Romare Bearden Park Design




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Romare Bearden Park Overview
Romare Bearden Park - Overall Concept


"In the spring of 2000, the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County adopted the Center City 2010 Vision Plan. Among many recommendations, the plan included the suggestion of a large scale public park that will become the symbolic focus of Mecklenburg County and the city of Charlotte."
- Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation

Romare Bearden Park - Aerial Perspective View
Romare Bearden Park - Aerial Perspective View


"Romare Bearden Park will be created on a 5.2-acre parcel located in Third Ward between Church and Mint Streets and Martin Luther King (MLK) Boulevard and 4th Street. Bearden was an internationally renowned artist who was born in Charlotte in 1912 and at one point in his childhood, lived near the new park at the corner of MLK Boulevard and Graham Street.

Romare Bearden Park
Romare Bearden Park - Artist's Rendering


"The park design is based on the work of public artist Norie Sato. Her concepts were inspired by Bearden’s multimedia collages where he used memory, experiences and tradition as the basis of his work. For example, the main pathway that bisects the park from Church Street to the main plaza of the future Charlotte Knights Ballpark is named the Evocative Spine, named as such to represent the way Bearden created his work by ‘evoking’ his childhood memories. Two other features of the park, Madeline’s and Maudell’s gardens, represent how Bearden used the memory of the beautiful garden’s kept by his mother and grandmother to inspire his art."  - Charlotte CENTER CITY Partners

Romare Bearden Park
Romare Bearden Park - Artist's Rendering


This 5.4 acre urban park is inspired by the work of internationally known artist Romare Bearden who grew up in the area. The master plan evokes Bearden and his use of memory as triggers for key inspirational points. This influence resulted in an eclectic mix of urban park elements including two gardens, and a courtyard of moveable tables and chairs on a bed of crushed granite heavily shaded by a strong tree canopy. A formal event green transitions into a large open green for informal play and events, a play area with interactive digital chimes and waterfalls. -LandDesign

Romare Bearden Park
Romare Bearden Park - Artist's Rendering




Design Concept



Bearden Park - Overview
Romare Bearden Park - Artist's Rendering



Overarching Theme:  Bearden and Memory

Romare Bearden worked in the context of his memories and their constant evolution in his mind. He used memory and tradition as his subjects for his work. His work was very much about his experiences throughout his life, but rather than illustrating his memories, his work evoked his subjects, he constantly interpreted his memories. 

In the park, the intent is to evoke Bearden and his use of memory as triggers for past experience. His work will not be reproduced, but how he worked, put together his images and created his work will help determine how elements in the park are put together to evoke the spirit of Bearden’s life and artwork 


Big Moon Green


Big Moon Green
Big Moon Green

The Big Moon Green is a large open lawn area designed for informal play as well as an area for event gatherings. The Big Moon Green theme is a play on the moon’s ability to be an indicator of the passage of time and memory while maintaining a certain universality and regularity to its phases. It is anticipated that lighting will be a primary component to evoke memories of a particular phases of the moon that will be visible when viewed from above. 


The Perrons


The Perrons
The Perrons

Perrons are large linear steps cascading up from Mint Street into the Big Moon Green. These steps act a “stoop” for the city inviting the user to pass through a variety of locations to and from the street to the green. These large monolithic steps are approximately eight to 10 inches high and two feet wide with a 10? foot wide run of lush lawn in between each perron step. 


The Evocative Spine


The Evocative Spine
The Evocative Spine


Water, art, and grade changes allow this to be a central focus of the park and helps to create punch and life to the other more passive areas. The Evocative Spine is the main thoroughfare in the park leading users from Church Street to Mint Street ending at the main gate for the Charlotte Knights Ballpark. This path will take the user through the site and provide opportunities to engage the users with gardens, public art and interactive water as the user enters the Childhood Muse area. Not only will the Evocative Spine be designed to provide areas  for public art, it will  also provide a direct pedestrian connection from the Tryon Street directly to the new ballpark. 


The Art Wall 


The Art Wall
The Art Wall


The Art Wall will be designed to provide a platform for public art interpretation along the evocative spine as well as earth retainment structure to hold the formal oval to street  grades along Church Street. The Art Wall provides the opportunity to lead the user on a journey to the Childhood Muse Plaza while using its retaining wall characteristics to create drama at the interactive water feature terminus cascading down from the formal oval.

The Gardens 

Madeline Jones and Maudell Sleet were among the people Bearden recalled in collages depicting Mecklenburg County memories in the context of their sumptuous gardens. From this recollection, came the inspiration to plan for two major gardens in the park, which would be named for these two women who greatly inspired Romare Bearden. 

Maudell's Garden
Maudell's Garden


Maudell’s Garden 
Maudell’s Garden is southern garden designed to be in full bloom during the height of summer. Using plants of the south and accents of bold color, this garden will attempt to evoke the inspiration of Maudell. 

Madeline's Garden
Madeline's Garden


Madeline’s Garden 
Madeline’s Garden will be primarily a cool season garden but also will allow for year ?round annual beds designed wit h bold swaths of popping color throughout the seasons. This garden will attempt to play on the collage inspiration incorporating annual plantings, shrubs and landform to provide a contrast from garden space to garden space. It will also provide a flank for the Evocative Spine, inviting users to rest and enjoy the garden along their journey through the park. 


The Arbor and Trellis 


The Arbor and Trellis
The Arbor and Trellis

The Arbor and Trellis provide a shaded terminus for the Formal Oval. This is a place that invites the user to sit and relax under its shaded canopy while enjoying the formal  layout of the oval lawn perched at one of the highest points on the park site. This structure will also provide opportunities for various events by providing space for small band stages and catering areas. 


The Memory Walk 

The Memory Walk
The Memory Walk

This specific connection between the formal oval and Brevard Court /Latta Arcade is a direct “ode” to the idea of memory. This walk will be designed with a very colorful paving pattern based on one of Bearden’s actual works, using patterns bumping up against pattern as Bearden would have done with his collages. It also provides the users of Brevard Court a direct view into the Formal Oval’s lush green and creates more energy along Church Street. 


The Formal Oval

The Formal Oval
The Formal Oval


The Formal Oval is programmed to provide an area for smaller formal events. This area sits near the same elevat ion of Church Street and is held up above the park by the art wall below. It is the central focus of the upper part of the park providing a formal space that connects the Paris Memory, Memory  Walk and Maudell’s Garden spaces to each other.  This area also will be home to the top portion of the interactive water feature, which will spill from the Formal Oval down the wall in the Childhood Muse Plaza.


Childhood Muse Plaza

Childhood Muse Plaza
Childhood Muse Plaza

This area has been designated to provide the prime showcase area for interactive water and public art. With cascading water, art, play and landform as the major attributes to drive the design of this plaza, the space will become a signature area for the park. The space has the potential to include a large vertical form of artwork to rise above the Formal Oval which currently rests approximately seven feet above the Childhood Muse Plaza to provide a beacon inviting users to come find and experience the plaza as  you  enter the park from the Tryon Street Promenade. 


Paris Memory
 

Paris Memory
Paris Memory

For Bearden, his time in Paris was extremely influential and important to his work and life.  This space evokes some of the Parisian space that Bearden experienced during his time in the City of Lights. This area gives the user an opportunity to experience the park for short intervals during the day wit hout engaging with the entire site. The moveable tables and chairs on a bed of crushed granite are heavily  shaded  by a strong tree canopy  give the user the opportunity to use the area for lunch and daytime gatherings as well  as complimenting and enhancing the streetscape uses along Church Street. This area is flanked by a small lawn that also provides users the opportunity to pull a chair out into the sun to enjoy a lush lawn setting adjacent to the cool shaded canopy of the table area. A kiosk is also designated in this area to provide opportunities for light refreshments and  to add a visual anchor to the shaded table area. 


The Baseball Plaza


The Baseball Plaza
The Baseball Plaza

The Baseball Plaza is located along the corner of Mint Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard directly across from the main gate to Charlotte Knights Ballpark. With an estimated 10,000 people in attendance for over 70 home games, this area provides  queuing space for large volumes of baseball fans wait ing to cross Mint Street to get to the  main gates. This space will be designed to evoke the excitement of heading into the event. A play on baseball on this corner could include the possibility of collage disks in  the format ion of player location on the field provides a space  for a hardscape art feature  that builds on the excitement of heading into the game as well as providing for a large  enough corner space to hold hundreds of people waiting to cross the street at one time.

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