The redesign of San Jacinto Plaza, a historic gathering place in El Paso’s downtown business district provides a state-of-the-art urban open space, while protecting and celebrating the history and culture of the site. The project was the result of an intensive community process involving input from a wide range of constituents. Active programming, environmental and economic sustainability, and great design have become the de facto criteria for catalyzing renewed interest and investment in the types of urban open spaces exemplified by the updated plaza.
Programming for the park was a main priority, as was the community’s desire to retain some of its historic identity. In response, SWA integrated the existing formal axial paths with informal paths and bridges that take park users to various destinations, including gaming areas for ping-pong, chess, and washoes (a local favorite similar to horseshoes but with water), a children’s splash pad, and a café with colorful seating arrangements. At the park’s center, the designers restored Los Lagortos, a beloved sculpture by Luis Jimenez that pays tribute to the live alligators that inhabited the plaza over 45 years ago. Together with Lake Flato Architects, they created a metal structure to help protect the sculpture from the sun and also to provide a shaded area for activities.
Work attributed to SWA/Balsley principal Gerdo Aquino and his team with SWA Group.
Guthrie Green Park
Guthrie Green transforms a 2.6-acre truck yard into a lively urban park in the heart of downtown Tulsa’s emerging arts district. Opened in September 2012, Guthrie Green has become the area’s leading destination, drawing 3,000 plus people weekly to activities that have enriched the urban experience and spurred district-wide revitalization. The high-performance ...
Originally completed in 1972, Perk Park is a vestige of IM Pei’s urban renewal plan. It was built in an era when the street was seen as a menace so parks turned inward. Rolling berms around the edges and sunken areas in the middle, filled with concrete retaining walls, reflected that era. Not surprisingly, the park fell into decline; abandoned by the neighborh...
33 Beekman Street Plaza is a public plaza that also serves as the front entrance to a new 30-story Pace University Dormitory, located in the financial district. The contemporary plaza appearance synchronizes with the contemporary plaza of Frank Gehry’s high-rise residential tower across Beekman Street to South.
Description: SWA and John Kaliski Architects are providing landscape architectural and urban design services and advice to the Park 101 Phase 3 study, led by ELP Advisors. The study’s goal is to advance the project from the planning phase to the project implementation phase. SWA is an advisor on programming, design options, development, density, and managing t...