend the transfer of Burnham’s bust from the top of the access road to the center of the garden.
The amphitheater is to promote activities or concerts in the area. “There has to be an activity even at night. It has to be established that the park is safe,” Romero said.
To complement the senior citizens’ area, the promenade will extend to the Lake Drive up to the staging area of jeepneys adjacent to the Ganza parking area.
Romero said the boat dock will be repaired and the use of the singing fountain in the center of the lake will be revived.
He said the group is also studying how the lake’s murky waters can be made cleaner.
Currently they have coordinated with the City Environment and Parks Management Office for the repair of the drainage system of the area. Romero confirmed earlier reports that the septic tank of Baguio General Hospital drains into a tunnel near the lake, which contributes to the lake’s pollution.
Romero said that the hospital’s drain system has to have a separate sewage treatment facility.
Restaurants like the Ganza and Solibao will also have to be relocated and confined in a separate building, Romero said.
An Igorot Garden will also be installed as the focus of the Park’s designs.
The Igorot warriors sculpture at the center will be retained. Famous as a dama and chess area, more tables for these board games will be installed.
The pocket gardens at the back part of the park will be landscaped. However, to stop the practice of some people urinating in the area, the area will be enclosed extending all the way to Ganza.
The eateries will be converted into a cafe, with designs that will allow sunlight and air to penetrate. To sustain it as a promenade area, a space will be designated as a drop off point only for customers of the café.
Jeepneys, which load and unload in the area will have to be relocated, Romero said.
Melvin Jones grounds. The green field will be maintained as an open field for training of athletes and for various programs but the grandstand, fronting Harrison Road and the smaller building across will be redesigned.
Romero said landscaped gardens will be incorporated with the bleachers. At the top where the Lion’s Clubhouse is located a view deck or watchtower will be built.
The clubhouse on the other hand, will be converted into a coffee shop where tourists could stopover for a view of the park.
In the Athletic Bowl the roofs of bleachers will likewise be vegetated. From the road, the roofs will be designed complete with gazebos and other accessories.
Under the bleachers, a mini gymnasium for indoor sports will be built. Shower rooms will likewise be built. The extra space may be utilized as a snack area or rest area.
The group might also suggest replacement of the swimming pool’s roof also to conform to the green concept, Romero said.
Romero said that the skating rink’s use will be retained but they will recommend that its roof be replaced with a tent like structure, similar to that being used by SM-Baguio. The skating rink’s roof is made out of fiber plastic.
At the nearby picnic groves, more tables would have to be installed and gardens also have to be made.
The tourist information center at Camp Pepot, will be improved by converting it into a mini museum.
The bus terminal across the Orchidarium, meantime, would have to be relocated to give way for the construction of a multilevel parking area. Its basement will be reserved as conference rooms.
Like the other buildings suggested for construction at the Burnham, a roof garden will also be incorporated in the design.
Vehicle parking will be distributed in various locations of the park. Romero said the Burnham parking system could accommodate 1,300 vehicles.
An added feature will be the installation of rain basins.
Because the gardens will consume a lot of water, Romero said the rain catchers would help in the conservation of water. This can be used to water gardens and for the toilets.
A survey done by the group showed that there are trees in the park not suitable for the area.
The design is set for completion on May, which would later be submitted to the City Hall for implementation.
Roberto said the team has not estimated the project cost yet.