A vibrant mixed-use development with a variety of new and innovative retail, dining, and residential offerings will be a welcome point of departure in a neighborhood currently dominated by apartment and condo buildings. Not only will Uptown’s residents have a centralized node of activity where they can shop, dine, and recreate, but they will have an escape, an oasis of sorts that will provide relief from the busy streets and blazing sun. At the heart of the development is a two-acre public space deemed the ‘Urban Arboretum.’ A verdant heart to the development, it differs from other neighboring open spaces such as Klyde Warren Park in that it will include two acres of unrestrained forestry. Free from being over-burdened by programming or segmented by different zones, its primary function is to feed people’s hunger for adventure, allowing them to get lost, to explore, and transcend. Those who wander through the Forest will be fully immersed in nature – a rare opportunity in an urban context.
Serving as counterpoint to the dense nature of the Forest, the Plaza and the Glade serve as the project’s arrival point and gathering lawn, respectively. Throughout the development, the landscape and architecture play flirtatiously with one another – the building’s height and orientation dictating microclimate and accompanying plant typologies and intended use. Shade in certain areas yields dense woodland and aquatic zones, while sunny spots accommodate prairie typologies or xeric plants.