THE context
Dune Peninsula at Point Defiance is a 11-acre park built over a Superfund site. The setting along Puget Sound and the new landscape obscure what was once a slag waste depository for an adjacent copper processing plant. Metro Parks Tacoma and Site Workshop invited our team to create site identification, wayfinding and interpretive graphics for this new park.
Greet, guide, and inform visitors by referencing regional connections and the complex historic uses of the site.
Metro Parks Tacoma
Concept Development & Design
Documentation, Programming, & Message Scheduling
Fabrication Management
The project highlights the tension between the site’s productive industrial past and its rich natural surroundings, reflecting the complex identity of Tacoma and its aspirations for the future. 
Everyone in the region was affected by the smelter—its 571-foot smokestack was a symbol for jobs and an ominous source of widespread pollution. When the smokestack was demolished in 1993, the implosion was witnessed by the community as a celebration of progress.
During initial meetings, the clients talked about layers. Layers of slag, now covered by containment and new soil. Layers of community: the steady work at the plant provided employment to build families, homes, and lives. Layers of the future, pointing to the revitalized life of the park.
Our design team integrated the “Layers” and industrial history of the site: the folded aluminum pieces on each sign visually represent the layers, the sign bases are corten steel with the intent they will create new layers on the site, and the aluminum structure is exposed, not hidden or painted.
As a part of our process, on a cold blustery day, we went out with the client and landscape architect to locate and verify sizing of the final signs with full size mock-ups prior to fabrication.
This project won the following accolades: Graphis 2022 Design Annual Silver Award, 2020 APWA Project of the Year, 2019 ASLA Washington Chapter Award of Honor, 2019 GRAY Awards Landscape Category Winner.


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