North Park is the city of Southlake’s newest park. Located northeast of the city’s urban town square development, the park makes itself at home in the countryside. Schrickel, Rollins and Associates, now PSC/SRA, designed this project with careful attention to the surrounding neighborhoods and those who would find it a welcoming recreational haven.
A lakeside residential community is just beyond the park. Materials used within the park and park building are cut sandstone, cut limestone, brick and stucco to complement the architectural styles and materials of the surrounding area.
At the entrance of the 20-acre park, a .85-acre retention pond captures stormwater from the fields, parking area and adjacent Department of Public Safety facility, and provides irrigation for the facility. A well on the site keeps the pond filled as sensors trigger once the pond drops beyond a specific water level. The pond also offers a backup city water supply.
Designers created an attractive storm drainage structure for both the park and the adjacent DPS training facility. A multi-staged retention structure helps manage runoff of stormwater.
One of the unique aspects of North Park is its strategic location on the site. The site had 30 feet of fall from one corner of the park to the other, and the plaza and concession area was located roughly in the center of the grade changes. The location of the playground allows parents to sit at picnic tables above the playground and view the games on the lacrosse fields. The unique bi-level layout also carries through to the playground, which plays up a naturalistic theme of native grasses, boulders and whimsical hollowed-out trees. Slides and other play elements are of sculpted, detailed glass fiber reinforced (GFRC).
The land used for this park was once an open pasture dotted with pecan and post oak trees, an old-stock pond, and grazing Longhorn cattle.
A large bronze plaque was inserted into the wall underneath the tower. It was a public art piece commissioned to reflect the history of the park.
Design renderings helped the design team convey design intent to the client, council and public. Providing a 3-D visual with materials and a fly-over through the property allowed for a greater understanding for everyone as the design moved forward.
The design team put in a large amount of netting to protect viewers without drawing attention to it.
The most significant challenge for SRA/PSC was to blend a lighted, tournament-level, multi-sport complex into a popular residential area.
A tree-lined pedestrian walkway leads to the fields and serves as emergency access when needed. Note the dark skies lighting fixture.
Lighting was an important part of this $6.6M project, completed in 2012. On the north side of the park, multiple homes are in close proximity to the park's property line. SRA/PSC was conscious of light spillover to the homes and worked to meet a cutoff requirement for footcandle readings at the property lines by using the latest technology in cut-off sports lighting as well as enhanced screening..
“We used the graphic below to present the project foot candle readings based on proposed photometrics in a way that would allow for the public to gain an understanding and the effects on adjacent properties. The field lighting graphic really helped explain to adjacent property owners that light levels on their propery would not be affected.” – Spencer Freeman
The tower features lights embedded in the steps and dark skies light fixtures.
The lighting is dramatic on the plaza as well. The decorative paving and stamped and stained concrete add a sophisticated finish.