Taking Shape

By | Epic Extras

The buzz across GrandCentral continues to increase as the Epic, Epic Waters and PlayGrand Adventures all build in momentum and increase in presence as the pace of construction hits new levels! While each week reveals new and exciting portions of the overall project, it’s truly an everyday event that advancements are made that are amazing to witness taking place in the timeframe they are happening in. And no matter how many drawings or renderings someone may have viewed of the project, it isn’t until the buildings and park spaces actually take on their physical presence in the real world that it becomes evident that the end result will without a doubt be Epic!

With the footprints of both the Epic and Epic Waters now being fully defined on site, the scale of the long linear nature of the two buildings is able to be visualized for the first time. The distance stretching from the southwest edge of the outdoor wave pool of Epic Waters to the northeast edge of the Epic is beyond impressive at approximately 1200 feet. At that length, the overall project presence will stretch nearly a quarter of a mile across the western elevated edge of GrandCentral! What an incredible backdrop to the family festivals, concerts and other community events that will be hosted on the new Grand Lawn amphitheater.

In addition to two-dimensional scale, three-dimensional volume and form are also well underway. Structural concrete columns and floor slabs for the Epic have already reached the second level and dynamic spaces are taking shape including the beautiful oval entry lobby, the elevated running tracks, the large two-story column-free basketball and futsal court area and the cantilevered exterior balconies projecting out into the surrounding park and amphitheater space. And although Epic Waters appears to trail the Epic in terms of its development, it won’t be long before the structural frame of the waterpark begins being put in place and Epic Waters will quickly catch the Epic. Because of this, the next 4-6 weeks of construction will be some of the most exciting so be sure to drive by the project site and keep your eye on progress from a distance!

 

 

Andy Henning AIA, NCARB, LEED AP
Senior Building and Construction Projects Manager, City of Grand Prairie

Talk About a Daunting Task!

By | Epic Extras

So…..what do you do when the City of Grand Prairie and their Parks, Arts & Recreation folks come to you and tell you they want a project design that is unlike any other….one that changes the fundamental approach to the profession the facility will house….oh, and one they want to call THE EPIC? Well, after you pick yourself up off the floor, then deal with a few sleepless nights, you get yourself focused to a level truly deserving of the task.

First things first – assembling the best of the best to create the team to deliver the dream! Despite the fact that HKS has been incredibly fortunate to have had client and project experience unlike many architectural firms, success never comes solo. With that in mind, we interviewed and selected a design consultant team second to none. Those consultants hail from all across the United States, including right here in Grand Prairie, Texas!

With the team in place, the next (and most important!) step was to engage the people who would be those using the facility. And not just a few, several hundred! The forward-thinking leaders of the City of Grand Prairie were one step ahead of us in this regard with their plans for ‘Epic Encounters’ already on the calendar. These meetings were all-inclusive and allowed people to directly influence and shape the elements of the project in ways that they knew would most greatly benefit the community. While it is always important to HKS that we work closely with the end-users of a facility we design, we had never had a client leading the charge in this regard until working with the City of Grand Prairie. It’s because of this that The Epic will be so reflective of the community it will serve!

To this day (over a year after HKS was selected to be the architect for the project), I still have employees track me down almost weekly to ask about The Epic due to the amazing buzz that it has throughout our office. At HKS, we couldn’t be more appreciative and proud to be a part of this incredible project – this profession-changing project – this project that is certainly going to continue to build upon the reputation of the City of Grand Prairie as creative pioneers when it comes to enhancing and advancing their community. Without question, it has been an incredible team effort that has made it EPIC!

Andy Henning AIA, NCARB, LEED AP
Associate Principal and Senior Vice President
HKS Architects, Inc.

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