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The CityDeck

The CityDeck is the heart of a multi-phase redevelopment project along Green Bay’s Fox River. The project aims to allow for significantly increased access to the river and to diversify social and ecological life along it. It was designed by Boston landscape architects Stoss Landscape Urbanism.

The-CityDeck-By-Stoss-Landscape-Urbanism-03-Stoss-839x1200 The CityDeck / Stoss Landscape Urbanism

© Stoss Landscape Urbanism

  • The CityDeck is a riverfront boardwalk/promenade along the edge of the Fox River in downtown Green Bay, Wisconsin. It is about one-quarter-mile in length and situated between the Walnut Street bridge and the Ray Nitschke Memorial Bridge with multiple platforms extending out over the Fox River. There is 720 lineal feet of dock space amongst the platforms. It operates as a City park but also a key part of the Fox River State Recreational Trail.
The-CityDeck-By-Stoss-Landscape-Urbanism-07-Jeff-Mirkes-759x504 The CityDeck / Stoss Landscape Urbanism

© Jeff Mirkes

The City of Green Bay Riverwalk, CityDeck, and East River Trail all connect and provide continuous off-street public pedestrian and bicyclist access throughout the opportunity area immediately adjacent to the Fox and East Rivers. The East Green Bay Central Business District serves as a place where local residents and tourists alike can congregate to enjoy the many outdoor events, such as weekly farmers’ markets, annual parades, and festivals, such as International Bayfest, Celebrate Americafest, the Tall Ships Festivals, and Art Street. Additionally, the City of Green Bay is actively partnering with the private sector to redevelop vacant downtown buildings and lots such as the former Younkers building, former Washington Commons Mall, and Port Plaza Towers into mixed-use destinations including restaurants, hotels, museums, retail, and residential uses that take advantage of their location on or near the Fox River.

The-CityDeck-By-Stoss-Landscape-Urbanism-09-Mike-Roemer-759x506 The CityDeck / Stoss Landscape Urbanism

© Mike Roemer

Design Features:

  • The project starts as a simple boardwalk deployed at the edge of city and river. The highly articulated wooden boardwalk undulates, folding in response to technical, code, and programmatic issues. At the scale of the human body, these folds create diverse seats, benches, and chaise lounges that allow forchoice and flexibility: some are close to the water, others further back but overlooking it; some are clustered and assembled in long rows, while others are a bit more solitary. The idea was to give people many choices about where to sit, depending on their own desires, their body type, their mood, and their attraction to various ambient light, heat, or weather conditions.
  • The boardwalk is activated by an undulating wooden surface that provides spaces for gathering, docking, watching, and playing. The sectional diversity creates a wide range of seating conGgurations and river overlooks. The boardwalk is designed fexibly, to accommodate both large and small gatherings comfortably, and for round-the-clock and year-round activity.
  • A great place to watch passing lake barges and small recreational boats. At the city edge, the surface folds up again, affording adjacent buildings required protection from flooding and creating retail and dining terraces, seating, and communal chaise lounges looking out to the water. A flexible upland plaza floats atop fill between the perched terraces and the undulating boardwalk, creating a free-zone to be inhabited by festivals, vendors, and spontaneous activity; it doubles as an informal amphitheater for performances and is marked at its southern end by an interactive play fountain.
The-CityDeck-By-Stoss-Landscape-Urbanism-12-Mike-Roemer-759x506 The CityDeck / Stoss Landscape Urbanism

© Mike Roemer

“Green Bay is not a design epicentre, but Stoss has used its design intelligence to help the city recuperate its waterfront and, in turn, open it up to future development. That’s very appealing.” – Charles Waldheim, juror/AZURE Magazine’s Awards

The-CityDeck-By-Stoss-Landscape-Urbanism-15-Mike-Roemer-759x506 The CityDeck / Stoss Landscape Urbanism

© Mike Roemer

Stoss Landscape Urbanism:

The CityDeck is the heart of a multi-phase redevelopment project along Green Bay’s Fox Riverfront, a small city in the Upper MidWest of the United States. The site is a 2-acre strip of land measuring 50 to 60 feet wide, running along the edge of the Fox River in downtown Green Bay. It is about one-quarter-mile in length and situated between two bridges that cross the river. At the project’s start, the surrounding area generally turned its back on the river. Adjacent parcels were empty or in use as parking lots; nearby downtown parcels were also empty or only utilized during business hours. Unsurprisingly, there was little social or civic life here, and little reason to visit; the elevated walk along existing river bulkhead walls prevented any direct access down to the river—or up to the city from recreational boats.

The-CityDeck-By-Stoss-Landscape-Urbanism-16-Mike-Roemer-759x506 The CityDeck / Stoss Landscape Urbanism

© Mike Roemer

The goal of the project was to activate the riverfront, connect the city to the river, increase opportunities for social life, create a flexible space for civic gatherings, and frame opportunities for new mixed-use development that would infuse downtown with new life, 24/7.

The-CityDeck-By-Stoss-Landscape-Urbanism-21-Mike-Roemer-759x506 The CityDeck / Stoss Landscape Urbanism

© Mike Roemer

The CityDeck starts as a simple boardwalk deployed at the edge of city and river. While simple at first, the wooden boardwalk undulates, folding in response to (or in anticipation of) technical, code, and programmatic issues. At the scale of the human body, these folds create diverse seats, benches, and chaise lounges that allow for choice and flexibility: some are close to the water, others are further back but overlooking it; some are clustered and assembled in long rows, while others are a bit more solitary. Collectively they give people many choices about where to sit, depending on their own desires, their body type, their mood, and their attraction to various ambient light, heat, or weather conditions.

The-CityDeck-By-Stoss-Landscape-Urbanism-27-Stoss-759x506 The CityDeck / Stoss Landscape Urbanism

© Stoss Landscape Urbanism

At the city edge, the surface folds again, affording adjacent buildings required protection from flooding and creating retail and dining terraces that overlook the main spaces. A flexible upland plaza floats atop fill between the perched terraces and the undulating boardwalk, creating a free-zone to be inhabited by festivals, vendors, and spontaneous activity; it doubles as an informal amphitheater for performances and is marked at its southern end by an interactive play fountain.

The-CityDeck-By-Stoss-Landscape-Urbanism-57-flickr-Wilsonious-795x1200 The CityDeck / Stoss Landscape Urbanism

© flickr-Wilsonious

The design inventively integrates sustainable stormwater, material, and lighting strategies; it reorients downtown to the riverfront; it frames opportunities for new development; and it creates an entirely new image for the City of Green Bay.

Project planning and design involved intense public and stakeholder participation, as well as extensive coordination with local, county, state, and federal agencies.

The-CityDeck-By-Stoss-Landscape-Urbanism-74-public-domain-759x506 The CityDeck / Stoss Landscape Urbanism

© public domain

Project Data:

Project name: The CityDeck
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States
Coordinates: 44.516585, -88.015753
Type: Riverside, Waterfront, Public Space
Project Area: 2.5 acres
Project Year: 2009-2012
Status: Completed
Cost: $14 million (divided between phases I & II)
Completion Date: October 2012
Visit The CityDeck’s website: here

Awards:

  • 2014 – AZURE Magazine’s Awards – Category: Best Landscape Architecture – Winner
  • 2013 – Boston Society of Landscape Architects (BSLA Awards) – Category: Waterfront Design – Honor Award
  • 2011 – The Waterfront Center Awards – Excellence On The Waterfront – Top Honor Award

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: City of Green Bay
Landscape Architects: Stoss Landscape Urbanism – 423 W Broadway #304, Boston, MA 02127 United States
Design Director: Chris Reed
Project Manager: Scott Bishop
Project Team:

  • Tim Barner, Cathy Braasch, Nick Buehrens, Steve Carlucci, Jill Desimini, Adrian Fehrmann, Susan Fitzgerald, Carl Frushour, Hiroshi Hatae, Jana Kienitz, Lisl Kotheimer, Shannon Lee, Kristin Malone, Bryan Miyahara, Chris Muskopf, Graham Palmer, Megan Studer and Sarah Wright

General Contractor:

  • The Selmer Co. (phase 1)
  • SMA Construction Services (phase 2)

Engineers:

  • Structural: GRAEF (formerly Graef Anhalt Schloemer & Associates)
  • Plumbing and Electrical: Clark Dietz, Inc.
  • Geotechnical and Civil: AECOM (formerly STS Consultants, Ltd.)

Consultants:

  • Lighting: Light This!
  • Irrigation: Irrigation Consulting, Inc.
  • Urban Design: Vetter Denk Architects
  • Cost Estimating: WF Baird & Associates, Ltd

Text Description: © Courtesy of Stoss Landscape Urbanism, worldlandscapearchitect
Images: © Stoss Landscape Urbanism, Mike Roemer, Jeff Mirkes, flickr-John Begalke, flickr-Wilsonious

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The CityDeck / Stoss Landscape Urbanism
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