Weddle Gilmore black rock studio, West 8 and Colwell Shelor Landscape Architecture have been selected to transform 19 acres surrounding Arizona's Mesa City Hall into a unique civic space that will “capture and enhance the urbanizing momentum of Mesa’s downtown core.” Unanimously selected by the City of Mesa, over finalists Woods Bagot + Surface Design and Otak + Mayer Reed, the winning scheme plans to activate the public space with a series of flexible plazas and garden spaces centered around a distinct cooper shade structure.
More about the design and competition, after the break.
From the architects: Conceived as a “town square with a twist,” Colwell Shelor, West 8 and Weddle Gilmore’s design makes the City Center more than just an event space. It is the City’s “green heart” and a catalyst for the next 100 years of urban growth in downtown Mesa. The design is characterized by generous spaces for flexible uses, inviting landscapes celebrating the Sonoran desert, and ground floor uses with public oriented programs that draw people into and through Mesa City Center to Main Street, the Arts Center, Convention Center and residential neighborhoods.
The Events Plaza is the central gathering space of the design. The centerpiece and icon of the project is a stunning Arizona copper shade structure, encompassing a passive evaporative cooling tower. A state-of-the-art water feature celebrates both the preciousness and playfulness of water, transforming into an ice skating rink during the winter.
The Upper Terrace has a more relaxed atmosphere, with pockets of Sonoran Desert themed gardens and small-scale plazas for food markets, small concerts and art shows. The Leisure Promenade is a linear path that ties the Upper Terrace and Events Plaza park spaces together with seating and trees, so that visitors can hang out and watch the action.
The design repurposes and renews existing buildings on site to retain a critical mass of users and to create a focal point from which new development will grow outside of the project boundaries. Repurposed buildings will house new food and drink venues at the ground floors, with terraces that engage the public realm areas. City Hall will be re-skinned with vertical fins to transform the building architecturally and improve its energy performance.
Colwell Shelor, West 8 and Weddle Gilmore team’s City Center design combines the City’s and community’s desires for a venue for its major events and festivals; a shady, green welcoming setting and an iconic, world-class space announcing Mesa as a leading city for innovation, arts, business and community. The winning team’s design for Mesa City Center is a destination that will be a lively downtown hub and an inviting public place during all seasons and times of day.
LocationSouth Hall, Mesa, AZ 85204, United States
ConsultantsDibble Engineering, Pfocus, HR&A, ETM Associates, Rider Levett Bucknall, Pentagram, Fluidity, schlaich bergermann and partner lp
PhotographsColwell Shelor, West 8 and Weddle Gilmore