“The planning and public outreach process of the San Jacinto Plaza directly contributed to the successful design, activation, and programming of the space. The park serves… as an important gathering place for El Pasoans of all ages and abilities.”
– Doug McDonald, AICP, APA-Texas Chapter President
SWA’s 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.
Ningbo East New Town Civic Plaza
As an extension of the Ningbo East New Town Government Center, this civic plaza extends the geometry and ecology of SWA’s past work in the city. A central civic axis runs from the government buildings to the Dongqian Lake edge, providing a large, flexible gathering/event space adjacent to an expansive lawn as well as sweeping views of the water. Per city plann...
Ningbo East New Town Eco-Corridor
SWA provided planning and design services for the 3.3km long, 250-acre metropolitan Ningbo Eco-Corridor, which transforms a former agricultural plain that had been taken over by industrial use into urban green infrastructure. Located in the heart of the Yangtze River Delta on China’s coastline, Ningbo is one of China’s oldest cities, with an area of 3,616 squa...
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 ...
Naftzger Park offers a contemporary and communal gathering space in downtown Wichita with enough variety to appeal to everyone. Designed to activate an area of town between Old Town and a burgeoning new entertainment district, the park is at once an urban foyer and outdoor recreation room. A contemporary pavil...