ARTPARK = ART + NATURE + CULTURE
ART: Enjoy, explore and share artistic expression of all kinds on our world-class stages and public art projects.
NATURE: Connect with the natural environment on our gorgeous trails and expansive park grounds. Explore the issues of the environment through Artpark Laboratory programs, installations and initiatives.
CULTURE: Experience yourself as an active part of cultural democracy, where every one of us has a voice.
Given Artpark’s significant legacy, extraordinary natural resources and strategic relationships, the Artpark leadership envisions limitless potential for Artpark as a major New York State cultural tourism destination. Launching on May 15, 2019, the Master Plan will serve as a long-term roadmap toward improvements of Artpark facilities, programs, park grounds, and connectivity with surrounding communities, parks & trails.
With the objective to maximize overall park usage and potential focus on visitor experience, technological advancement, and ecologically-conscious cultural leadership, the Artpark Master Plan will be conducted on the highest level of contemporary design and technology. The Plan will further develop Artpark as an internationally recognized, financially sustainable destination where the arts, ecology, technology and culture interact on a broad scale with unprecedented impact year-round. With this project, Artpark advances a regional resurgence in building for the arts, nature and culture, in which visionary design is supporting the expansion and augmentation of Buffalo-Niagara cultural ecosystem.
Artpark is rooted in and embodies a rich history, intertwining early land art and conceptual art experimentation, large performance events, community participation, unique ecological characteristics and events, state support, an international border, adjacency to two Great Lakes, and underlying it all, the daily lives of its many users.
Founded in the fertile mix of ecological, popular and artistic changes in the 1970s, Artpark has since undergone many changes. Currently known largely as a successful outdoor concert venue, today it stands poised to reactivate some of its most important assets and histories, thanks to the confluence of several opportunities:
Renaissance in new artistic practices that engage ecological issues and related technologies for sensing, energy production, and material change
Growth in the Buffalo/Niagara region’s economy and investment in its cultural institution
Reaffirmation of Artpark’s mission by the current board and directorship, under the formula of “Art + Nature + Culture.”
The “Art +Nature + Culture” formula underlies physical plant, park and programming, all of which are the subject of the Artpark Master Plan 2019.
Artpark’s physical plant is marked by a variety of opportunities, challenges and needs. These include facilities that have changing use, revenue streams and maintenance requirements; and a summer-heavy programming schedule in a region with rich potentials for year-round activities that can take advantage of its winters, numerous local microclimates, and more. After having already undertaken internal inventories and comparisons of Artpark’s cultural, physical, financial, and other situations with related institutions both locally and globally, Artpark has embraced a set of strategies and priorities for which a Master Plan will lead to a new and viable architectural and landscape proposal.
Master Plan Public Forum
Please join us on June 5th at 6PM for a Public Forum which will introduce early ideas and will ask for feedback from residents and stakeholders. The event is free and open to the public.
The Artpark Master Plan will be headed by an architectural team:
SO-IL / WEST 8 / CHARCOAL BLUE, with additional consultations by Omar Khan & Jordan Geiger, Gekh Studios.
Photo: (c) David Seide/DefinedSpace.com
Left to right: Florian Idenburg (SO-IL), Dena Armstrong (Artpark), Jing Liu (SO-IL), Jon Sivell (Charcoal Blue), Daniel Vasini (West 8 NY), Sonia Kozlova Clark (Artpark), Jerad Schomer (Charcoal Blue)
About the Master Plan team:
Founded in 2008 by Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu, SO – IL is an internationally recognized architecture and design firm based in New York. They design and produce spaces for creativity, innovation, culture, learning and living around the world. SO – IL has been nationally recognized for their innovative museum design for the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis. The firm is currently transforming a historic glass plant into a multi-venue performing center in northern France, as well as reenvisioning the 4.5 acre arts precinct in the city center of Melbourne, Australia.
With a multi-disciplinary approach to complex design issues, West 8 has extensive experience in large-scale international urban master planning and design, landscape interventions, waterfront projects, parks, squares and gardens, such as Governors Island and Madrid Rio. They create multifaceted concepts and visions for significant planning issues that address global warming, urbanization and infrastructure. West 8 has developed distinguished projects in cities around the world such as Copenhagen, London, Moscow, New York, Madrid, Hamburg, Toronto, Amsterdam, Shanghai and Seoul.
Charcoalblue is widely regarded as one of the most exciting and innovative theatre and acoustic consultancies in the world. They provide detailed design guidance on all aspects of theatre, performance and arts projects, from concert halls and theatres to galleries, rehearsal suites and community spaces. With their background in both theatre and technology, they are able to bring together artistic techniques and technological developments to produce new experiences for audiences and new possibilities for artists and creators, bridging from the theatre environment to the public realm and back.
Gekh is a Buffalo-based design studio working where the built environment, culture and media intersect. A partnership between Jordan Geiger and Omar Khan, Gekh realizes complex projects for cultural organizations, private clients, and community groups. Gekh has assisted Arkpark through its Master Plan team selection process and will continue to advise through the development of its Master Plan.
The Architect's Newspaper: SO-IL and West 8 team up for an Artpark outside Buffalo, New York
Arch Daily: SO-IL and West 8 Design Artpark for New York's Niagara Gorge
Clad News: SO-IL and West 8 create visionary masterplan for Artpark at Niagara Falls
Niagara Frontier Publications: Artpark's summer season focusing on "great next thing"