The expansion and redesign of Bellevue’s Downtown Park was a long-time vision for civic leaders that has finally come to completion. Bomanite Licensee, Belarde Company installed a variety of stairs, sidewalks, and plazas throughout the 21-acre site as well as a key Bomanite architectural concrete feature in the newly designed Inspiration Playground.
The Bellevue Rotary Club was instrumental in helping to expand the original playground in the Downtown Park to include an innovative play space where kids of all ages and abilities can play and explore at their own pace. With the Design of Carol Henry from Design Concepts, the park is dedicated to fun, imagination and learning, and presents a universally accessible play experience that creates an overall truly Inspiration(al) Playground. The new playground offers interactive features that engage the senses, create inclusiveness and accommodate children of all abilities and their caregivers.
Belarde Company’s expertise lends to a creative small wooden bridge made of stamped concrete. The bridge planks and sides highlight the Bomacron “12” Boardwalk” pattern from the Bomanite Imprint Systems collection. The installation of a horizontal concrete imprinted surface by itself is fairly straightforward. However, constructing all the surfaces to replicate wooden planks required special attention to detail. Constructing the bridge required a monolithic horizontal and vertical concrete pour, strip color, imprint and finish process. Even the ends of the ‘planks’ utilized the Bomanite system. In addition, the bridge was embedded in the banks of an artificial stream water “Splash Pad” play area. Belarde Company constructed the stream bed using a hand-seeded multi-colored glass and aggregates system on its surface.
The project presented several challenges beyond the multiple surfaces of the bridge that included a very aggressive schedule. The owner, the City of Bellevue, was adamant that the project had to be completed before their annual Fourth of July Celebration which had been held at the Downtown Bellevue Park for over 30 years. Adding to the schedule constraints and to the inherent difficulties of installing various architectural concrete systems, Bellevue recorded its wettest winter ever! The Belarde Company team built a temporary tent structure over the bridge’s work area to adapt to the rain ensuring that a high-quality project would be delivered on time. By working closely with the City of Bellevue and Design Concepts, Belarde Company’s experience, attention to detail, and ability to coordinate, ensured the satisfaction of all parties and more importantly, a unique playground that the children visiting this unique interactive play area in Bellevue can enjoy for years to come.
To learn more about the Bellevue Park: https://bellevuewa.gov/city-government/departments/parks/parks-and-trails/parks/bellevue-downtown-park
Watch the inspiration behind the design: https://youtu.be/KEP-FtwFLOo
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