woodland park typographic sculpture proposal
Designed by Kristin Liu in Senior Graphic Communications at the University of Houston. Typeset in Bulmer
welcome to woodland park current assessment initial process
conceptual idea material usage
to woodland park
Woodland Park (Highland Park Lake), located northeast of the intersection of Houston Avenue and White Oak Drive is a 30-acre park and the second oldest in Houston. The park was established in 1903 by the Houston Electric Company (HEC) as a privately owned recreational destination for streetcar riders when HEC extended its rail line north from the Houston Avenue Bridge. Public parks were a rarity at the turn of the last century. Originally named Highland Park, the facility became known as San Jacinto Park a few years before the property title was transferred to the City of Houston in 1912.
Renamed Woodland Park in 1914, the present amenities dating from 1947 include a community gymnasium and outdoor fields/courts for baseball, basketball, and tennis. The Friends of Woodland Park, Inc., was created in 2007 and since then has sponsored several very successful community events and activities. Recently, the Harris County Flood Control District has completed a large project which included removing invasive floral species from the banks of Little White Oak Bayou and debris from within the channel of the bayou. This significant project was initiated by FWP and support by former Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia. In addition, the Bayou Preservation Association and Eric Ruckstuhl, have cleared a canoe path under the Wrightwood Street bridge which now almost completely connects this section of Little White Oak Bayou to the Buffalo Bayou State Paddling Trail. Also, Jason Bonilla a Houston Audubon Society member, has initiated monthly bird watching events in the park. The FWP continues to sponsor movie nights and clean up days in the spring and fall, and is currently organizing its first significant fund raising event.
The park includes an abundance of untouched natural beauty, and despite this, it remains mostly untouched and under utilized. The current state of the park contains an overgrowth of invasive plant species, unmarked trails, very few signage and lights, zero benches, and is not yet accommodating as a functional modern park. It does happen to have a community center, basketball and tennis courts, and a small playground. One of the aspects that I found relatively important for the park to have is a stage. With a stage, Woodland Park could have a central place to gather and accommodate a lot of people. They could hold galas, plays, movie nights, and do so much more to try to bring their community together and have people utilize the park. I originally intended for the stage to be set on the Great Lawn where the open space could encourage events, but I decided to utilize the Amphitheater and design the stage for that space.
a ss essm en t
NOTE: Draft proposed but not approved
In the first sketch, the word “PLAY” is used to form the stage, and is inspired by Takenobu Igarashi’s typographic sculptures. With the stage, emphasis is put on its usage as a place for plays and as an area to project movies on the screen backing the stage. But by having giant letters, the word would not be noticed unless seen from above.
p r o c ess
In the second sketch, the word â€œTRICKLEâ€? is used as individual sliding doors, where the thin lines are slats of wood to let natural light in through the back of the stage that is inspired by a Lavance Shade Screen by Benjamin Hall and Michael Lavance.
This proposal enhances the parks proposed amphitheater stage design. The word “trickle”, which alludes to both the trickling of light and sound in the park, would be laser cut from the stage canopy structure. During the day, natural light would filter through the typographic forms and cast a typographic reflection below. At night, and during appropriate events, led lighting would serve to do the same. As an extension, the word “trickle” would move beyond the physical park interaction, and be used to introduce and define Woodland Park and our interaction with it.
Bulmer is a transitional serif typeface originally designed by William Martin in 1792 for the Shakespeare press. The contemporary digital revival is created by Morris Fuller Benton in 1928 for the American Type Foundry. This typeface is chosen for its theatrical history, classic look, and for the era in which its revival coinsides with the history of Woodland Park.
u s ag e
With no monetary budget at the moment, the materials listed are speculative. There are only two main materials used for the canopy: wood and metal. Ipe wood is used to form the slats due to its high resiliency against mold, fires, insects, and general wear from the outdoor elements, but also, for its sustainability in the way the wood is harvested. The metal frame is made from copper plated steel and will age over time as it blends in to the park.