Companies present Phil Hardberger Park designs

Four companies vying for a contract to design the proposed Phil Hardberger Park Reserve

Four companies vying for a contract to design the proposed Phil Hardberger Park Reserve made presentations Friday to Mayor Phil Hardberger and a panel of residents.

Striking ideas included the Olin Partnership of Philadelphia's concept for a landscape roof over a natatorium and Overland Partners of San Antonio's "waterworks amphitheater" with storage of filtered stormwater under the seating tiers.

The other finalists are Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd. of Seattle and a joint venture of Stephen Stimson Associates of Falmouth, Mass., and D.I.R.T. Studio of Charlottesville, Va.

The purpose of the competition is to select a design team, not a design, said the mayor's chief of staff, Larry Zinn, while the four presentations were being reviewed Friday afternoon.
He said the teams had not been given a construction budget to work with, though more than $1.5 million has been set aside for design costs from a bond package approved by city voters last month.
The proposed 300-acre park stretches between Northwest Military Highway and Blanco Road. Wurzbach Parkway slices through the site, and the design teams proposed ways to bridge the two sides.

In general, the four contenders all placed the most active recreational uses along Northwest Military Highway, proposed cultural and educational uses for former Voelcker Ranch structures near Salado Creek and proposed various strategies to both maintain and provide access to the wooded areas of the tract.

A date for announcing a decision has not been determined

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