Power artpark 2030, a master plan



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, Power Artpark 2030, a 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, Power Artpark 2030 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 Power Artpark 2030. 

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.


“Artpark is a unique destination where Arts, Nature and Culture fuse into unforgettable experiences. Our vision is to ensure its long-term growth as a true cultural tourism destination in New York State. The profound transformation we are envisioning is going to take a deep level of careful analysis, visionary thinking and community involvement, and I am grateful for all the funders and the minds that have been supporting this process along the way.”
-Sofya (Sonia) Kozlova Clark, Executive Director at Artpark & Company 


“New York State Parks is proud to be a partner with Artpark and Company and is very excited with this selection. As one of the most unique state parks in our system, we look forward to creating a year-round destination that will celebrate the full spectrum of art, nature, culture and technology.”
- Mark V. Mistretta, Western District Director of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.


“Artpark is an important cultural institution that gives visitors to the Niagara Falls region another beautiful destination to see while they’re here, encouraging longer stays and more spending in the region.”
- Howard Zemsky, President, CEO & Commissioner for Empire State Development 


“Artpark is a significant asset along the Niagara Gorge, as well as the Shoreline Trail. We’re thrilled to support this Master Plan and the revitalization of a regional cultural hub.”
- James Tighe, Director of Parks and Trails Initiative at the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation


“The transformation of Artpark is essential to development along the Niagara River and Lake Erie, and completes, in a profound way, what Western New York will be able to offer in cultural and natural heritage. It will restore the heart of the original vision of the park, and add in exciting aspects of technology, focusing much of it all on interpretations of ecology and the environment, all while expanding the scope of artistic offerings and opportunities for visitors to engage. It will be an outstanding evolution.”
- Paul Hogan, Executive Vice President of The John R. Oishei Foundation



power artpark 2030 funders

The Artpark Master Plan is funded by 

With additonal support provided by individual donors 

Artpark commenced an extensive and multifaceted study in 2017 with funding provided by the John R. Oishei Foundation, Cullen Foundation and Grigg Lewis Foundation, Inc. 


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 Power Artpark 2030 team:


Power Artpark 2030 will be headed by an architectural team:

SO-IL / WEST 8 / CHARCOAL BLUE, with additional consultations by Omar Khan & Jordan Geiger, Studio Gekh.


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.

recent press

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"