The highest point of Tulsa’s Gathering Place is going up this week. The roof for the boathouse will be visible from all around.
It's not just any roof – it’s a new design that looks like origami but goes together like a puzzle.
It was one of the great engineering challenges at Gathering Place, according to project manager Jeff Stava. It was designed several times over to handle high wind, and now putting it together is proving to be challenging too.
“They assemble them down below and crane them up, and it's a time-consuming process,” Stava said.
The roof is made of 87 panels that assemble into 36 sections. It was built in California - at one point at risk of being lost in a wildfire - and trucked out to Tulsa on 37 semis.
Now, two teams work daylight to dark to put it together.
The roof can be decorated with light, at night and looks like paper in the day.
Underneath the roof is a large outdoor space next to a full-service restaurant.
“This will be an area where you can bring a picnic lunch, could bring your own or grab-and-go from the restaurant,” Stava said.
Turn around and the view is an overlook of the pond and a long view of downtown.
“Great views - panoramic views of the park, the skyline and the river,” said Stava.
The roof, and the stonework, and all the labor going into it is for a building, but Stava said that's just part of it. The intention, he said, is to create a place where people can build memories.
“And as beautiful as all the landscaping is, the programming and activities…the relationship people have with these public spaces is about what they get to experience and who they get to experience it with,” Stava said.
School field trips are underway here but the rest of us will get to experience this when it opens sometime this summer.