Gathering Place is the first project of its kind to win a Platinum Award in the 22-year history of Building Design+Construction’s Building Team Awards. All previous Platinum winners have been, as the program’s name would imply, buildings. And while Gathering Place does have two worthy structures—an impressive lodge and a wonderful boathouse, both designed by Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects—it is, at its core, a 66½-acre public park and playground serving the nearly one million residents of greater Tulsa, Okla.
What led the jury to name this adventure playground on the eastern bank of the Arkansas River as its unanimous selection for this year’s top prize? Its exalted public purpose, bolstered by strong local community support, coupled with the project team’s intense planning detail and execution and titanic input of construction manpower and creativity.