Located in the heart of the Historic District in Downtown Dallas, West End Square is a cutting-edge and vibrant public space designed to balance history and innovation. West End Square replaces a former surface parking lot with a next-generation park catered to the district’s growing population, one concentrated around innovation companies and start-ups. The park’s design creates a testing ground for incorporating technology in symbiosis with a green space of respite.
As a result of public input meetings, West End Square is programmed to meet the community’s needs with spaces for work, play, and relaxation. Built and opened during a pandemic, the park has become a community anchor, hosting frequent events that include salsa dancing classes, interactive art installations, and local vendor markets.
West End Square’s interior Prairie Gardens create an oasis from the neighborhood’s brick-paved sidewalks with a subtle, undulating topography. Organically shaped planting beds with a planting palette inspired by the Texas Blackland Prairies feature seating nooks carved within them, a water feature that auto-regulates based on weather, and a smart irrigation system.
The Frame surrounds the gardens and activates the street edge with a diversely programmed threshold—inclusive of the Outdoor Workroom, Porch, Game Room, and Innovation Arcade—between the surrounding neighborhood and the park’s interior. Offering shade and refuge, the trellis structure supports smart sensor lighting, fans, swings, and power for various types of programming. It also serves as a flexible armature that holds the park’s electrical and fiber infrastructure within the open web of its I-beams, allowing for a plug-and-play approach so technology can be incorporated over time as the park’s uses and needs evolve.
West End Square sets a precedent for urban parks with adaptability and sustainability at the forefront of design, allowing these civic spaces to have an enduring impact in their community.