Two of the city’s new Downtown parks — Carpenter Park and Pacific Plaza — will be breaking ground in the coming years, with Pacific Plaza’s ceremony just months away. That means there’s no better occasion to recognize the efforts of a group instrumental to the construction that’s about to get underway: the designers. Hargreaves Associates and SWA are both world-renowned firms, and these innovative green spaces are not the first large-scale projects to which they’ve applied their creativity and expertise. As we get ready for Dallas to take the next step in its evolution, let’s look more closely at each company’s portfolio.
Award-winning firm Hargreaves Associates is responsible for Carpenter Park, soon to be the largest park in Downtown Dallas. With offices in California, Massachusetts and New York, Hargreaves Associates specializes in transforming neglected urban sites into iconic landmarks. Past projects include waterfront-based public spaces for cities like San Diego, California, and Louisville, Kentucky, as well as major initiatives to bring the campuses of Duke University, Stanford University and the University of Cincinnati into the 21st Century.
However, Hargreaves Associates’ 30-plus years of experience isn’t just limited to the United States. They also led the design effort for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Their master plan for Homebush Bay proved to be groundbreaking in more ways than one, as it introduced the concept of a unified architectural identity to the Olympic site and its various venues, pavilions and other public spaces.
At Carpenter Park, Hargreaves Associates industry-leading approach to landscape architecture will be on full display. In addition to ample green space and dining areas, Carpenter will also include a children’s play area, an interactive fountain, and unique art installations, including Robert Irwin’s massive sculpture “Portal Park Piece (Slice).” Carpenter Plaza will also create new avenues for pedestrian traffic between Downtown Dallas and Deep Ellum, further encouraging the revival of one of our city’s most historic arts and entertainment districts.
SWA, meanwhile, will soon add Pacific Plaza to its impressive list of previous accomplishments. SWA operates seven studios worldwide and has designed everything from theme parks and transit hubs to residential areas — all in over 60 countries. Among one of its most notable projects is the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Begun in the 1970s and now spanning over 90,000 acres and 59 miles of coastline, SWA headed the planning team, emphasized community involvement and conducted a complete environmental analysis in making this ambitious undertaking a reality.
SWA also designed the Beijing Finance District, which consists of 18 urban blocks in West Beijing. A fusion of modern landscaping techniques with Chinese garden traditions, this mixed-use area houses retail, hotels, offices, homes and cultural spaces. Not surprisingly, it has become an international destination.
Pacific Plaza will be just as thoughtfully constructed, and SWA has already held two public input meetings to gather invaluable feedback about the park’s amenities and integration into the social fabric of Downtown Dallas. Transforming 3.4 acres of land from a surface parking lot to green space, SWA has created a park design rich with walking paths, a 670-foot-long stone seating wall and shade trees. We look forward to the groundbreaking of Pacific Plaza in 2018, and will share more information about the event soon.
With these two firms at the helm, we can’t wait to experience all that these parks have to contribute to Downtown Dallas. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter and stay up-to-date on the latest news regarding the exciting developments happening in 2018 at Carpenter Park and Pacific Plaza.