The surfaces team set out to create a variety of features to compliment Lions Park’s landscaping. The Lions Park Surfaces include structures placed within the park as well as perimeter features, such as hand-welded gates positioned at the park’s vehicle and pedestrian entrances. Every vibrantly colored gate is custom sized and bolstered by concrete supports. To give the park artistic continuity, each gate has “Lions Park” spelled out in tempered metal within its structure. The jumbo-sized letters are meticulously spaced to allow pedestrian park-goers to slip through and enter Lions Park.
Inside the gates, the park is populated with multipurposed concrete “sticks”. The sticks combine function and form as they simultaneously provide utility for park-goers and give the park an urban minimalist aesthetic. Most of the sticks are at ground level and meld into the park’s walkways. Guests will first notice the sticks on the outskirts of Lions Park, where they camouflage utility lines. Sticks combine to form a “river of sticks” which encourages movement along the park’s main path to the center of Lions Park. Close to Grand Central, they rise above ground to serve as benches and trash can holders to accommodate park guests.
In accordance with Rural Studio’s ongoing commitment for sustainability, the surfaces team dug a trench, filled with plants and rocks designed to clean rainwater before it enters the city’s subterranean water system, between the parking lot and the park gates. Additionally, the surfaces team crafted natural land-bridge walkways which are enclosed by lighted benches. Continuing the theme of versatility, these benches serve as both resting stops for park visitors and luminaries for night-time guests. The goal of Lions Park is to create and maintain a place where the community can come to play outside together and lead an active, healthy lifestyle.