Frederic Schwartz Architects

SANTA FE RAILYARD PARK

Santa Fe, New Mexico
2008

Invited National Competition Winner
2009 AIA New York/BSA Urban Design Honor Award

Santa Fe Railyard Park

The Railyard Park, a great initiative of the Trust for Public Land, will activate the last remaining large-scale (13 acre) parcel of public land in downtown Santa Fe. The design, which includes a new public plaza, alameda and expansive park will knit together a loose group of cultural and commercial facilities to form a cohesive local cultural precinct. The Park will connect neighborhoods, previously separated by the light industrial site, and provide a safe, attractive pedestrian link to downtown Santa Fe.

Water plays a major role in the park design, both visually and functionally. The harvesting, storage and distribution of water allow the park to flourish in this drought stricken region, providing an oasis that will bring the local community together. Each element of this process, based on techniques used in New Mexico over the last four hundred years, has become a feature of the park design.

A historically inspired blue water tank provides a focal point for the new Plaza, providing a collection point for water gathered from surrounding roofs, and celebrating the use of contemporary sustainable design. An adjacent water sculpture, consisting of a drip fountain and shallow runnels represents a microcosm of the water systems of the Park. Blue water storage rail cars, drawing on the railyard nature of the site, store water for distribution via runnels located throughout the Park.

A line of telegraph-style light poles capped with solar powered blue railway lights run the length of the site, demarcating the main circulation path, and forming the spine of the Railyard Park. This linear connection is reinforced by the long solar-paneled shade structure of the Alameda that will serve as a shelter for varied activities including a local farmers market. A series of programmed railway box cars, will provide sites for events.

Santa Fe Railyard Park

Santa Fe Railyard Park

Santa Fe Railyard Park

   
   

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