Ampitheatre space at centre of Milwaukee scheme to feature circular motorcycle driveways

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Heatherwick’s designs for a park at Harley-Davidson’s Milwaukee headquarters

Heatherwick Studio has unveiled its plans to transform part of Harley-Davidson’s Milwaukee headquarters into a public park.

The practice has been appointed as design guardian on the project with a brief to create a “civic and soulful” green gathering space at the motorcycle manufacturer’s Juneau Avenue campus.

The central feature will be a sunken amphitheatre-like space, 83m wide, with tiered seating and planted with trees. 

Intended to be used as an events space, its circular layout features a combination of motorcycle driveways, turning circles and parking bays for riders to use.

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The central space will feature driveways for motorcycles

It also promotes the idea of “togetherness for the community, riders and employees alike,” the practice said.

“Our goal is to turn this historic factory land into a new public park for the people of Milwaukee,” said practice founder Thomas Heatherwick.

“We want to make an exciting community space where people can come together with friends and family and experience the wildness of nature alongside spaces for food, performance and play. 

“The ambition is to highlight and celebrate renewed life in the Near West Side of this very special city.”

One side of the space will be flanked by the brick buildings which are Harley-Davidson’s original headquarters and the other faces onto a park. The plans also include a market street, a contemplative garden and a nature playground.

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The plans also include a market street and a nature playground

Harley-Davidson chief executive Jochen Zeitz said the firm wanted to protect and enhance its heritage in the city, ensuring it stays relevant for generations to come.

“Milwaukee is the place we have proudly called home for 120 years. We want Harley-Davidson’s presence in Milwaukee to be more relevant than ever before, for our community, employees and our customers,” he said.

“Kicking the project off in our 120th year underscores both the importance of the project and the commitment that we are making to Milwaukee.”

Others working on the scheme include local practice HGA and cost consultant Greenfire Management Services.

Work is scheduled to break ground this spring with the park opening to visitors by summer next year.

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How an event in the central space would look