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GGN to Lead Design for Smith Cove Park on Seattle's Waterfront

By Gustafson Guthrie Nichol
Oct 5, '16 8:54 PM EST
GGN is leading the design for Smith Cove Park on Seattle's waterfront. (Image credit: GGN)
GGN is leading the design for Smith Cove Park on Seattle's waterfront. (Image credit: GGN)

For Immediate Release

Seattle, WA (October 5, 2016) – On Thursday, October 6, Seattle Parks and Recreation is hosting a public meeting to discuss the design of Smith Cove Park. GGN (Gustafson Guthrie Nichol) is leading the planning and design effort with Olson Kundig for this waterfront park in Seattle, WA. Smith Cove Park is located just west of Pier 91, at the foot of Magnolia Hill on Elliott Bay.

GGN is currently designing a vision plan for the 9.5 acre waterfront property. Included in the project’s first phase will be improvements to an existing sports field. GGN’s vision expands upon the traditional approach to a sports field, incorporating a natural turf, rectangular space into a larger “Field Oval” with a soft, tree-lined edge. The large oval lawn, which will be used for picnicking, pick-up games, community events, and youth soccer games, has a curvilinear geometry that draws from the history of the site as a tidal flat. Based on its unique siting, the “Field Oval” is oriented towards the water to frame views of Mt. Rainier and downtown Seattle. Access to the water’s edge will be enhanced, so that park visitors can stroll along the beach and launch a kayak into Elliott Bay.

Through the public meeting, Seattle Parks and Recreation will work with the GGN design team to incorporate community insights regarding how specific program elements are prioritized within the first phase of the project’s budget. “We’re thrilled to be working with Parks and the community to design a Seattle waterfront park on such a beautiful and historically rich site,” said Tess Schiavone, Principal. 

​GGN is teaming with the exceptional thinkers at Olson Kundig, who have contributed research and analysis into the site’s connection to surrounding neighborhoods and communities, in order to evaluate programming ideas that will activate the park. The design effort is also strengthened by the contributions of Jeffrey L. Bruce & Company, Hart Crowser, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, DCW Cost Management, Niteo, and Rushing. With Seattle Parks and Recreation’s leadership, the design team looks forward to building upon the existing momentum and enthusiasm of neighborhood groups, like the Friends of Smith Cove Park, in defining what the park can be.

About Seattle Parks and Recreation
Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) manages a 6,200-acre park system of 400+ parks and extensive natural areas within the City of Seattle. Parks provides athletic fields, tennis courts, play areas, specialty gardens, and more than 25 miles of boulevards and more than 120 miles of trails. The system comprises about 11% of the City's land area. SPR also manages many facilities, including 26 community centers, ten swimming pools (two outdoor and eight indoor), four environmental learning centers, two small craft centers, four golf courses, an outdoor stadium, and much more.

About Olson Kundig
Now in its fifth decade of practice, Olson Kundig is a full-service design firm whose work includes residences, hospitality projects, commercial and mixed-use design, academic buildings, museums and exhibition design, interior design, product and accessories design, visual identities, and places of worship for clients around the globe. The firm is led by five owners – Jim Olson, Tom Kundig, Kirsten R. Murray, Alan Maskin and Kevin M. Kudo-King – who are supported by a staff of over 160 in the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood of downtown Seattle. For more information visit or follow Olson Kundig on Instagram and Twitter.

About GGN
GGN (Gustafson Guthrie Nichol) is a landscape architecture firm based in Seattle, Washington. Significant projects include the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Campus in Seattle, and the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park in Chicago, IL. GGN was the recipient of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Landscape Architecture in 2011. The firm’s project awards include ASLA National Awards of Excellence, ASLA and AIA Honor Awards for Design, Tucker Design Awards, and Great Places Awards from the Environmental Design Research Association. For more information about Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, please visit


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Cheryl dos Remedios
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