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City of New Port Richey Parks & Recreation

Crafting a Community Sims Park and the Hacienda Hotel Master Plan 2013


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Responsive Architecture JAHarchitects, LLC. Is an architectural and consulting firm

based in Tampa, FL which provides “architecture that is responsive to its surroundings and to its user’s needs.�This task can be laborious, but essential

to the design process. Our practice focuses on a pragmatic response to the challenges brought forth by both clients and a complex environment with a rich tropical and colonial history, and an architectural image which is contextually sensitive to foster pleasure, longevity, and wellbeing to those who inhabit our buidlings.

The JAHarchitects team consists of both licensed and graduate architects with a multiplicity of experience and expertise to address a wide range of design challenges. JAH was incorporated in 2006, and was formerly known as IPS (Integrated Project Services) in Tampa from 2000 to 2006, of which Tony Huggins, AIA was the Director of Operations, and Partner. Tony Huggins is the current CEO, Senior Partner with JAHarchitects.


vision

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A Downtown Gateway While downtown New Port Richey has a small urban core, it houses a vibrant community and is bookended by two major highways which run north and south on each end of New Port Richey’s Main St. The City of New Port Richey Parks and Recreation department commissioned JAHarchitects to review and prepare a new long-term master plan for Sims park, an important green gateway to New Port Richey’s downtown. Sited within Sims Park is the Hacienda hotel, an historic landmark of New Port Richey which, after several renovations and use changes, sits vacant. NPR Parks & Recreation also commissioned JAH to review the Hacienda and Chamber of Commerce(CoC) buildings for potential uses and plans to revitalize the Main St. core as a center of activity, tourism, and commerce in the New Port Richey area.


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The New Port Richey Parks and Recreation department manages multiple park properties and nature preserves along the Pithlachascotee River and inland New Port Richey. JAHarchitects viewed this green corridor as NPR’s greatest asset for tourism, and presented the city with a proposal to link the park network through pedestrian/bike pathways and a rebranding which emphasizes outdoor recreation and proximity to the Pinellas Trail.


analysis

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JAHarchitects approached the design of Sims Park first through street observation and meeting with community members. Project designers took incremental observations down the Main St. gateway and throughout the park in order to generate optimization strategies for the Main St. corridor on a west-east axis into downtown. JAH then conducted several user-group meetings to gather concerns and requests from residents. JAH saw attention to Main St. as a heavy concern, with regards to the gateway across Main St. bridge, and the streetscape along Sims Park and the Hacienda. Secondly, a scattering of surface parking throughout the site fragments traffic flow, and occupies valuable green space. Lastly, Peace Hall, an event space and important asset of NPR Parks & Recreation, sits haphazardly on a plot of park property severed from the majority of the park by an extension of Grand Blvd. Based on these observations, JAHarchitects’ design strategy focused around bringing activity to and from the street, linking a park space to the potential of an overall more walkable downtown, unifying green space into an active, holistic park network, and consolidating parking to a central location which could service both the park and downtown in a safe, walkable way for both residents and visitors.


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Sims Park Master Plan

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1. Gateway

The current CoC building underutilizes its site, and is dwarfed by an ongoing development south of Main St. JAH proposes a larger building of similar scale be constructed along the street edge to define a street room which acts as the gateway of New Port Richey. This intervention is complete with an improved tree canopy, lighting and pedestrian walkways out to Main St. bridge, as well as boat parking to maximize the existing launch ramp.

2. Sims Park Quad

The amenties of the quad are arranged on a radial axis around an existing central plaza. The grand park entry on the south axis leads up to the plaza with a central promenade leading through dancing fountains and a lush treescape. The north axis houses an improved ampatheatre with performer support space and service access from Grand Blvd. to the north. New park ameneties to the east house the new children’s play area, as well as new restroom facilites with a covered observation area for parents, divided by a splash pad and paved walk. On the west axis, a second over look hits the improved riverwalk halfway along the distance of the park to provide a shaded gathering space which reinforces the central axis.

quadrants 1. Gateway

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2. Sims Park Quad


3. Hacienda & Bank st. Garage

The Hacienda has a valuable asset in its open courtyard, but the available space is underutilized and uninviting. JAH proposed an expansion of the courtyard with an open-air arcade which wraps the perimeter of the court, and a covered drop off area to move vehicles in and out of the Hacienda as quickly as possible. Across Bank St. a 3-story parking structure consolidates surface parking both in downtown and in the park into one structure sitting in place of a large current surface lot. The facade of the garage matches rhythms of the Hacienda, and a green roof extends the park area onto the garage with a land bridge over Bank st. A covered arcade on the green roof stretches between two circulation cores and provides direct access to the park without crossing the street.

4. Orange Lake

A natural sinkhole, Orange Lake is a valuable amenity to New Port Richey which carries the potential for a rental destination. JAH proposed to move Peace Hall, an underutilized rental space, out onto Orange Lake floating on a barge, with the addition of an event plaza and chime tower behind the building. A padestrian bridge extends from the existing walkway around the lake out to the barge, with periodic shade structures. JAH also proposed six stations around the lake as pavilions for view, or exhibition of artisans or visiting craftsmen.

quadrants 3. Hacienda & Bank St. Garage

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4. Orange Lake


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In order to strengthen Main st. as the urban core of New Port Richey, activity must first be brought back to the street. With both Florida and Nebraska ave. as traffic lanes running parallel to Main st, it serves as a viable candidate for a pedestrain-centered thoroughfare. JAH sees a first step towards this goal is to make activity to and from the park center around activity on the street, instead of parking lots. A central parking garage on Bank st consolidates neighborhood parking while also providing safe, sustainable access to the park with out disrupting cross traffic on Bank st.

walkable

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In conjunction with a wide pedestrian lane on Main, the entry to Sims Park features a paved detour for cyclist parking, and a promenade shaded by both tree canopies and structures. Pedestrain pathways have been reinforced around open green space to promote play and freedom within shaded gathering spaces. The Sims Park waterfront carries an increased presence, and acts as prime real estate for vendors and recreational travel.

walkable

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1121 E Twiggs Suite 200 Tampa, FL 33602 P: 813.223.2725 F: 813.225.2722 jaharchitectsllc.com


Crafting a Community