Buckroe Beach Master Planning and Urban Design
VHB provided master planning and urban design services for a redevelopment project in the historic Buckroe Beach section of the City of Hampton. The project proposes to redevelop existing residential and vacant property with a mixed use, master planned community of homes (single family, townhome, and condos), commercial, and public space. The plan includes direct open space connections to a public beach on the scenic Chesapeake Bay. In developing the plan, VHB worked directly with the developer as well as City Planning officials to craft a vision that meets the goals of multiple stakeholders.
The plan posed several interesting challenges that required creative application of urban design standards. First, the site is located at the confluence of two distinct roadway grid patterns; therefore, VHB needed to design a circulation system that left both grids intact but still provided a cohesive street system for the development. Second, while the site enjoys stunning views of Chesapeake Bay, there are also some less-than-desirable views onto adjacent properties. By using building layout and height variations, VHB was able to design a scheme to capitalize on the waterfront while minimizing the impacts of underutilized adjacent land. Finally, between the site and the Bay lies a well-used public park and beach, by using a system of linear open space corridors, VHB was able to connect the development’s private open spaces to this public amenity.