Construction was recently completed for the new urban plaza mini park in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego. The 0.75-acre park site converts an existing surface parking lot into a new lively and vibrant mini park. The site is centrally located in the core of North Park behind the Conservatory Theater on North Park Way. The new mini park will provide the neighborhood with passive recreation amenities as well as being a venue for highly activated community events that may include expansion of the North Park Thursday Market, food truck events, small concerts, movie nights, and art gatherings.
KTUA was the prime design consultant leading a team that included an architect, a wayfinding consultant, as well as civil, electrical, and structural engineers. The park was designed to function as a multi-use urban plaza with carefully placed landscape improvements to soften the plaza and create a comfortable and inviting urban space. The plaza is characterized by highly refined and enhanced paving, a permanent raised stage area, and space for temporary stages and a movie screen on the back side of the Observatory Theater. An ample amount of concrete seat walls and precast concrete table and chair ensembles provide seating and socializing areas. Canopy shade trees and flowering accent trees provide shade and screening of the park. Interactive, passive recreation improvements included a children’s tensile rope climbing structure, musical instruments, and informal seating and gathering areas. The park’s identity was realized by two large neighborhood wayfinding spires and a large, curved North Park identity wall constructed with 6-foot-tall concrete letters. The curved identity wall serves to help define the large central plaza of the park as well as provide a stunning landmark for North Park.