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photo of GGN to Lead Design with Olson Kundig for Smith Cove Park on Seattle’s Waterfront

GGN to Lead Design with Olson Kundig for Smith Cove Park on Seattle’s Waterfront


On Thursday, October 6, 2016, Seattle Parks and Recreation is hosting a public meeting to discuss the design of Smith Cove Park. GGN (Gustafson Guthrie Nichol) is leading the planning and design effort with Olson Kundig for this waterfront park in Seattle, WA. Smith Cove Park is located just west of Pier 91, at the foot of Magnolia Hill on Elliott Bay.

GGN is currently designing a vision plan for the 9.5 acre waterfront property. Included in the project’s first phase will be improvements to an existing sports field. GGN’s vision expands upon the traditional approach to a sports field, incorporating a natural turf, rectangular space into a larger “Field Oval” with a soft, tree-lined edge. The large oval lawn, which will be used for picnicking, pick-up games, community events, and youth soccer games, has a curvilinear geometry that draws from the history of the site as a tidal flat. Based on its unique siting, the “Field Oval” is oriented towards the water to frame views of Mt. Rainier and downtown Seattle. Access to the water’s edge will be enhanced, so that park visitors can stroll along the beach and launch a kayak into Elliott Bay.

Through the public meeting, Seattle Parks and Recreation will work with the GGN design team to incorporate community insights regarding how specific program elements are prioritized within the first phase of the project’s budget.

GGN is teaming with Olson Kundig, who have contributed research and analysis into the site’s connection to surrounding neighborhoods and communities, in order to evaluate programming ideas that will activate the park. The design effort is also strengthened by the contributions of Jeffrey L. Bruce & Company, Hart Crowser, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, DCW Cost Management, Niteo, andRushing. With Seattle Parks and Recreation’s leadership, the design team looks forward to building upon the existing momentum and enthusiasm of neighborhood groups, like the Friends of Smith Cove Park, in defining what the park can be.

We’re thrilled to be working with Parks and the community to design a Seattle waterfront park on such a beautiful and historically rich site. Tess Schiavone, Principal, GGN