Info Easton Park, Austin, Texas
Team Gable Bostic, Petrified Design
Date Completed May 2016
The developers of Easton Park, located in Southeast Austin, approached Petrified Design to design three art-inspired benches with one being a focal point of the central park in the neighborhood. For the main bench, I proposed an arch that rotated as it ascended with benches built into each side to ground it. The piece was situated at an entrance to the park with the idea behind the design being to frame the park as you entered, while limiting the footprint to allow for more open space around it for play. This was the largest project anyone had approached us to design and build and with that came many challenges. For one, I had to calculate how to span the arch, which was to be constructed out of six water-jet cut steel plates, spanning 30 feet from ground connection to ground connection. To accommodate the rotation, the steel plates weresectioned into triangular shapes then broke to precise angles, using a brake press, to add rigidity. During the site analyses we learned that strong southern winds were common in that area. Lateral loads from these winds were a concern since at the peak of the arch, the 1/4" plate steel stood vertical, possibly acting as a wind catch. To lighten this lateral load, a pattern was cut into the plate to allow wind to pass through. The construction of the arch was just as difficult to execute as the design. In order to ensure the plates met exactly as planned, we had around a 1/8" tolerance laying out the foundation. In the face of all these new challenges we were able to complete the arch on schedule and on budget.