From the architects: For over a century, the Trinity River has shaped the city of Dallas as both a critical resource and a powerful force of nature. Despite its inextricable connection to city’s history and identity, the river today is disconnected from the public by long stretches of undeveloped land and a general lack of access. MVVA’s design for Trinity River Park builds upon ongoing municipal efforts to connect the river with the city, envisioning the space as an intensely beautiful and naturalistic network of trails, meadows and lakes living in harmony with the Trinity River.
To transform the Trinity Floodway into a world-class park and a catalyst for urban growth, MVVA placed two core concepts at the center of its design: civic spaces and naturalistic landscapes. Civic spaces, such as playgrounds, fountains, plazas and lawns, are located to provide a connection between the city and the floodplain, protect programmatic areas from extreme flooding, and bring a sense of identity to the dry side of the city’s levees. Riparian landscapes, on the other hand, will restore the ecological function and natural beauty of the channel and its banks while also reducing the vulnerability of pathways and other important design elements.
In addition to providing an extraordinary resource for the citizens of Dallas, the design for the Trinity River floodplain must continue to protect the city from major flood events which have proven catastrophic in past decades. MVVA’s plan creates a park accessible even during 10-year storms, ensuring the adaptability of the space even under extreme circumstances. By working closely with government engineers and other specialists to ensure the infrastructural soundness of the floodplain, MVVA has transformed the flooding of the river from a natural disaster into a breathtaking spectacle.