- Project Name
- Railyard Park
- AFHJ Architects
- City of Rogers, Arkansas
- Project Scope
- New Construction
- 5 sq. feet
- Year Completed
- Shared by
- Madeleine D'Angelo
- Ross Barney Architects, Architect, Landscape Architect
Consulting Architect: AFHJ Architects,Structural Engineer: Goodfriend Magruder Structure,Civil Engineer: CEI Engineering Associates,Consulting Engineer: HP Engineering,Lighting Designer: Schuler Shook,Other: SPAN (Branding, Environmental Graphics),Audio-visual and Information Technology: Crowne Group,General Contractor: Nabholz,Other: Kate Joyce Studios Photography
- Project Status
- Room or Space
This project was selected as a winner in AIA's 2023 Regional & Urban Design Awards.
Located in the Ozarks of northwestern Arkansas and boasting a population of 68,000, the city of Rogers lies 6 miles east of Bentonville. Like many small cities throughout America, the railroad has been the center of Rogers’ downtown since it was laid out in the 1880s.
Guided by a community-engagement process that resulted in feedback from more than 1,000 locals, the new Railyard Park by Chicago-based Ross Barney Architects and Arkansas firm AFHJ Architects leverages this history to create a 5-acre town square. Trees along the west side of the site create natural shade for new seating located near existing local businesses. A boldly hued play space and a covered event area add to the park’s inviting vibe, while a splash park with three water towers that draw from the site’s past as a water stop for the Frisco Line references the town’s industrial roots. The new Pump Building and Restroom Building, which repurpose shipping containers, further nod to Bentonville’s heritage.
FROM THE ARCHITECTS:
With a grant from the Walton Family Foundation, the City of Rogers, Arkansas has embarked on a project to design a new downtown park that will enhance economic development, spur placemaking, and improve connectivity. Situated on the east boundary of Rogers' historic downtown district, the new park has the potential to capitalize on recent public space investments and help to make downtown Rogers a regional destination.
The project utilized a robust community outreach effort, which has helped build a sense of ownership and pride from city staff and the residents. Through a digital survey that collected over 1,000 responses and in-person charrettes the design team has helped define the park's desired outcomes and objectives through the words of the community. This shared vision has resulted in five emerging priorities: Inviting, Memorable, Challenging, Beautiful, and Authentic.
Rogers, as a city, has been defined both economically and physically by the railroad. The first plat of survey, completed in 1881, uses the rail to create a strong dividing line. The park’s design ignores the rail as a barrier and stitches the east and west together. The result is a series of plazas that can transform throughout the day, week, month, and year. These versatile and flexible spaces create a new and distinct rhythm that extends beyond the park into adjacent streets and becomes the new city center.
Project: Railyard Park, Rogers, Ark.
Architects: Ross Barney Architects, Chicago
Associate Architect: AFJH Architects, Fayetteville, Ark.
Civil Engineering and Land Surveying: CEI Engineering Associates
Structural Engineering: Goodfriend Magruder Structure
MEP Engineering: HP Engineering
Lighting Design: Schuler Shook
Branding and Environmental Graphics: SPAN (formerly Thirst)
AV Consultant : Crowne Group
Contractor/Construction Manager: Nabholz Construction
Photography: Kate Joyce Studios, Stephen Ironside Photography and Walton Family Foundation (c) Kerri McMahon