Guest Blog from Parks for Downtown Dallas: Interactive Water Table in West End Square Will Change Modes Based on Dallas Weather

Water-Table-Blog-Image

What was once a parking lot in the West End Historic District will soon be home to the second of our four priority parks: West End Square. The site is bound by North Market, Corbin and North Record streets, as well as the previous Spaghetti Warehouse building, placing it front-and-center in a truly iconic part of the city.

For James Corner Field Operations (JCFO), the landscape architecture firm leading the project, balancing that rich history with a cutting-edge park became a top priority early in the design process. The firm has designed a flexible public space that uses technologies to support park maintenance and operations, reinforcing the West End’s emerging identity as Dallas’ Innovation District.

Among the amenities, which include an outdoor workroom, prairie gardens, porch swings and game tables, will be a standout water feature unlike anything JCFO has designed before. Known as the Water Table, this feature will measure roughly 20 feet by 11 feet and will be made of Mesabi Black granite—but the basic specs are just the beginning. What really makes this feature one-of-a-kind is its dynamic modes of operation, each corresponding to a different weather pattern.

“The weather in Dallas can be quite dramatic with very still days, framed by the warm glow of the Texan sun, to dramatic storms and very dry, hot days,” says Isabel Castilla, JCFO’s Principal-in-Charge for the project. “We wanted to design a feature that would enhance the visitor’s experience by providing a unique and changing experience as people visit the project during different times of the day and across the seasons.”

To keep up with the forecast, the Table will have three distinct modes. On calm days, it will serve as a reflecting pool; on windy days, it will have bubblers; and on particularly hot days, it will create a cloud mist with potable water for cooling. The decisions about which modes to use were not made lightly. When planning, JCFO felt it was important to take in the larger surroundings and how they could be best framed through the use of the Water Table.

“We worked closely with GPSI, the water feature engineers, to arrive at a number of effects that would visibly interact with the weather, and by doing so, make visitors aware of their immediate environment,” she explains. “For example, a reflecting pool for still days would frame the sky and large canopy trees above.”

But what makes this feature technologically exciting is that it can toggle through its three modes automatically, as well as be controlled remotely, thanks to weather sensors built into the design. In other words, when the wind picks up in the area, anemometers can detect the breeze and immediately trigger the bubblers.

Though the feature was uniquely designed for West End Square, New-York-City-based JCFO did pull inspiration from popular past projects, including a potable water mist at Brooklyn’s Domino Park and a sundeck water amenity at New York City’s High Line.

The Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) Foundation made a $300,000 gift to ensure that this park element becomes a reality. “The DDI Foundation is pleased to make its very first grant to Parks for Downtown Dallas and West End Square. This water feature will make this public space both unique and welcoming to everyone living, visiting and working in Downtown” says Kourtny Garrett, CEO of Downtown Dallas, Inc.

Construction for West End Square, which kicked off at the beginning of this year, is slated for completion in early 2021. Once finished, it will mark the end of an almost 20-year process, beginning when the area was first identified as a priority park site by the 2004 Downtown Parks Master Plan.

Which of the three Water Table modes are you most excited to experience firsthand? Share your thoughts with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Downtown Dallas, Inc.’s Storefront Restoration Program

Downtown Storefront Restoration-600x200 Email Header

Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) is pleased to announce that we have approved a Storefront Restoration Program aimed to help businesses in Downtown who were impacted by damage during the demonstrations. The program is intended to help street level businesses with losses not covered by insurance or other means. Grants will be capped at $5,000.

Please review the following documents for more information and how to apply:

DDI Storefront Restoration Program Overview

DDI Storefront Restoration Program Application

New Park Breaks Ground in the West End Historic District

New Park Breaks Ground in the West End Historic District

Corgan and Downtown Dallas, Inc. Foundation commit $400,000 to West End Square

DALLAS, TEXAS, January 13, 2020 – Parks for Downtown Dallas, the City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department and the community gathered today at Dallas City Hall to celebrate the start of Downtown’s newest park – West End Square. What is currently a surface parking lot will soon be the only centrally-located green space in the West End Historic District.

Corgan has committed a $100,000 donation toward construction of the park. The Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) Foundation has committed $300,000 to ensure a water feature is included in the park. “Strong public-private partnerships involving community leaders like Corgan and Downtown Dallas, Inc. are critical to help the City of Dallas create four new Downtown parks,” commented Amy M. Meadows, CEO of Parks for Downtown Dallas. “This shared vision will result in a network of parks that stitch our urban neighborhoods together and contribute to a more livable, environmentally sustainable future for Dallas.”

Steve Hulsey, President of Corgan said “We’re honored to have the opportunity to serve as a partner with the Parks of Downtown Dallas in creating spaces that bring people together and enhance our communities. At Corgan, we believe in the power of place—in the marriage of built environments and intentional outdoor spaces like this that shape a rich, vibrant streetscape and make a meaningful difference in our neighborhood and our lives. Corgan has a long history in the Dallas area and with more than 400 employees in the West End, we are excited to invest in shaping the urban fabric of the city where we live, work, and play.”

Landscape architecture firm James Corner Field Operations led the design of West End Square. The design features an outdoor workroom, porch swings, and a u-shaped steel trellis envisioned as a flexible armature for a plug-and-play approach to technologies that may be incorporated over time as the Square’s uses and needs evolve.

Kourtny Garrett, President and CEO of Downtown Dallas, Inc. says “DDI is overjoyed to see West End Square, the second of four new priority parks for Downtown Dallas, come closer to a reality with this groundbreaking. The West End has long needed a community gathering green space, and we thank Parks for Downtown Dallas for making it happen with their generous matching gifts. We look forward to the completion of the remaining priority parks, which will give Downtown Dallas almost 14 acres new greenspace, helping to solidify the notion that Downtown is a true neighborhood. The DDI Foundation is pleased to make it’s very first grant to Parks for Downtown Dallas and West End Square for a water table that incorporates three different modes: a reflecting pool for still days, bubblers on windy days, and a cloud mist for cooling during hot days. The water feature will help make this innovative park welcoming to everyone living, visiting and working in Downtown Dallas.”

West End Square, a little less than one acre in size, is bound by Market Street to the east, Corbin Street to the south, North Record Street to the west and the old Spaghetti Warehouse building to the north. Park construction is estimated to take 12 months.

 

Virtual tour: http://bit.ly/WESvideo

For images and more informationhttp://bit.ly/WESquare2020

Image credit: © James Corner Field Operations, courtesy of Parks for Downtown Dallas and the City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department

 

About Parks for Downtown Dallas

Parks for Downtown Dallas (PfDD) was established in 2015 when its predecessor organization, The Belo Foundation, pledged its assets to the design and construction of the four priority parks identified in the 2013 Downtown Parks Master Plan Update. PfDD has committed substantially all of its assets to help build the four priority parks with the Dallas Park and Recreation Department and is dedicated singularly to the long-term development and support of public parks within Downtown. This includes funding, designing and constructing Pacific Plaza, West End Square, Carpenter Park and Harwood Park. www.parksfordowntowndallas.org

About Corgan

A top ten architecture and interior design firm ten years running, Corgan has a decades-long reputation for great customer service. Guided by the principles of empathy, clarity, singularity, locality, and responsibility, our unwavering commitment to our clients is rooted in a foundation of creating human-centric spaces that express the needs, desires, and dreams of our clients and their communities. Our work is based on evidence, experiential research, and hard data. We question deeply to reveal important insights into our clients and the evolving conditions that may impact the long-term value of the design. With an expertise in aviation, data centers, education, healthcare, corporate interiors, and commercial design, our strengths empower us to foresee emerging changes and provide solutions that elevate process, the space for the user, and the impact of design on your business. www.corgan.com

 

About Downtown Dallas, Inc.

Downtown Dallas, Inc. is the primary advocate, champion, and steward for Downtown, effecting change by developing strategies, setting targets, and mobilizing resources that:

  • Stimulate a vibrant and sustainable Downtown environment
  • Improve infrastructure
  • Enhance economic competitiveness
  • Create a culturally inclusive urban center
  • Position the area as a global destination
  • Foster innovation and technology in all aspects of the urban experience

Program areas include public safety; capital improvements; maintenance; economic development; public policy; planning/transportation; and marketing. www.downtowndallas.com

###

D CEO Commercial Real Estate Awards

Congratulations to our DDI Board members recognized by their work in commercial real estate!

IMG_1619

Developer of the Year: Billingsley Company

Excellence in Architecture and Design: HKS Architects

Excellence in Construction and Engineering: The Beck Group

Best New Mixed-use: The Union

Pioneer Award: Craig Hall

Community Impact Deal of the Year: AT&T Discovery District

DDI was proud to be a title sponsor of the event!