SandRidge Energy Commons Landscape Complete
It’s finished! Or at least the first phase is completed, and we’re very excited to share some photographs by Scott Shigley of the landscape design at SandRidge Energy’s headquarters in Oklahoma City, OK. The design embodies a contemporary design aesthetic while interpreting a distinct regional identity.
SandRidge is distinctive in the way it utilizes its chosen site – a 3.5 acre area in downtown Oklahoma City. Landscape design is used as a key strategy for weaving the company’s new corporate headquarters into the existing fabric of the city. Green space acts as connective tissue between new and revitalized buildings and two major thoroughfares, creating welcoming, publicly-accessible open space.
The first phase of this project is complete. It incorporates a signature plaza space, underground parking entry and gathering areas surrounding an historic building renovated by Rogers Partners, the lead design firm on the project. Phase II, currently under construction, is located on the southern block of the site, and is comprised of a public park and new amenities building. Together, the two phases create a variety of publicly-accessible open space that draw on regional landscape characteristics.
We wrote in an earlier post about the project’s intensive focus on using environmental design strategies to mitigate the strong winds and extreme temperatures that drive OK City citizens indoors. Now, we have some photos to illustrate just how that works on this particular site.
Alternating rows of evergreen and deciduous species are planted in a staggered fashion as they climb steep slopes. Species in this area, including Canaerti junipers, Blue Atlas cedars, and loblolly pines, were selected for resilience against wind, heat, and ice. Understory plantings, such as native Indian Grass and drought-tolerant perennial species, reinforce the linear geometry of the tree rows and aid in wind protection. This journey into the site is immersive – the setbacks, elevation, and the textured depth of the shelterbelt create a significant transition into the designed terrain ahead.
The site’s primary gathering space is a tilted plane of turf and movable seating sheltered by a wind/shade canopy designed by Rogers Partners Architects.
On the north side of the site, a parking entrance emphasizes a feeling of openness. Oblique planes (a signature of the architecture and landscape) appear to unfold into a wide entry that is coupled with mature pines planted on a descending plane. Together, these ease the experience of going underground.
The overall intent of the landscape design is not to re-create nature, but rather to allow the materials, landscape typologies, and topography of the Oklahoma/Texas region (where SandRidge bases most of its work) to influence and inspire the design. We’ve expressed it this way:
Angular landforms expressed in masses of native blanket flower, black-eyed Susan, and meadow sage respond directly to a vocabulary found in the architecture.
Lastly, a few details!