Sikes Ragan, founder of the Village of Cheshire, commissioned DPZ to design a village plan for a 58 acre property 1 mile south of downtown Black Mountain, North Carolina. Situated on a wooded, gradual grade, the master plan alludes to the street patterns and architectural character of various retreats around Western North Carolina, with Montreat and the Manner Grounds playing a significant role. These retreats were an important source of inspiration for the plan of Ragan’s family property, which once was operated as a summer tennis camp.
The site corresponds to a five-minute walk from edge to center. The Village Center, on the flatter portion of the property, parallel to the two-lane highway 9, functions as the mixed-used heart of the community, with a “main street” along the HWY 9 corridor with commercial and institutional buildings. The middle of this neighborhood is on a gradual hillside and consists of a mix of town homes and single family houses. On the edge of the property there are single family dwellings, along with a section of Tower Houses called “tree houses” that were designed to respond to the steeper terrain to blend into the hillside without a significant cut and fill.
Throughout the neighborhood, there are various green spaces reserved for public use with connecting paths that meander along a natural flowing stream. The site plan established the prime real estate for public use and civic use, whereby a Cheshire Resort exist. The resort blends among the neighborhood, comprising of a Lodge, Bed and Breakfast, Cabins, Wedding Chapel, conference center, spa, fitness center, tennis facility, and a central management program allowing second homes to become income-producing properties.