“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.
OCT Bao’an Waterfront Cultural Park
Bao’an Waterfront Park is an essential amenity for future residents of Shenzhen’s rapidly expanding Qianhai area, and is also an important connection between the urban fabric and the ocean. The key landscape frameworks for the park are its riverine interpretation aspects and water’s edge programs. The “Eco River” will bring water experiences into the green spa...
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...
Xingfa Cement Plant Quarry Park Masterplan
Beijing Xingfa Cement Plant Quarry, founded in early 1990s, an exposed scar of rocks locates between the Great Wall and Yanqi Lake, is being reconsidered into an ecological and picturesque rural park in relationship with the adjacent regenerating cement plant. Established around the contextural culture, research, and technology oriented position, the design fo...
While Houston does have significant park spaces and trails, the city of no zoning has historically been unable to create enough designated open spaces and the necessary connectivity between them. The key to increasing the open space network lies within the region’s floodplains. Relatively flat terrain, intense rain events, and urbanized watersheds create broad...