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Riata Park:
Corporate Campus Makeover

by Jolynn Bennett, Pavestone LLC

The design team remaking the courtyard at the Riata Corporate Group's new headquarters in Addison, Texas, developed a circular theme to break up the complex's boxy, uninviting outline. The centerpiece is a round pergola with an arched, spoke-wheeled top made from rolled steel. Circular patterns also repeat throughout the paved pathways and planter boxes.

Krause Landscape Contractors were challenged with transforming the outdoor spaces at the Riata Corporate Group's new corporate headquarters into a welcoming environment for visitors and an enjoyable setting for employees. The sterile, previously vacant office complex in Addison, Texas (north of Dallas) needed a total landscape and hardscape renovation. The building's boxy fa?ade, stagnant pond and uninviting asphalt were far from the image Riata wanted to present, as the design team envisioned a space for restful lunch breaks and company functions.

The addition of large trees and a signature water feature were essential to providing an attractive gathering spot and relief from the often-unforgiving Texas climate. Landscape designer Tommy Davis wanted to begin with a blank slate.

"We started with the demolition of a disheveled reflecting pool surrounded by a narrow concrete perimeter band, and a 75-foot long stairway that had no destination," Davis said. "These items, along with minimal landscape plantings, were removed to give us a clean canvas with which to work."

The circular design, filled to the brim with tree, shrub and turfgrass plantings, is appealing from above as well as street level. The raised planters are poured-in-place concrete faced with travertine tile, capped with cast stone coping.

Rounding the Edges
Davis' new plan provided paved circulation patterns and built-in seating, softened by large areas of green, and a redesigned stairway that would be functional and complementary to the overall space. The circular theme repeats throughout the space, including in the round pergola that anchors one side of the courtyard. The arched, spoke-wheeled top of the pergola was fashioned from rolled steel. Tiled pillars support the structure, anchored in raised planters that double as seating space. The circular patterns also repeat in the paved pathways and other planter boxes.

"The area to work with was extremely boxy. Curves are a normal way to soften a space," Davis said. "I took it a bit further and used true arcs and straight lines. The row of round raised planters along one axis of the courtyard served as the anchor for everything else to play off of."

Landscape designer Tommy Davis turned an unpleasant, 75-foot "stairway to nowhere" into the anchor for a 24-foot-tall glass tiled water feature. The water wall, enhanced with built-in uplights and downlights, is a notable improvement from the original reflecting pond that was demolished when construction began.

Choices & Challenges
The designers added color and texture to the hardscape and foliage to create an inviting space that remained appropriately formal and businesslike. Concrete pavers were chosen instead of slab concrete for approximately 11,000 square feet of walkways and plaza surfacing, adding a textural element, flexibility and ease of maintenance. The Pavestone Venetian Stone(TM) tumbled pavers in Milsap blend were selected to complement the other materials used in the project, and were installed by Mark Sorensen's Patio Works, Inc., a Dallas-based hardscape installer.

"The color worked very well, as the entire building is veneered with travertine," Davis said. "The raised planters were constructed of poured-in-place concrete, faced with travertine tile and capped with cast stone coping. One large issue for us to confront, after demolition, was keeping pedestrian traffic safe and accessible, as the doors to the company were open for business as the project was going on."

Pavestone Venetian Stone(TM) tumbled pavers in Milsap blend were selected to surface approximately 11,000 square feet of staircase and plaza walkways, adding a textural aesthetic, flexibility and ease of maintenance lacking from generic slab concrete.

Stairway to Success
Davis had an innovative solution to mask the unappealing stairway that defined the building's original entryway. "The concrete stairway was a hiccup in the middle of the whole site. I was able to basically chop it in half and reconfigure the layout. The treads and risers were rebuilt using the pavers. The stairway was the anchor for a beautiful 24-foot long glass tiled water wall."

The renovated Riata Park combines interesting visual elements and design with functionality and human needs, resulting in a workplace that fulfills the need for an attractive, welcoming space for employees and visitors.

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August 24, 2019, 5:39 am PDT

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