Powhatan Springs Park


Powhatan Springs Park

LocationArlington, VA
ClientArlington County Department of Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources
ServicesSite Design, Public Participation, Public Art Collaboration, Construction Documentation, Construction Administration
Site Area8.0 ac (3.2 ha)
Budget$1.5 million USD
Date2001 - 2004

OCULUS led the design of this award-winning park in Arlington, Virginia with a highly integrated team that included architects, engineers, an artist, a professional skateboarder, County staff, special interest groups, and the Arlington community. Programmatic elements include the county’s first outdoor skatepark, playfields, an interactive children’s rain garden, and administration and concession buildings. An outdoor pavilion provides a sheltered area to view the playfields, skate park, and play area.

The park design centers on sustainable stormwater management. From the overall site organization to detail design, the processes of stormwater collection, treatment, and infiltration are made visible and interactive. Runnels and conical steel cisterns mark the movement and collection of stormwater, which is then treated in a rain garden sited within a children’s play area. Children can interact with the water as it drains from cisterns, “raining” hourly from pipes mounted on an adjacent roof. After the stormwater has been treated in the rain garden, it is stored in an underground tank. The treated water is then accessed via the play pump where children can control the rate of flow and direct it through a series of runnels to a nearby tributary of Four Mile Run.

Powhatan Springs Park was awarded the Traveling Award for Innovative Excellence and an Honor Award by the Maryland-Potomac Chapter of the ASLA; and named Best New Park by Virginia Parks and Recreational Services in 2005.