Arkansas River – Drury Plaza-Broadview, Wichita, KS
LK Architecture was retained by both the City of Wichita and Drury-Southwest Hotels to redesign the east bank of the Arkansas River from Second Street to Douglas Avenue. Previously masterplanned as a limited rennovation, the project was expnaded when Drury Hotels purchased the historic Broadview Hotel and embarked on a multi- million dollar rennvation project.
The final design concept integrates both the public and private portions of the project into a single, cohesive space with implied definition between use areas. Drawing upon thhe established character of previous river front projects, this area emerged as a testament to private/public partnerships.
Walkways weave throughout the landscape creating intimate puase points while larger areas of turf and ledgerock accomodate larger crowds during event times. A small performance space was created for use by the general public and for hotel events such as weddings. The space is punctuated by custom shade columns which give added enclosure to the space as well as making it a focal point along the banksof the Arkansas River. The shade columns were designed arnd fabricated by a local artist and have an integrated planter at the top to facilitate vines which will cover the trellis and create a cool recpite for users of the promanade pathway.
The new 880 linear feet of bulkhead edge with custom edge treatment installed along the riverbank varies in width from 10 feet to 20 feet and features new lighting and specialty paving along with tactile edge design treatment. The terraced walls necessary to accomodate the 12 feet of grade change, vary in height and material. The major site wall is constructed of colored concrete, curves in both plan and elevation and features a sine-wave form liner finish; all of which respond to the overall design theme. A fire bowl and small cascading water feature were designed integrally with an overlook to invite hotel guests to engage with the river bank and help activate and integrate both the public and private areas.
Weaving walkways snake through the landscape like runnels, reflective of the prairie river. These walkways gently move users through the space and to access street level at Douglas Avenue.
Custom wayfinding and interpretive signage along with furnishings populate the space and continue thoughout each phase of the overall Arkansas River Corridor Project.
Resolving logistal issues between the two Owners, properties and Contractors proved to be a challenge, but were resolved due to common goal of creating an attractive and functional space along the city’s greatest natural resource.
- Small event plaza
- River promenade and bulkhead
- Water feature fountain
- River overlook
- Custom site furnishings
- Custom wayfinding signage
- Specialty paving
- Multi-use pathways
- Pedestrian lighting
- Fire bowl
City of Wichita