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Trahan Architects and Spackman Mossop Michaels reveal their design for the renewal of Luther George Park in downtown Springdale, Arkansas

The project is made possible by a generous grant from the Walton Family Foundation in conjunction with its Design Excellence Program.

December 16, 2020

Spackman Mossop Michaels and Trahan Architects were commissioned by the Downtown Springdale Alliance to expand and renovate Luther George Park. The project is made possible by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation in conjunction with its Design Excellence Program to jump-start the city’s downtown master plan to create vibrant, multi-use public spaces and plazas.


Set along Spring Creek in downtown Springdale, the 14-acre park is conceived as a connective gateway bridging the active corridor of the 36-mile Razorback Greenway with the city’s main street life.


The design team drew its inspiration from the native landscapes of Arkansas and the cultural richness of the local community. The establishment of more than 200 new trees is built on the native ecosystems of the region, and will provide shade for the community and habitat for local wildlife.


Located on the park’s central axis is the Performance Pavilion, a dynamic form that twists and straddles the pathway to form an inviting gateway into the park. Fronting the Great Lawn, the pavilion will host performances for an audience of up to 3,000 people. The shell leans back toward the earth fronting a small lawn, which enables smaller events such as movie nights in the park for 50-100 people. The dual-sided arrangement is achieved by integrating the performance power and theatrical rigging into the shell – allowing for myriad flexible uses.


When not hosting a performance, the pavilion acts as a shade canopy welcoming the community to gather beneath its sculptural wing-like form. A curving ramp and earth berm along the back edge of the stage seamlessly blend the platform with the landscape – providing equal access to all. The pavilion shell is constructed from weathering steel sheets. The raw steel will patina over time to reveal the nuances of the environmental conditions amplified by the torquing geometry – taking on a rich, earthy finish.


"The park is about bringing people together from across the community and providing a space to connect to one another, and to the natural world," says Wes Michaels, ASLA, founding principal of Spackman Mossop Michaels.


“We believe strongly in the power of landscapes to inform our architecture – the Performance Pavilion draws inspiration from the rolling hills of the landscape and the strong axial connection between the river and downtown Springdale,” saysTrey Trahan, FAIA, founder & CEO of Trahan Architects.



Trahan Architects is a multi-disciplinary firm with offices in New Orleans and New York City. It was ranked the firm #1 design firm in the U.S. for 2019 by Architect magazine’s Architect 50. Projects include the renovation of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, and the Coca-Cola Stage at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia.


Spackman Mossop Michaels is an award-winning international office for urban strategy and landscape architecture. Its mission is to create places that people love to use every day.

(click on pictures to enlarge)

Eleven Visualisation; Courtesy of Trahan Architects

Arching over Luther George Park's Central Plaza, the Performance Pavilion fosters a journey between downtown Springdale, Arkansas, and the active edge of Spring Creek.

Spackman Mossop Michaels

Luther George Park site plan

Eleven Visualisation; Courtesy of Trahan Architects

The pavilion provides a flexible infrastructure for events such as hosting an audience of 3,000 and movie nights for 50-100 people.

Eleven Visualisation; Courtesy of Trahan Architects

Constructed from weathering steel plates, the pavilion will develop a rich patina taking on a rich, earthy finish over time.

Eleven Visualisation; Courtesy of Trahan Architects

The pavilion's canopy provides a sculptural destination.

Eleven Visualisation; Courtesy of Trahan Architects

Set within the rolling hills of the 14-acre Luther George Park, the iconic form of the pavilion creates a gateway framing views of the park beyond.

Drawing by Henry Savoie; Courtesy of Trahan Architects

Luther George Park Performance Pavilion panel isometric