Springdale, Arkansas, USA
Designed in collaboration with landscape architects Spackman Mossop Michaels, Luther George Park is conceived as a connective gateway bridging the active corridor of the Razorback Greenway with the main street life of Emma Avenue.
Set along Spring Creek in Downtown Springdale, Arkansas the park fosters healthy community engagement by providing a sustainable venue for recreation, play, and outdoor performances. Trahan Architects is responsible for the design of the Performance Pavilion and the Restroom Pavilion.
The Performance Pavilion is located on the park’s central axis – the dynamic form twists and straddles the pathway to form an inviting gateway into the park.
Fronting the great lawn, the pavilion will host performances of up to 3,000 people. The shell leans back toward the earth fronting the small lawn which enables small events like movie night in the park to occur for 50-100 people.
This innovative dual sided arrangement is achieved by integrating all of the performance power and theatrical rigging into the shell – allowing for a myriad of flexible uses.
When not hosting a performance, the shell acts as a shade canopy welcoming the community to gather beneath its sculptural wing-like form. A curving ramp and earth berm along the stage’s back edge seamlessly blend the platform with the landscape – providing everyone with equal access.
The shell of the performance pavilion is constructed from 10mm thick weathering steel sheets by CIG Architecture – the fabricators of many of Anish Kapoor’s sculptures.
The raw steel will patina with time to reveal the nuances of the envrionrmental conditions amplified by the torquing geometry – taking on a rich and earthy finish.
The roof of the pavilion is controlled by a ruled surface whose rule lines define the panel joint layouts.
The underside of the pavilion has a variable section that smoothly integrates the structural depth, the performance integrations and the acoustical perforation.
Together, the two surfaces achieve an impressive 150’ span with only 2 connections to the ground –making the structure appear weightless.
The park draws its inspiration from the native landscapes of Arkansas and the cultural richness of the local community.
The establishment of over 200 new trees in the park is built on the native ecosystems of the region and will provide shade for the community and habitat for local wildlife.
“We believe strongly in the power of landscapes to inform our architecture – the performance pavilion draws inspiration from the rolling hills of the landscape and the strong axial connection between the river and downtown Springdale. It is both an icon and deeply embedded in the context,” said Trey Trahan, Trahan Architects.
“The Downtown Springdale Alliance is thrilled with the work of the design team of Trahan Architects and Spackman Mossop Michaels. Luther George Park redesigned will be transformative to the beautiful diverse culture and vibrancy of downtown Springdale,” States Jill Dabbs, executive director of The Downtown Springdale Alliance.
The estimated completion date is 2022.
Architects: Trahan Architects
Design Team: Trey Trahan, Leigh Breslau, Robbie Eleazer, Jonathan Fidalgo, Jarri Hasnain, Sarah Cancienne, and Ryan Barnette
Landscape Architects: Spackman Mossop Michaels
Collaborators: Spectrum Design Consultants, Threshold Acoustics, Schuler Shook, Olsson, CIG Architecture, Eleven Visualisation
Client: The Downtown Springdale Alliance, Walton Family Foundation