Springdale, AR – Spackman Mossop Michaels and Trahan Architects, with offices in New Orleans and New York, recently revealed their design for the renewal of Luther George Park, located in downtown Springdale.
The project was commissioned by the Downtown Springdale Alliance which received a grant from the Walton Family Foundation in conjunction with the Design Excellence Program to jump-start implementation of its downtown master plan with the expansion and renovation of Luther George Park.
The park is part of the city’s larger plan to create vibrant public spaces and plazas, with the flexibility to support public art, performing arts and seasonal outdoor markets.
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 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.
“The park is about bringing people together from across the community and providing a space to connect to one another and to the natural world,” said Wes Michaels, ASLA, founding principal of Spackman Mossop Michaels.
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 weathering steel sheets. The raw steel will patina over time to reveal the nuances of the environmental conditions amplified by the torquing geometry, taking on a rich and earthy finish.
“We believe strongly in the power of landscapes to inform our architecture,” said Trey Trahan, FAIA, founder and CEO of Trahan Architects.