Dawson Park

Portland, OR

Working with a local historian, Knot Studio developed a plan that integrates the rich history of surrounding communities with design components that reinvigorate the function of this community park. The design features a generous lawn area in the park’s center for summer concerts, a new cross circulation that activates the park’s corners, and a hardscape plaza with an interactive water feature to help bring families to the park.

Knot Studio worked to develop valuable partnerships and strengthen public and private dialogues to ensure the project’s completion and ultimate public ownership. Public outreach included public meetings, open houses, participation in community and church events, oral history interviews in conjunction with the historian, and presentations to local community groups. Partnerships ultimately yielded support from Emanuel Hospital, the Northeast Coalition of Neighbors (NECN), and the non-profit Harper’s Playground, allowing for an interactive water feature and universally accessible playground surfacing in the park.

A social hub for Portland’s Northeast Neighborhood

Portland Parks & Recreation
2014 Oregon ASLA Merit Award + People’s Choice Award
Each “seed” rests atop engraved steel plates carrying additional historical images and text while providing seating and a sculptural quality.

Sculptural stone “seeds” are scattered across the feature, carrying engraved quotes and historical notations, representing the vibrant social and political dialogues generated and emanating from Dawson Park over the generations.