Gathering Place / Tulsa’s Riverfront Park, Tulsa, OK
Gathering Place is a world class riverfront park along the scenic Arkansas River that was designed to welcome all Tulsans to a vibrant and inclusive space that engages, educates and excites! The extraordinary transformation of nearly 100 acres of Tulsa’s iconic waterfront into a dynamic, interactive environment was the dream of the George Kaiser Family Foundation. The 66-acre park, which is open to the public for free, includes playgrounds, gardens, a skate park, a BMX track, a concert venue and a number of restaurants. It also hosts a variety of public programming, from Zumba classes to family nature walks, furnished by a $100 million endowment. The Foundation’s dream became a reality when it broke ground in 2014 and now provides Tulsa residents and visitors with a welcoming, natural space where members of diverse communities can come together to explore, learn and play.
The dream of a space required detailed coordination between Landscape Architects – Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and a dedicated team of Lighting Designers at Domingo Gonzalez Associates (DGA). The landscape design
Lighting Design: Domingo Gonzalez Associates (DGA)
Landscape Architect: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
Photography: Mel Willis Co.
The richly imagined landscape was inspired in part by local limestone cliffs, in which a child can encounter a 22-foot-tall Great Blue Heron with a slide between her wings — one of more than 160 inventive play structures secreted among its groves, glades, vales and prairie-flowered hillocks.
Lighting the Way
The paved paths are illuminated with a modern professional high intensity LED floodlight projector, PYROS, mounted at various heights to illuminate the paths of egress and yet not interfere with the natural setting. The PYROS projector was designed for high intensity floodlight applications in both 43W and 55W and a choice of 3000K – 4000K color temperatures.
Dramatic stone outcroppings, similar to those found naturally in eastern Oklahoma, can be found throughout the park forming grottoes, misty waterfalls and, at one entrance, a canyon-like series of stacked stone limestone walls.
Accessories deliver multiple options for distribution
. The PYROS features a variety of optical accessories such as an adjustable stainless steel asymmetric screen that permits the shielding of the light beam with wide beam optics. The screen was used extensively throughout the project to direct light where it was needed on pathways and pedestrian areas.
- Gathering Place was voted USA Today’s Best New Attraction of 2019
- Gathering Place is funded by a combination of more than 80 corporate and philanthropic organizations.
- Construction began in September 2014 and Phase I (66.5 acres) opened in September 2018.
- Renowned landscape architect firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates designed the unique Park with input from the community.
- When Phase II and III are completed, the footprint of Gathering Place will be 100 acres.