Stratford Park Upgrades Facilities with an Iconic Shade Structure

Stratford Park Upgrades Facilities with an Iconic Shade Structure

The Client

Located just outside of Washington D.C. is Stratford Park in Arlington, Va. This 3.8-acre park recently received its first major update since it was established over 50 years ago. It was renovated to include a youth baseball and softball field, tennis courts, basketball court, and an all-purpose field. Updates also include walkways from the neighboring H.B. Woodlawn School, so children can have access to the fields. This park also provides plenty of parking and allows the community to reserve fields. Stratford Park was renovated in order to upgrade its aging facilities to current standards. Part of this renovation included adding a shade structure with a wow factor. Since Stratford Park is small and this is the facility’s only shade structure, it was important that the design of the shade add a signature and iconic element to the park.

The Challenge

Landscape Architect Brian Cipriano with Gordon partnered with the President of Metro Recreation Michael Slifer and Superior Recreational Products to design, manufacture, and install a unique shade structure for Stratford Park.

Arlington County requires all of its parks to have some kind of shade, either by a pavilion or a shaded seating area. Having shade structures in outdoor spaces is ideal for protecting park-goers from the sun’s harmful UV rays, wind, rain, dust, and noise.

“They didn’t want just any kind of shade structure,” Slifer said.

For this park, the county hired a landscape architect and challenged him to design a shade unlike any other. Cipriano worked with Superior’s design and engineering department to make this unique shade a reality.

The Superior Solution

Superior’s Halo Disc Shade met all of the requirements set forth. It combines eye-catching aesthetics with durable and long-lasting construction. This round shade features a modern, slim design with a unique architectural look.

“I think the design of this shade was intended to complement the baseball field because it’s an important part of this park,” Slifer said.

The slim fabric disc is securely laced to a steel ring, which is supported by two curved columns that create a bold architectural statement. This shade is centrally located within the park between the baseball field, basketball court, and park entrance. This shade structure covers a picnic area within a beautiful hardscaped space.

Even though this is a small park, this shade provides a big impact.

“The park itself is small, so there wasn’t much room to create a big structure,” Slifer said.

Since the look of this shade is so unique, it creates an impressive focal point for locals and visitors. The beginning concept plan for the park renovations started in 2015 and was completed in 2018. The shade was installed in April before the park opened. Since the footers were poured by the contractor, installing the shade only took two days.

“[The shade] couldn’t have been easier to install. And that’s the real trick with shade,” Slifer said.

The Halo Disc Shade was made a standard product, so other parks will be able to enjoy this iconic shade structure without delays in engineering.

“I’m very pleased with this shade. I’ve never installed anything like this in my life! This is by far the coolest shade I’ve ever put up,” Slifer said.


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Written By: K. Broadwell