TULSA, Okla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Formally dedicated last month, the transformative Guthrie Green park by SWA Group, a leading landscape architecture, planning and urban design firm, is fueling redevelopment of Tulsa’s Brady Arts District, a historic portion of downtown that is attracting investments in urban housing, hotels, restaurants, cultural facilities and entertainment.
“Tulsa has been growing because of its labor force, quality of life and other attributes. Now Guthrie Green adds a new heart to downtown, a wonderful gathering place for community events,” said Elizabeth Shreeve, Principal of SWA Group in Sausalito, CA. “The project shows the power of parks to make downtowns more enjoyable and reverse urban decline, which is so important for regional cities like Tulsa.”
Added John Wong, Principal of SWA, “Guthrie Green is only one square block, but it’s a really big deal because it demonstrates the power of public realm design to be transformative for urban revitalization.”
The $8 million Guthrie Green, named after Oklahoma native and folk music icon Woody Guthrie, features community gathering space offering gardens, interactive fountains, an outdoor stage with vine-covered "green rooms", a large multipurpose lawn for performances and festivals, and an 11,200-square foot cafe pavilion.
“Guthrie Green is a high-performance landscape, providing not only an urban amenity but also a very efficient model for sustainable landscape design. An underground heat exchange system supplies heating and cooling for the adjacent buildings, low-power LED lighting is used along all the streets, and solar panels on top of the pavilion generate power during the day time. In addition, the two bio-retention swales collect and filter all the storm water and re-charge the local aquifers”, said SWA Associate Sergio Lima.
Bounded by Brady, Cameron, Boston and Cincinnati streets, the park provides daily respite for downtowners and neighbors, and its stage and lawn transform the park into a highly-activated venue of special events, fairs, activities and music performances. An interactive circular fountain provides lively entertainment, while smaller fountains carved from granite cubes express the seeping, misting and jetting characteristics of water.
The Tulsa-based George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) spearheaded the project as part a broader $113.5 million public-private investment in the Brady-Greenwood arts district now enlivening downtown with galleries, museums and nightlife. An adjacent historic Tulsa Paper Company building has been revitalized as a Woody Guthrie Center, a cultural center housing the Woody Guthrie Archives and other nonprofit art-related tenants.
Early in the design, the team conceived of installing a ground-source heat pump system under the park. Consisting of 120 wells drilled to 500 feet depth, the "geo-exchange" system generates 600 tons (7.2 million BTUs/hour) of heating/cooling distributed via underground pipes to serve 120,000 square feet of nearby non-profit users as well as Guthrie Green’s cafe pavilion and bathrooms. Photovoltaic panels on the pavilion roof supply power for the heat pump system. The system enables 60% reduction in energy demand, with investment payback in five to seven years. The concept won the project a $2.5 million ARRA Stimulus Grant and other state/local funding.
Guthrie Green’s structures were designed by Tulsa’s Kinslow, Keith & Todd Architects. Wallace Engineering provided structural and civil engineering. Manhattan Construction Company, with Stonebridge Group and Tulsa Industrial Authority, oversaw construction. Flynt & Kallenberger and Dr. James Bose of Oklahoma State University collaborated on the geo-exchange design using Rygan Corp.’s high-efficiency closed-system technology.
About SWA Group
SWA Group (www.swagroup.com), established in 1957, is an international landscape architecture, planning and urban design firm. SWA has offices in Sausalito, CA, Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, CA, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Shanghai and the United Arab Emirates. Since its inception, SWA Group has worked in over 60 countries, and its projects have garnered more than 700 awards.