Easton, PA / In Progress

The Confluence

The new threshold for a historic downtown

Sitting at the gateway to the city, The Confluence at 185 South Third Street is a mixed-use development that is a threshold for all who enter Easton’s downtown. This landscape’s design is inspired by its location at the confluence of the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers – a riverine landscape that defines the historical and ecological identity of the City. The diverse architectural programming of the site includes a 230-unit apartment building, a six-story tower with residential units and condominiums, an arts center and gallery, low-income targeted live/work artist lofts, two movie theaters, and an underground parking garage.

A series of public landscapes, overlooks, and thresholds unite the experience of this site and create a threshold to the City that is lush and welcoming in all seasons. The public and private plazas are separated by a sixty-foot long water wall, with water attenuating sound at the center of the block. The public plaza is open for daily use by the public, and is also intended for use by ArtsQuest for arts programming and large events such as weddings, comedy nights, and fundraisers. The private plaza includes two kitchenettes and lounge spaces, as well as a dog garden for residents.

A light installation designed by Omnes along the covered entry on Third Street creates a “cloudscape” that makes the space feel inviting at all times of day. Omnes designed a kinetic sculpture at the streetscape level, activating the back wall of two theatres inside the development. Metal discs spin and shimmer, mimicking the reflection of water at the confluence of the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers just south of the site. The development puts forth an art-infused vision for the future of Easton, re-establishing its urban and historic character while embracing the surrounding native landscape that defines the City.