The American Institute of Architects

A Chapter of the American Institute of Architects

Urban Design Projects

Chapman Green Placemaking | Architect: OU Urban Design Studio

Photography by: OU Urban Design Studio

The transformation of the Chapman Green is a participatory placemaking project involving the community on many levels. It uses public art and artistic expression as the method to revive an underutilized park in Downtown Tulsa. Temporary art installations are an important part of the project, but so is urban design and event programming. Management trumps design when it comes to public space with landscape maintenance, park policy, and funding for activities at the forefront of the effort. Since the inaugural three-week volunteer effort to build the stickwork sculpture dubbed Prairie Schooners by its designers, the park has hosted movie nights, picnics, art classes, kid activities, yoga practices, and festivals like the Fairy Festival and StreetCred. The park has been a catalyst for the Art Alley across the street where a score of new murals has been painted on the alley side of historic downtown buildings. The second sculpture in the park, Be the One, has also recently been added and it is a popular selfie spot for locals and visitors. A project like this is never finished and it needs the continued support of the community to grow and evolve.

Oklahoma Stage at Expo Square | Architect: GH2 Architects | Landscape Architect: PDG

Photography by: Susan Rainey, Yellow Dog Design Works

This project started with a vision for a permanent structure to create an outdoor venue unlike any in the region to bring bigger acts to the Tulsa State Fair. The plan was given support by the community when the VisionTulsa citywide bond issue passed in 2016 and funded this project. Vision became a reality when the 68-foot-tall Oklahoma Stage became the striking focal point in the center of Expo Square. The stage design took inspiration from the historic International Petroleum Exposition (IPE) building. The stage emulates the iconic steel structural beams that rise up above the roof of the building. The stage pays homage to the existing architecture by picking up on the angles of the rooflines, and how those angles interact with the beams. The end result is a modern expression of the existing historic fairgrounds architectural forms. Prominent features of the stage are color-changing LED lights, large equipment grid and angled steel beams. The Oklahoma Stage serves as the focal point for more than one-million people attending the Tulsa State Fair each year. The iconic Oklahoma Stage creates a distinct space to bring the community together under a common interest.