Silva Cell ASLA Award Winning Project – Sundance Square

And the Professional Honor Award goes to…

November brings the annual American Society of Landscape Architects annual conference and with it the announcement of the annual professional awards. Last week we announced our Hunters Point project as an award winner. This week, we’re excited to share our second award winner, Sundance Square.

Sundance Square Plaza, The Heart of Fort Worth: A transformation of parking lots to a dynamic, multi-use center.

DeepRoot is excited to announce the Sundance Square project has taken the hearts of Fort Worth residents and the ASLA Jury, winning an Honor Award for General Design. Here’s what the Jury has to say:

“This beloved and well-used plaza in the heart of downtown Fort Worth replaced a pair of surface parking lots with an animated and engaging space that has become the city’s living room. Designed for flexibility and a multitude of uses, this energetic project has become a catalyst for change in the city’s core. A combination of 300 movable chairs, along with fixed benches and seat walls, ensure that the site can adapt to a wide variety of functions such as festivals, concerts, and community celebrations. Its playful fountains and enormous shade-producing operable umbrellas make the space dynamic and a true community destination. Equally welcoming on a peaceful morning or a lively evening, the plaza is a spirited social hub that has emerged as a symbol of urban pride and an emblem of the richness of the city’s diverse cultures.”
– 2019 Awards Jury

The edge of the plaza is bordered with 18 drought tolerant, native green infrastructure: Shumard Oak and Cedar Elm. The Landscape Architects, Michael Vergason proactively planned for the mid ninety-degree days in Fort Worth. The tree canopy on the edge of the plaza and 32-foot umbrellas within the center not only enhance a sense of place, but together create 22% of the shade in the plaza (compared to 7% pre-development).

Below the dynamic, lively square, lives 480 of our Silva Cells. The anticipated foot traffic, ability to withstand service vehicles and large trucks for events, meant there was a major need for a durable, robust support system below ground. “Intensive design and coordination efforts have resulted in robust systems that protect the intricate paving, fountain plumbing, and tree root system below the surface.” (LAM Oct. 2019).

Kameron Aroom, a senior associate at Michael Vergason spoke to us recently about myriad benefits of using Silva Cell at Sundance Square. “The trees at Sundance benefit from the dedicated soil panel that improves the quality of conditions surrounding them. We chose Silva Cells to prevent the compaction of planting medium from the intense event and daily impact pedestrian foot traffic. We intentionally pitched the plaza pavement to drain to filter through a decomposed granite surface into the engineered soil allowing the water to slowly infiltrate into the under drained soil below. This and other considerations have lessened the peak stormwater flow rate for the surrounding plaza and have allowed the trees to thrive and bring a strong shaded canopy for visitors.”

Photo Credit: Michael Vergason Landscape Architects

The Honor Award article in LAM credits success of the project to its design and incorporating green infrastructure. “The allée of native Cedar Elms employs structural cells that prevent the compaction of planting medium from pedestrian and vehicular use. These elements also create extra space for stormwater runoff to filter through decomposed granite into 31 inches of custom engineered soil. Below this, an aggregate base with perforated drains allows the water to seep slowly into the earth. This and other considerations have lessened the site’s peak stormwater flow rate for a rain intensity of 2 inches per hour by 18.8%.” (LAM Oct. 2019)

Congratulations to other project team members!

Link to our original case study: https://www.deeproot.com/products/silva-cell/case-studies/sundance-plaza.html

Related blog from original install. https://www.deeproot.com/blog/blog-entries/old-west-brings-new-technology-to-historic-downtown-silva-cell-case-study

BANNER PHOTO credit: Brian Luenser

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