US-based architecture and design firm Studio Four Design has entered a strategic partnership with DENSO Manufacturing Athens Tennessee (DMAT) to develop an eco-park in Tennessee.
Its Japanese-inspired design will feature self-sustaining elements, including plants that reduce E.coli levels in the pond. The City of Athens and DMAT have already applied for grants for these features, as well undertaking studies of underwater wetland and on-site energy production for restaurants and grills.
DMAT safety, health and environment manager Shawn Bryant said: "A 2012 trip to DENSO’s headquarters in Japan motivated this project.
"We approached the City of Athens with a concept for a similar park to engage the community and to help students learn about sustainable green spaces and the environment. Our plans for the park include a public space for meetings, an outdoor area for activities and much more."
In addition, the project will witness participation from other partners, including the University of Tennessee, the City of Athens Parks and Recreation, McMinn County Economic Development Authority, and Midlab.
Studio Four Design’s vice-president and director of operations Kevin Diegel said: "Working with Shawn Bryant, it was evident this project was influenced by the Japanese-style garden design.
"We were able to identify the key features the DMAT team liked about the Japanese theme while highlighting the sustainable aspects of the park.
"While the uncertainty of weather in the area did present a challenge in our schedule, we were able to evaluate each step of this phase and proceed with an aggressive schedule for completion."
Image: Japanese-inspired eco-park vision of DENSO Manufacturing Athens Tennessee. Photo: courtesy of PRNewsFoto/ Studio Four Design.