APA/GCPD Accessibility Awards - Winners
Mandolin Gardens Park (Houston)
10310 Summit Bridge Lane
Owner: MUD No. 230; President - Gary Simpson
Design Professional: Talley Landscape Architects, Inc - Merrie Tally
Construction Team: T.F. Harper & Associates, LP
Spanning over eleven acres in a community neighborhood park at a detention basin, Mandolin Gardens Park has two miles of fully accessible trails, all built to a minimum width of 72 inches (the legal standard is 60 inches) in order to be comfortable enough to provide for two wheelchairs to pass throughout the park and for a standard wheelchair to comfortably execute a 180-degree turn at any point in the park. Other design modifications intended to offer a seamless interface between walking and rolling park users include guardrails in the fishing areas with lowered sections to allow a person in a wheelchair to fish with better visibility and easy access; open paved areas adjacent to every bench in addition to the required flat space in front of benches so that a person in a wheelchair can sit next to a person on a bench; fully accessible bulkheads along the basins so that anyone can take part in the "catch and release" fishing; an isolated meditation spot that was built for full accessibility; and a safety ledge that surrounds the basins. The design team emphasized their sense of obligation to provide everyone with an opportunity to enjoy the landscape and environment.
University of Texas at Dallas Student Services Building (Richardson)
800 West Campbell Road
Owner: The University of Texas System Board of Regents
Design Professional: Perkins + Will - Richard Miller, AIA, LEED AP
Construction Team: Hill & Wilkinson - Steve Camp
The new UT Dallas Student Services Building serves as a "one-stop shop" destination for all student service activities, offering 14 different departments under one roof, making access to services easier for all students. The design team had several environmental and accessibility goals, including utilizing space efficiently and safely and providing easy and accessible access to the building and all programs and building areas and spaces. They worked in conjunction with a landscape project to coordinate accessibility campus-wide. All exterior doors have auto-operators. All students with disabilities will visit this building at some point during their career, so design was focused on creating a welcoming, open, safe and accessible environment, including attractive low barriers around the staircase to prevent people who are blind from bumping into the bottom of the staircase and an accessible bathroom large enough to comfortably accommodate a person in a wheelchair and an attendant. The staff is welcoming, friendly and familiar with disability etiquette.
City of San Antonio Historic River Walk Downtown (San Antonio)
Downtown San Antonio
Owner: City of San Antonio
Design Professional: Beaty Palmer Architects, Inc - Michael Beaty AIA, Principal
Construction Team: Guido Brothers Construction Co - Tom Guido, President
The City of San Antonio began planning of improvements to the Historic River Walk with a specific focus on Universal Accessibility while maintaining the historic fabric and aesthetic ambience that draws people to the setting in the first place. The Master Plan, which began in 1995, developed a comprehensive approach to the elimination of physical barriers and provided a framework for creating universal access. Phase One provided improved pedestrian passage along the River Walk as well as the construction of two new public elevators, and design plans concentrated on hot spots where repairs related to safety and accessibility were addressed and accessible routes to and along the River Walk were extended and restored to its original, historic aesthetic architecture. Phase Two is ongoing, extending the accessibility and design of the entire walk, including lifting and re-setting historic sidewalk panels; elevating and cantilevering new sidewalks to create room for vegetation growth; restoring historic features; and integrating new construction with little or no perceived change, while increasing accessibility. Public tours of the River Walk are provided in both audio and visual formats
University of Texas at Arlington Physics and Chemistry Building (Arlington)
606 West South Street
Owner: UT Arlington/UT System Board of Regents
Design Professional: Perkins and Will - Sean Garman
Construction Team: Manhattan Construction
The UTA Physics and Chemistry Building encompasses unique features that are fully accessible to students and the public: the Planetarium, laboratory spaces, research areas, public meeting spaces, and more. People with disabilities have access to convenient parking, easy exterior access to the site as well as access to the Main Entrance, centrally located wheelchair seating in the Planetarium Theater and assisted listening devices upon request. Labs provide fully accessible stations for both students and instructors. The campus-wide shuttle bus system is accessible beyond legal requirements, and the campus incorporates a "way-finding" graphics program.
Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center and Scott & White Healthcare (Waco)
100 Hillcrest Medical Blvd
Owner: Glenn A. Robinson
Design Professional: HDR - Kamran Elahi
Construction Team: Robbins and Morton
The Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center was easily navigable to a person in a wheelchair, with wide corridors employing mirrors at corners. The staff is trained in disability etiquette and in efficient ways to provide requested accommodations, such as a sign language interpreter. During construction of the site, the hilly terrain was considered in making sure that access to all features, including entrances and exits, would be easily accessible to all. Medical equipment within the building was designed to be used at varying heights according to need.
Morgan's Wonderland Amusement Park (San Antonio)
5223 David Edwards Drive
Owner: SOAR, Inc
Design Professional: Luna Architecture - Robert Luna
Construction Team: Eaton Commercial
Morgan's Wonderland Amusement Park was specifically designed to be accessible to ALL. Accessible parking spaces are provided significantly beyond the legal requirements, as are accessible features such as restrooms, playground equipment, drinking fountains, and easily maneuverable entrances and exits. All rides and equipment in the amusement park are easily accessible and accommodate wheelchairs and other devices. Fall zones in the playground areas are soft enough to provide safety while being firm enough to allow wheelchair access. The staff is familiar with disability etiquette and work to ensure a welcoming environment for all participants.