The Klyde Warren Park, Dallas, Texas, USA, by the Office of James Burnett – OJB The Dallas community has taken a bold step by deciding to construct a park over the existing Woodall Rogers Freeway in a busy area of the city. As a result of this initiative, the city’s Klyde Warren Park offers a new perspective on urban revitalization, showing that it does not need to be restricted to sites left behind with economic decline. It is a process that can also create new spaces that coexist with current users while enabling new functions.
Klyde Warren Park
Embraced by the citizens and adapted to existing elements An important characteristic of the park’s design was the fact that it has been idealized by the citizens despite having a large scale, which is usually associated with government initiatives. Some community leaders were able to see an opportunity to use the gap between the ground level, where the buildings and streets are located, and the sunken freeway to construct a deck to support an outdoor green area that is a mix of a pedestrian bridge and an urban park, connecting the Central Business District, Uptown, and the Arts District in downtown Dallas.From the Initial Idea to its Completion The period between 2002 and 2004 was critical to define the leaders, identify the sponsors, and produce the studies of the project. Its main aim was to improve the quality of life in the busy center of Dallas by reducing traffic noise and air pollution through the construction of a park over the existing freeway. Properties Rise in Market Value An expected effect that engaged the real estate community in the project was the rise of the surrounding properties’ market value. As the idea evolved and demonstrated that it would bring many more benefits to the whole community, more people became interested in taking part in it, generating important donations. Although the park is owned by the city, the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation managed all stages of the project until its completion in 2012.
The Design Concept of Klyde Warren Park
The award-winning landscape architect Jim Burnett, the principal of the Office of James Burnett, was chosen to lead the design of the five-acre park. The choice for a designer who is well known for his multidisciplinary approach challenging the conventional boundaries of landscape architecture showed that the citizens were interested in an innovative solution that enabled their reconnection to the urban fabric.Design of a World-class Public Space As community leaders were researching the best solutions that had been built in other places, they were no longer interested in the old models that dissociated the business centers from outdoor activities and pedestrian areas. Those leaders represented the well-informed and convicted clients to whom the landscape architecture firm should create a design of a world-class public space. The Solution The designers’ solution resulted in a place that offers amenities to the residents and workers, in addition to enabling visitors to feel they also belong to it by producing comfortable and relaxing spaces. These environments were intended to transport the users to their own residences by offering them the opportunity to enjoy diverse activities by discovering the different “rooms” of the park. Related Articles:
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