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Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Selected to Design Hemisfair’s Civic Park, San Antonio, TX

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March 20, 2014 (San Antonio, TX) — Seattle-based landscape architect Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) has been selected to design Hemisfair’s civic park in San Antonio, Texas. The contract to move forward with the design for the 8+ acre downtown park was approved by the San Antonio City Council earlier today. The park will be an uncommonly beautiful urban green space offering enriching and captivating experiences that strengthen our community. It will be part of a series of three parks on the Hemisfair site, all of which will be embraced by a vibrant and walkable district. The civic park at Hemisfair is scheduled to open to the public in 2018 to celebrate San Antonio’s Tricentennial and the 50th Anniversary of the World’s Fair. Design will be based on the community’s vision for this park, which can be downloaded here:

GGN will work closely with local firm Alamo Architects to lead a team of local and national design and engineering experts. GGN’s design effort will be led by founding principal Kathryn Gustafson and principal Keith McPeters. Gustafson’s work includes the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park in Chicago, Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial at Hyde Park in London, Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam, Seattle City Hall Plaza, Valencia Parque Central in Spain, and the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

“We were immediately drawn to the Hemisfair project as a rare opportunity to create one of the world’s great public spaces,” said Kathryn Gustafson. “We are excited by the design potential inherent in the cross-cultural influences that define and propel San Antonio – a city with a rich history and a growing urban population,” said Kathryn Gustafson.

The non-profit Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corporation (HPARC) is leading the transformation of the Hemisfair site into an urban oasis beloved by the whole community. Located at one of the busiest pedestrian intersections in the city – Market Street and Alamo Street – the civic park will serve as the new front porch of San Antonio and replace the outdated portion of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

“The Hemisfair civic park will be the centerpiece of the Decade of Downtown,” said San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro.

In addition to GGN and Alamo Architects, other project consultants include Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Vickrey & Associates, CNG Engineering, Ximenes & Associates, Jaster-Quintanilla, Tillett Lighting Design, Drew Collaborative Works, Toole Design Group, CMS Collaborative, Theatre Projects Consultants, and ETM Consultants.

A name for the civic park has not yet been determined.

For up-to-date information on Hemisfair projects including the civic park sign up for our electronic newsletter, and “like” us at

North End Parks in Boston, MA by GUSTAFSON GUTHRIE NICHOL

About Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN)

Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) is an internationally recognized landscape architecture firm based in Seattle, Washington, with an office in Washington, DC. GGN was founded in 1999 by principals Kathryn Gustafson, Jennifer Guthrie, and Shannon Nichol. The firm’s employees have multi-disciplinary backgrounds in landscape design, architecture, art, engineering, ecology, geography, and archeology. GGN offers specialized experience in designing high-use landscapes in complex, urban contexts. These landscapes feel serenely grounded and comfortable at all times – whether bustling with crowds, offering moments of contemplation, or doing both at once. GGN’s designs are derived from a deep understanding of a site’s history, ecology, and surrounding communities.

Prominent projects include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Campus in Seattle, the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park in Chicago, Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard in Washington, DC, and the winning entry for Union Square at the National Mall Design Competition.

GGN received the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Landscape Architecture in 2011. Other awards include ASLA National Awards of Excellence, ASLA and AIA Honor Awards for Design, and Tucker Design Awards.

Kathryn Gustafson is also a partner in the UK design firm, Gustafson Porter.

For more information on Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, please visit

About Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corporation (HPARC)

HPARC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit local government corporation established by the San Antonio City Council for the purpose of expanding the parks and transforming the Hemisfair area. HPARC’s responsibilities include acquiring property, planning, developing, constructing, managing, maintaining and financing projects at Hemisfair. In addition to environmental and cultural sustainability, Hemisfair has a goal of being financially self-sustaining by the year 2020.

The original site of the 1968 World’s Fair, Hemisfair is located in the heart of downtown San Antonio, Texas. It is home to the iconic Tower of the Americas, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Magik Theatre, Institute of Texan Cultures, Instituto Cultural de Mexico, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and several historic structures, all with access to the River Walk.

“We believe that great cities have great downtowns, and great downtowns have great urban parks. With plans of plazas, courtyards, green space, art and sculpture, cultural amenities, residences and local businesses, Hemisfair will mature our city center asset into a collective space bursting with users and excitement.” –HPARC CEO Andres Andujar

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