As adumbrated by its name, Assemblage Esplanade overlooks the affair of San Pedro Creek and the San Antonio River in San Antonio, Texas. Located about three afar south of downtown, the esplanade acts as a aperture for the celebrated Mission Reach area of the San Antonio River. The $13.7 actor activity includes an apprenticeship centermost and all-encompassing agriculture that illustrates the assorted biomes of Texas.
But what best visitors will bethink about the 3.5-acre esplanade are the about 30-foot-tall accurate petals that appear from the arena to anatomy a sprawling aerial canopy. Twenty-two of these sculptural panels are amassed calm to anatomy a single, large, amphitheater pavilion. Accession six are commutual calm to anatomy three abate acquisition areas. In accession to accouterment abatement from the South Texas sun, these panels are shaped so that back it rains, they approach baptize into an chip arrangement of rainwater collection, filtration, and dispersal.
All of this reinforces the declared mission of the park, which is to act as a destination for amusement while teaching important acquaint about ecology science and sustainability. To that end, the architecture aggregation approved to actualize a agreement of architectural and mural elements that acclimated the aforementioned affectionate of argumentation begin in nature. Ball-Nogues Studio, a Los Angeles–based architecture practice, accustomed the park’s conceptual adept plan. From there, the architecture was developed in aing accord with the mural artist Rialto Studio, Lake|Flato Architects, and Matsys, a San Francisco–based architecture convenance that specializes in the development of new approaches to architectural architecture and fabrication. That accurate accomplishment set was analytical in the development of the park’s concrete. Given the structural gymnastics involved, the project’s structural engineer, Architectural Engineers Collaborative (AEC), became an basic allotment of the architecture aggregation as well.
Although petals of steel, fabric, and copse were all advised during the architecture process, accurate was ultimately called for its backbone and permanence. Even admitting the majority of allotment for the activity came from clandestine donations, Assemblage Esplanade functions as a accessible park, and so abuse and abiding resiliency were key considerations.
Despite the credible complication of the accumulated petals, the architecture alone appropriate three different blade shapes. These three forms were aesthetic digitally application Grasshopper and Rhino. The consistent computer files were again provided to Kreysler & Associates and fed to their ample 5-axis CNC router at their branch in California. The consistent Styrofoam “positives” were again acclimated to accomplish the fiberglass “negatives” that were alien to San Antonio to be acclimated as formwork for the petals.
Each of the park’s 28 petals was casting on-site but not in place. Given their circuitous geometry, a allocation of the blade had to be apparent during the pour. This resulted in two allegory accurate textures: a bland accomplishment area the accurate was caked into the fiberglass form, and a besom accomplishment area the accurate was larboard exposed. As with abounding added aspects of the project, a custom band-aid was appropriate here, too. A appropriate eight-inch besom was acclimated to administer the accomplishment consistently to the petal’s arced anatomy and to challenge the breeze of baptize bottomward the petals.
After the accurate had convalescent for several days, the petals were aerial into their final positions. As with any tilt-up accurate structure, this was the moment back the accomplished stresses would be placed aloft the petals. Adding to the complication of the adjustment action was the actuality that the petals had to be accumulated in pairs: adjoining petals were aing to one accession with two animate pin access to anatomy a account structure.
The aftereffect of all this accomplishment is a different battleground on the south ancillary of San Antonio. Despite the weight of the accurate petals—individual petals counterbalance amid 15 and 20 bags each—the consistent anatomy feels appreciably light. The amplitude amid alone petals contributes to this activity of weightlessness, while acrylic lenses anchored in the accurate add a bit of archness to the all-embracing composition.
In accession to illustrating the possibilities of a accurate construction, Assemblage Esplanade demonstrates what is accessible back a awful collaborative interdisciplinary architecture aggregation works with an accomplished applicant to actualize commodity absolutely unique. It is alone applicable that a esplanade congenital to bless the assemblage of assorted bodies of baptize be created by a assemblage of assorted architecture professionals.
Landscape ArchitectRialto Studio
Structural EngineerArchitectural Eng. Collaborative
MEPCNG Engineering, PLLC
Energy ConsultantsPositive Energy
Waterproofing ConsultantActon Partners
This commodity originally appeared in the July/August affair of Texas Artist magazine.
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