Walter Fuller Park

St. Petersburg, FL

This existing 100 acre park was experiencing pressure by users for additional ball fields. We designed a master plan to balance this pressure with the need to preserve open space. Existing on-site parking was moved to adjacent low-use streets, and a system of interior sidewalks and pathways was installed to access a natural habitat area. Also on this same park, WJA renovated existing spring training baseball fields and facilities and added a new fitness building for the Tampa Bay Rays.

A distinctive detail is one that generates or reflects the complete structure. This overlook required a unique detail which allows multiple elements to pass by each other, defining the complete structure. A simple detail using round spaces was developed. The detail becomes complex through the assemblage and sequencing of the 2016 prefabricated members. The design team challenged this detail system to accommodate all of the required program and structure. Shelter, structure, surface, shade, and seating were all addressed by the repetition and configuration of composite wood planks. Rods were threaded through the system to allow it to work as one structural unit, without the use of any other fasteners.

Prefabrication provided a means to ensure the required tolerances and ease of assembling. The construction documents only dimensioned the individual elements and structural tabs. These elements were cut on a jig within a warehouse, numbered, and delivered to the site. On site, no tape measures were required and workers simply followed the correct sequencing until the overlook was completed. The resulting structure is not just an assemblage experiment; its success is ultimately based upon the experience it delivers. In this case, it provides gradient shade quality, maintains a level of transparency to the surrounding environment (without losing a sense of privacy), and focuses ultimate attention upon the view.


2009 AIA Tampa Bay – Honor Award for Architecture