The Kingston Park Revitalization project is a seven hectare multi-use regional park located in Chatham, Ontario. The Brown + Storey Architects Inc. team was shortlisted for the re-design of the existing Kingston Park site and was awarded the contract in early 2010 by the Municipality of Chatham-Kent. B+SAi worked closely with the municipality and the community through a series of public meetings to develop a sophisticated and exciting programnme that forms the basis for the design and organization of the new parkscape.
‘Revitalization’ is a term that is often used to describe many different kinds of projects. In our experience, we have taken the term to be more about finding those elements that act as catalysts to spur a transformation – a new beginning. It means looking at the park with fresh viewpoints – mapping and evaluating many of its physical and perceptual attributes and characteristics, and finding those strategic directions that will create new energy. The integrated relationships of homes and park land, mixes of programming, and relating these to a comprehensive understanding of the infrastructure – water, movement, lighting, cultural, and more topically, an environmental approach that improves and considers each aspect of park design.
The main feature of the park is the splashpad / playground area. The splashpad features a long line of vertical geysers flanked by areas of mist, active play and a large dumping bucket. Adjacent to the waterplay area, a long open pergola structure provides the central facilities for the park operations, washrooms, offices, maintenance and even water treatment. The fountain system is designed to be a completely re-circulating system – water is continually drained back to the building, treated by a state-of-the-art set of UV filters and pumped back to the spray fixtures. The park also provides a wide range of amenities including large covered pavilions, long looping pathways that create numerous circuits around the park and multi-use areas and spaces for park activities to happen during all seasons.
Kingston Park opened on July 23, 2011 and was welcomed by the community and its many users that now have a place to go and have fun all year round.