Design-Build Proves High Design and City Reality Can Coexist

Posted by Admin on Mar 22, 2016 6:21:27 AM

Design-Build Proves High Design and City Reality Can Coexist

 When some people think about the design-build project delivery method, they think of using it for a building. Perhaps, they think of applying the method to a new hospital or greenfield distribution center. However, design-build is not just reserved for these types of projects.

When working with cities to maximize aesthetics for the community, big ideas usually reduce in size once discussions of budget, schedule, and client requests arise. This usually results in design becoming secondary to these realities.

Does design always have to be sacrificed in the constraints of the city’s reality? Haskell’s team didn’t think so.

Case Study: Southbank Riverwalk | Jacksonville, Florida

The St. Johns River, often considered as the City of Jacksonville’s greatest asset, creates a plethora of business and recreation opportunities. With this, it is important that access and accentuation of the natural asset be handled accordingly. Therefore, the City selected Haskell to replace and redesign Jacksonville’s Southbank riverfront to become the destination it had once been.

Southbank Main

Southbank Riverwalk | Read more about the complete project »


The team’s main goal was to ensure the combination of visionary design and proven construction implementation methods remained central to the project. By using design-build, the constraints were not stifling; instead, it just made the project team's grand ideas more strategically focused to maximize the visual and functional impact. The use of color, materials, patterns, lighting, shade, and art contributed to a creative vision still within the city’s economic reality.


Southbank Green  Southbank Art

Left: Multi-colored LED lighting highlights shade sails during an evening stroll. Right: The RouxArt Inc. team of Kenny and Kate Rouh apply the beautiful mosaic art piece entitled Mirrored River. Haskell coordinated the application of this art piece with the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville's Arts in Public Places.


Since design and construction teams all work under one roof, all elements of the construction were continually under review once the direction of the overall design was determined. Whenever issues arose, there were immediate open conversations about potential solutions. Instead of a clash that may occur using different delivery methods, there was cooperation and teamwork. The benefits of such a multi-disciplined approach created the highest level of aesthetic, functional and efficient solutions.

Flagg SpeaksSS

Haskell's Christopher D. Flagg, FASLA discusses the Southbank Riverwalk in Jacksonville, Florida. Photo Credit: Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville (@MoreArtCulture)


From the initial big idea to casting foundation, the process of blending integrated design and construction expertise proved its effectiveness in this project. By keeping creativity and client goals at the center of each decision, the team helped Jacksonville’s Southbank Riverwalk become a dynamic destination once again.

Want to learn more about the Southbank Riverwalk project or discuss how you can use the design-build method for your next city project? Feel free to contact Christopher D. Flagg, FASLA directly. 

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Southbank Riverwalk Project Profile
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Topics: Quality, Ahead