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RuralStudio

SkatePark Lions Park Phase IV Fall 2008 - Spring 2010


greensboro lions park park phases case studies site plan skate design mockup construction skate park

Content


Greensboro, Alabama Hale County county seat population : 2, 731 total area : 2.4 sq miles

In name and configuration, Hale County is relatively young, though, as you see, its origins go back to the time before Alabama was a separate territory. The county was not actually established until after the Civil War, with the legislature creating it on January 30, 1867. Much of the newly-formed county had been that part of Greene County lying east of the Warrior River- the river which in fact serves as the dividing line between Greene and Hale today. The rest of Hale Count was taken from Marengo County, to the south; Perry county, to the east; and Tuscaloosa County, to the north. There were three candidates for the county seat of Hale: Greensboro, Bucksnort, and Five Mile. Greensboro, receiving a clear majority of votes, was selected and has been county seat ever since. The new county was named for Colonel Stephen F. Hale, a greatly respected Green Countian and veteran of the Mexican War who was killer near Richmond, Virginia, while serving as an army officer during the War Between the States. The first election of county officials was held in March 1867, with Alfred H. Hutchinson chosen as the first probate judge. Today Hale County is governed by a board of commissioners and a probate judge. There are at present four incorporated municipalities in the county, Akron, Greensboro, Moundville, and Newbern. In addition, there are quite a number of smaller communities with their own individual histories and heritages. According to the most recent census figures, the population of Hale County is currently around 15,000. To be a rather small county in size, Hale County has quite a varied topography. The northern part

of the county, around Moundville and below, is characterized by hilly “sandy lands”, with clay sub-soil. The southern part, below Greensboro and down to Gallion is “prairie country”, generally level, grassy, and excellent for dairy, soybean, and catfish farming. The third division is found in the western portion of the county, along the Warrior River. This “river bottom land” is mainly flat, with low, swampy areas, and it varies in width from one or two to six or seven miles. Besides the river, there are numerous creeks and streams and, nowadays, a great many catfish ponds. Near the Bibb County line one finds Lake Payne, a lovely spot on the edge of the Talladega National Forest. We cannot here begin to list all the contributions Hale County has made to its state and nation, in natural resources, agriculture, industry, politics, and culture. Hale County is unquestionably “historic”- a word we often toss around vaguely, as if that said it all- but it is also uniquely valuable, to Alabama and to America. And to those of us who live there, it is a place to be cherished.

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1 prairie land 2 main street / greensboro


Lions Park Greensboro, Al Sports Complex 40 acres 2004 - present

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Lions Park has been an ongoing project for the Rural Studio for fout years now. New baseball fields have been built along with signage, seating, basketball courts, and bathrooms over the past four years. In 2004 the Lions Club, the City of Greensboro, Hale County, the Riding Club and the Greensboro Baseball Association formed a joint committee to manage and care for the future of Lions Park, the largest park in Hale County. They soon approached the Rural Studio about revitalizing the park. This year the park is continuing to receive new programing through the skatepark and concessions teams. Using our resources wisely, we realized the need for a portion of the park to be graded for a combination soccer/football field: this work provides dirt which was used to form the shapes and edges of the skatepark. Throughout Lions Park there is already a use of mounds to provide height and boundaries. The skatepark tries to fit the urban context of skating within an otherwise rural park by using these landscaped mounds to soften edges as well as cutting down on the amount of materials and construction costs. Because of the rural nature of the park and the anticipated users, the skatepark must require little maintenance and acheive a high level of durability.

1 existing sign 2 baseball dugout 3 phase III gates

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Phase One

Phase Two

2006 - 2008

2007 - 2008

The first group to renovate the park was a set of thesis students who undertook the planning and reorganization of the existing park. Financial support was provided by a $500,000 grant from Baseball Tomorrow Foundation which provided for the new ballfields. The four new fields we organized in a hub-and-spoke configuration.

Because the first phase of the Lions Park renovation demolished the heavily vandalized bathrooms, new restrooms were needed. The students located the new bathrooms in a decidedly more secure location under the rear pavilion of the Hale County Extension office. The project took on the added task of capturing the water from the roof to flush the toilets.

Baseball Fields

Bathrooms / Stage


Phase Three

Phase Four

2007 - 2008

2008 - 2010

Rural Studio returned to Lions Park after the construction of the baseball fields to address the lingering issues of surface, edge, and drainage conditions. Previous to Rural Studio’s involvement, cars were able to drive anywhere in the park. A drainage swale and gates addressed this issue, while graphic strips of concrete lead visitors through the landscape and serve as benches, tables, and trash cans.

Two teams went about the task of redesigning the west edge of the park. Repurposing a pasture into a hybrid football/soccer field, providing more parking, adding a new basketball court and building their seperate projects. The skatepark was funded with help from the Tony Hawk Foundation and the concessions stand was design to be mobile to allow for flexibility within the park. Upcoming projects consist of a play space and a redesigned walking trail.

Surfaces / Landscape

Skatepark / Mobile Concessions


Case Study | Land Forms Moundville, Al Archeological Park 300 acres

Moundville is a town a few miles north of Greensboro know for it’s archeological site which consists of mounds who’s form, arrangement, and content reveal the social structure arranged by the ancient settlers. Residential mounds alternate with burial mounds around the perimeter of the plaza. The largest residential mounds and those with the most elaborate burials are located along the northern boundary of the plaza. The site was occupied by Native Americans of the Mississippian culture from around 1000 CE to 1450 CE. The community took the form of a 300-acre residential and political area protected on three sides by a bastioned wooden palisade wall, with the remaining side protected by the river bluff. The largest platform mounds are located on the northern edge of the plaza and become increasingly smaller going either clockwise or counter clockwise around the plaza to the south. Scholars theorize that the highest-ranking clans occupied the large northern mounds with the smaller mounds’ supporting buildings used for residences, mortuary, and other purposes. Of the two largest mounds in the group, Mound A occupies a central position in the great plaza, and Mound B lies just to the north, a steep, 58 feet tall pyramidal mound with two access ramps.

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site plan mounds N & M plaza platform mounds

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Site Plan Program : Play Mound Skate Mound Football/Soccer Field Parking Basketball Court 1

In 2006, two additional thesis teams were challenged to enhance the central space created by the hub and spoke layout of the four baseball fields. This space, termed “Grand Central,” required the inclusion of bathrooms, seating, and landscaping. The bathrooms team used metal culverts to collect and store rainwater to operate five new toilets. The surfaces team was challenged to funnel pedestrian traffic into Grand Central. In order to keep vehicles out of the park, large gates and swales create a boundary traversable only by foot. From the gates, directional paving, termed “sticks,” invites visitors into the Grand Central space where benches fold from the ground to create seating. In August 2008, six new thesis students began reworking the master plan for Lions Park and adding new elements to the already bustling program. The team’s new scheme recognizes the opportunity to activate unused areas of the park and mimics the successes of the original Grand Central to organize a second hub for the park. Lions Park Phase 4 will focus on allocating the money for, designing, and building a skatepark, playground, and mobile concessions stand for the park.

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site plan mounds N & M plaza platform mounds

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Case Study | Skate Spots Varied Skate Locations

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Researching skate spots was a vital development in the process of starting to design the skate park. It allowed us to get an idea of what objects / environments skaters like and don’t like. It also was a filter for figuring out our material palette and preferred construction. We also discovered that the design of the skate park needed to be flexible to allow for street and vertical skating while not keeping them completely seperate. The site was occupied by Native Americans of the Mississippian culture from around 1000 CE to 1450 CE. The community took the form of a 300-acre residential and political area protected on three sides by a bastioned wooden palisade wall, with the remaining side protected by the river bluff. The largest platform mounds are located on the northern edge of the plaza and become increasingly smaller going either clockwise or counter clockwise around the plaza to the south. Scholars theorize that the highest-ranking clans occupied the large northern mounds with the smaller mounds’ supporting buildings used for residences, mortuary, and other purposes. Of the two largest mounds in the group, Mound A occupies a central position in the great plaza, and Mound B lies just to the north, a steep, 58 feet tall pyramidal mound with two access ramps.

1 love park, philidelphia 2 ampitheater, paris 3 kona park, florida

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Skate Park Lions Park Greensboro, AL 8000 sq ft fall 2008 - spring 2010

The community’s desire for a skate park led to the application and reception of a $25,000 grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation. In order to save resources and integrate these typically urban elements into a rural landscape, our team proposed using landforms to soften the park and reduce construction cost. The skate park design is based on a series of thin concrete strips that fold across the landscape. Edges of the slab pull away and slide past the ground to emphasize the thin sheet of concrete. Recognizing the typical skatepark elements, the design tries to push the boundaries making the skatepark, when not in use, seem as much of a sculpture in the landscape as a site for skating. The ledges and rails, usually solid concrete elements, are instead made of contrasting steel plates welded into sculptural volumes which puncture between the concrete strips. The boxes provide a contiuous surface for grinding. The strips of concrete vary in dimension and slide past one another to create a hub for skating as well as extending into the landscape to highlight the uncommon, rural nature of this very urban sport. These longer strips wind through a grid of existing oak trees with varying elements along the trail focusing on undulation, rigidity, and level changes. 1

1 1x1 rebar grid 2 cor-10 ledge


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1 steel box construction 2”x2” steel angle 6” dia. concrete footings 3/8” cor-10 sheet metal 2 plan 3 photo 4 section / elevation


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plan material lower box section upper box section construction photo section / elevation

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SkateparkTEST  

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