Riverfront Park wins 2020 NRPA Innovation Award

Congratulations to Spokane Parks and Recreation for receiving the National Recreation and Park Association’s Innovation in Park Design award for Riverfront Park and for seeing your dream of a reimagined Riverfront Park realized!

The NRPA Innovation Awards recognize and honor the latest advancements in the field of parks and recreation. These awards showcase the inspiring park and recreation agencies that improve and empower their communities through innovative practices in park design, health and wellness, conservation, and social equity.

Three key reasons the park was recognized for innovation include:

Healthier Ecology: The site, a former rail yard, contained contaminated soil. Rather than hauling ‘dirty dirt’ off-site it was reused to build up the Pavilion amphitheater seating and mitigated with a protective barrier, capped with 2’ of clean soil, and planted grass. The park’s stormwater treatment system ensures surfaces drain to lined stormwater gardens, eliminating contaminant percolation. The resulting terraced seating, increased greenscape, and saved money.

Community Lantern: The Pavilion features 479 blades of varied lengths, providing 2,262’ of illumination that performs spectacular light shows for the community and has radically changed the Spokane skyline. Illuminating the Pavilion was no easy task, given the engineering required for a lightweight, safe, wind/snow compatible solution to hang along aging cables. With no off-the-shelf options available, NAC Architecture created a “light blade” made of lightweight Plexiglas lined with LED nodes.

Connecting at the Center: The Pavilion was populated by the vacated ghosts of past revenue-generating attempts. A new, captivating design draws visitors into an experience that grows more magnetic with every step, revealing new interest and intrigue. No longer treated as a building, the Pavilion is absurd part of the park’s landscape, with futuristic, coned netting juxtaposed to surrounding pastoral terrain. It provides a unique, universally accessible elevated experience through grated catwalks, rising up into the net with amazing views.

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