Strauss Park “Heart of the Community Landscape” is a reimagined and reactivated landscape at the heart of the Grand Center neighborhood in St. Louis made possible by a placemaking grant from Project for Public Spaces (PPS) sponsored by Southwest Airlines.
The process for reviving the park began with a number of community stakeholder meetings. Arbolope Studio then worked with PPS and Grand Center Inc. to create a cohesive site vision and oversee the project construction.
The Heart of the Community Landscape design focuses on creating a more welcoming and usable public space. Playful circular pads create a new park entrance and form a path that leads users through the park. These soft-surface circular pads are furnished with movable tables and chairs, inviting park visitors to personalize the space and socialize freely. The pads also connect to a new wooden deck in the center of the park that creates a larger and more usable stage area for performances and neighborhood events.
Scattered pavers in the lawn invite foot traffic into the park from bustling Grand Avenue and out of the sunken dining terraced to partake in lawn games. The park’s sculptural planting beds provide seasonal interest, frame park entrances and help define the active lawn areas.