Gathering Place Boathouse: A Piece Of Functional Art
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Gathering Place Boathouse is a place where families can take a spin on Peggy's Pond or dine on a deck overlooking the park.
The ONEOK Boathouse is "selfie central" - a structure that is uniquely Oklahoman.
"Certainly a postcard moment in the park for sure," said Josh Miller of Gathering Place. "All of the stone is from Oklahoma, southeastern Oklahoma.
"On this building alone the different types of sandstone that are in purples and grays and blues and greens and browns are just amazing."
The roof of the Boathouse is amazing. There are high-strength composite panels meant to withstand Oklahoma wind, rain and hail.
"Not only are they functional, they're beautiful," Miller said.
The 21,000 square-foot building has three levels. On top is the overlook. It offers great views of the park and downtown as well as the Vista Restaurant which features fine dining inside and casual food outside.
The second floor is dedicated to classrooms, activities and administrative offices. At ground leve: a fully-equpped dock.
They will have kayaks, canoes and paddleboats available for people to borrow and to go out on the pond. Personal watercraft won't be allowed, and it's not yet decided what - if any - the rental fee for the boats will be.
There is a lot more to the magnificent building than just a place to come and drop a kayak in the water and go for a paddle. The building will be the educational epicenter of the Gathering Place, so after you've gone to the playground and had some fun you can come here and learn.
That goes for children and adults.
"This is really home base for programming and programming includes all of our events and our education programs," said Kirsten Hein with Gathering Place.
"They're basically classrooms and that's where we'll have classes, workshops, eventually camps for kids."
The Boathouse will also house two incredible art installations. As you enter, you'll be greeted by Jen Lewin's "Edison Cloud," an interactive 3-D chandelier.
"As you want past it, it senses your motion and changes color," Miller said.
That leads you towards internationally-acclaimed artist Mark Dyon's ever-evolving "Catinet of Wonder."
"The artist will actually be on site to, ah, put this together after opening, so people will be able to come and see him actually creating this piece of art," Hein said.
"It's really meant to engage folks to talk to each other and engage what these artifacts mean and why they are next to each other," Miller said.
All of that art, housed in a building that qualifies as a piece of art itself.