Reflections from Brooke Warfel
Fun is one of our core values at Crowley Cottrell. We are committed to fostering fun in the three realms of our work: fun within the office, fun with our collaborators and clients, and fun within our built work. We asked Brooke to talk about fun- if you know Brooke, you know why this is the task for her.
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I have been with Crowley Cottrell since 2016 and I don’t think I have ever had a boring week. Working on different project types and with different clients keeps us on our toes. Every part of our design process has an element of fun embedded within - from initial design concepts and precedent to watching a plan come to life through construction. I have fun working with my colleagues in the office, which often leads to unexpected ideas, which I find often lead to a better end product that captures our core values and the wishes of clients.
I have always loved being outside and since the pandemic started and Oliver was born, time outside has become a sanctuary. We have a small back yard and a huge community garden plot where we spend a lot of time during the growing season. Right at the beginning of the pandemic, my husband Mark and I moved to Roslindale, which gave us lots of opportunities for neighborhood walks, Blue Hills hikes and exploring Arnold Arboretum (in all seasons either by foot or by snowshoe)!
Oliver is great - his 1.5 years of life have been 100% during the pandemic and although that has been hard at times it has also meant that we get to spend a ton of time together as a family. I have to say gardening with a baby wasn’t always easy but watching him play in the dirt and eat food that we grew together is high on my list of summertime highlights! We also love playing in the snow, some of his first steps were in a big snowstorm just a few weeks ago.
Taking Oliver to Stone Hill Park for the first time has been another highlight. We live nearby and even when he was just a little guy (starting to pull himself up to standing) it was so fun to see him engage with the play elements that were down at his level. Taking a little one to that playground in particular really reinforced the concept of integrated play for all ages - while he was playing on the low musical elements there were kids of different ages that he could watch and learn from.
Our team is always thinking about how to create enjoyable spaces that inspire creativity, especially on our playground projects like Stone Hill. I personally work on a lot of residential projects and while the typical “fun” of play structures might not be included, we do work hard to bring different types of fun fit to each homeowner. From incorporating exciting plants and materials, to including existing features like garden gnomes and fairy homes, we truly engage with every client to create unique landscapes.