Seattle Parks and Recreation has been honored for two of its recent park development projects by the Seattle Design Commission.
At the Design Commission’s Design Excellence Awards on Thursday, June 26, Commissioner Osama Quotah admitted that the Commission isn’t easy on designers.
“We ask project managers to do better, make changes and make a difference in the community,” Quotah said. “We push our design teams hard.”
The Commission reviewed 29 projects for this year’s awards and said that though each displayed merit, they were looking for projects that went above and beyond the expected. Seattle Parks projects were among the final seven projects that were recognized.
Kirke Park – Design Excellence Award
Seattle Parks Project Manager Kelly Goold received a Design Excellence Award for Kirke Park.
The site for Kirke Park, in Ballard, was purchased with 2000 Pro Parks Levy funds and developed with 2008 Parks & Greens Spaces Levy funds. The park was originally named 9th Avenue NW Park and renamed Kirke Park which means “church” in Norwegian. This name pays tribute to both the Norwegian heritage of the neighborhood and the history of the site. This site was home to the Church of Seventh Elect in Spiritual Israel for more than 90 years.
Commissioner Megan Groth said the Commission was impressed by the designers’ ability to overcome the 20-foot grade change in the landscape and their incorporation of both passive and active recreation elements.
“The variety of spaces and programming that the designers fit into three-quarters of an acre is amazing,” Groth said. “They took into account the needs of the community. It is an exceptional example of a well-designed neighborhood park.”
Bell Street Park – Honorable Mention
Seattle Parks Project Manager Patrick Donohue received an Honorable Mention for Bell Street Park, located in downtown Seattle. Bell Street Park opened in April 2014. It converts one traffic lane along Bell Street and reconfigures parking to create a
corridor through the heart of Belltown. The four-block area is improved with landscaping, better lighting, art and more open space. It welcomes bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists and provides the neighborhood with a new community gathering space.
“Bell Street recognizes the pedestrian quality of the neighborhood and integrates it safely with the road and cycling,” Commissioner Bernie Alonzo said. “It created new design standards for storm water and street integration. We’re excited to see future projects stem from the approach.”