American Society of Landscape Architects ASLA 2006 Professional Awards
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Beck Park site plan showing two major downtown thoroughfares and surrounding buildings. Note the orientation of the park’s concrete walls and the numerous existing trees remaining on site. (image courtesy of MESA Design Group)

View from the southwest corner shows the architectural concrete walls, Pennsylvania bluestone access ramp, October Glory Maples, and one of four courts or rooms. (Photo by Tom Jenkins)

View from the southeast corner showing the architectural concrete walls, a corner of the water feature, the top edge of the perimeter retaining wall and another of the four rooms. (Photo by Tom Jenkins)

Detailed view from the southeast corner showing the architectural concrete walls and corner of the water feature. (Photo by Tom Jenkins)

A view of the copper runnel at the top of the East/West concrete wall. The runnel is deliberately aligned with the window voids of the building façade, visible in the photo. (Photo by Tom Jenkins)

A view of the intersection of the concrete room dividers, runnel edge and waterfall, zero-edge pool and collection basin. The cool harmonious colors of the hard surfaces contrast with the hot autumn blaze of the October Glory Maples. (Photo by Tom Jenkins)


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Henry C. Beck, Jr. Park, Dallas, Texas
MESA , Dallas, Texas
Landscape Designer, Spindrift Al Swaidi

"A very good plan with spectacular execution. The landscape architect has added interesting detailing and use of plants and created a rich urban environment."

— 2006 Professional Awards Jury Comments

The Henry C. Beck, Jr. Park, built in 2004, is a vest-pocket, infill park. It is a private project for public use in the tradition of Zion and Breen’s Paley Park in its size and intimacy. This park is a retrofit to the 1965 modern, white, marble-clad building and is a tribute to Henry C. Beck, Jr., one of Dallas’ great and innovative contractors of the 1960’s. Bush-hammered concrete, found in Beck Park, is an example of his contribution to the building world.
The placement of the park is significant as a link between two sections of downtown Dallas: the developing Arts District and the business section. It responds to its neighbors, the Edward Larabee Barnes/Dan Kiley Dallas Museum of Art and a more traditional luxury hotel. It adds vitality to major thoroughfares at its edges and also serves as a foyer to the building property and the individual building tenants at the ground level and first floor. The building has developed a “coolness” factor since it houses the Fashion Industry Gallery, a hip and well-heeled restaurant, and the highly-respected Beck Construction firm. The sloped site was an asset since it allowed the landscape architect to respond to each level intimately: intrigue at the edges, calm in the center, and action from the upper-level building views. Henry C. Beck, Jr. Park successfully, simultaneously, and safely provides relaxation, play, sound, shade, a meeting spot, a runway, and a free space to enjoy lunch.
Holistically, the park is beautifully uncluttered, and in its detailing, “Beck Park” is a fine tribute to Mr. Beck who successfully and consistently integrated the industrial and the aesthetic. The execution of the concrete work, overseen by the landscape architect, architect and structural engineer, is perfectly smooth, crisp and tight at its own joints and at the connections to other materials. There are actually very few materials used in the park and these include water; concrete with a smooth and bush-hammered finish; Pennsylvania bluestone, both slabs and crushed; aggregate; bronze at the railings; and simple integrated wood seats. The plant choices and placement are also intentionally spare and specific: turf at the sloped lawns under the existing large Live Oaks; English Ivy at the base of walls; and an incredible mass of October Glory Maples concentrated at the interior court. The Maples benefit from a sub and surface drainage system, and the aggregate surface allows a free exchange of water and oxygen to the root zone. Moveable café tables, chairs and trashcans are placed outside each morning.
The Dallas citizenry are benefiting from the philanthropy of its private business owners. The Beck family, intending a tribute to the great works of their father, has generously given an island in the growing archipelago of a much needed downtown Dallas park system.



Project Resources


Architectural Consultant:
Beck Architecture, Max Levy, Architect

Structural Engineer:
Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers



The largest of the rooms surrounded by a 2’ x 2’ concrete bench, sloped, bush-hammered retaining wall and the concrete room dividers. The floor is Verde green aggregate and allows for air and water exchange for the trees. (Photo by Tom Jenkins)

A view of the startling shadows at the intersecting planes of the concrete walls. The cut-outs in the walls frame planned views into the surrounding spaces. (Photo by Tom Jenkins)

A detail of the water feature edge 2’ x 6,’ joint pattern, tie-holds, and simple inscription on the concrete wall: “in celebration of the man & the builder Henry Constable Beck, Jr.” (Photo by Tom Jenkins)

Evening image of the Pennsylvania bluestone stair, bronze handrail and bush-hammered concrete perimeter wall. (Photo by Tom Jenkins)

Beck Park at night.  Perimeter down lights in existing trees is mercury vapor fixtures while the up lights on the ‘October Glory’ Maples are metal halide fixtures. (Photo by Tom Jenkins)

A night time image of Beck Park showing the West side room with the uplighting on the trees and within the fountain. (Photo by Tom Jenkins)

An evening social event at Beck Park accentuated by night lighting and conversation. The rooms provide the ability for social gathering and mingling just as residential homes provide. (image courtesy of MESA Design Group)

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