TSW’s Landscape Architecture Studio was commissioned by the City of Duluth to create an iconic pedestrian gateway into the historic Parsons Alley as part of the “The Block” boutique and restaurant district in Downtown Duluth. TSW’s design features an entry signage monument with a monolithic granite base and a steel I-beam archway to nod to the traditional materials used in Duluth, and to blend historical details with a modern atmosphere.
The design of the gateway was intended to create a sense of arrival for visitors and to signal that they have entered a special and unique area. The gateway serves as a physical and visual marker that separates the bustling streets of downtown from the intimate and charming atmosphere of Parsons Alley.
Lighting played an important role in TSW’s design for the gateway. The team worked with a lighting designer to create an integrated and multilevel lighting approach that included the lighting of the sign itself, overhead lighting, and a grid of multi-color in-ground lights just beyond the sign. The lighting serves to enhance the sense of arrival and to create a welcoming and inviting atmosphere for visitors.
Additionally, TSW’s design is not only visually pleasing but also functional. The granite base of the monument provides a stable foundation for the steel I-beam archway, and the archway itself serves as a structural support for the sign. The steel I-beam archway is a nod to the industrial history of the city, referencing the steel mills that once dotted the Duluth landscape.
Overall, TSW’s design for the Parsons Alley Signage pedestrian gateway is a successful example of how design can be used to enhance the identity of a city and create a sense of place. The gateway serves as a physical and visual marker that separates the bustling streets of downtown from the intimate and charming atmosphere of Parsons Alley. Additionally, the use of traditional materials and modern design elements creates a cohesive and visually pleasing experience for visitors.
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