Earlier this year, Des Moines Water Works, in partnership with Iowa State University’s Department of Landscape Architecture, launched “Parkitecture,” an international design competition for Water Works Park. The competition, aptly named for its emphasis on the fundamental role landscape architecture and design play in re-envisioning Water Works Park, sought proposals from professional designers and students.
A panel of 9 judges reviewed the 44 submitted design proposals and selected 5 finalists for further review and public comment as well as 9 student team honorees. The 44 submitted design proposals included 25 student entries and 19 professional entries, including international firms from London and Egypt.
Professional finalists (note: many entries included several individuals and/or other firms):
- Gina Ford, Sasaki Associates, Watertown, MA; Mike Bell, RDG Planning & Design, Des Moines, IA and Kim Chapman, Applied Ecological Services, Prior Lake, MN
- Matthew Getch, London, England
- Dena Kennett, AECOM, Alexandria, VA
- William Roberts, Nomad Studio, New Orleans, LA
- Ed Wall, Project Studio, London, England
Student team honorees:
- Clark Bockhahn, Oklahoma State University
- Brandon Burlingame, Oklahoma State University
- Yi Hou, Iowa State University
- Forrest Hunt, Oklahoma State University
- Nicholas Meyer, Iowa State University
- Abby Rodeald, Iowa State University
- Cameron Rouze, Oklahoma State University
- Alex Tyler, University of Oklahoma
- Shengyi Yue, Iowa State University
The review panel selected the finalists based on creativity, practicality, appeal, and addressing site considerations. Judges included representatives from the design industry, Des Moines Water Works, and the community:
- Ted Corrigan, Des Moines Water Works
- Jeff Fleming, Des Moines Art Center
- James Grant, Board of Water Works Trustees
- Mell Meredith, Meredith Publishing Corporation
- Janis Ruan, Ruan Corporation
- Gary Scott, City of West Des Moines
- Ken Smith, Workshop: Ken Smith Landscape Architect
- Don Tripp, City of Des Moines
- Carl Rogers, Iowa State University Department of Landscape Architecture
The five professional finalists are invited to visit Water Works Park in November to review specific areas of the Park addressed in their proposals. The finalists will meet with the public on December 15 at the Des Moines Art Center and will make final presentations to the jury on December 16. The winning design concept will be announced by the end of the year.
“The competition is intended to generate discussion about watershed issues and best practices and offer innovative design solutions to address ecological and recreational challenges specific to Water Works Park” (e.g., prone to frequent flooding), said Ted Corrigan, Director of Water Distribution and Grounds for Des Moines Water Works.
Water Works Park, a 1,500-acre urban park in the heart of Des Moines, has provided the main water supply for the city since the early 1900s. It is also a major component of the city’s open space system and trail network.
“The result of the design competition will be an innovative park design showcasing Water Works Park as a model component of the larger watershed and recreational destination for current and future generations of Central Iowans,” said Corrigan.
Funds for implementation of the winning design will be obtained through private fundraising and will not be borne by water rate payers.
Online public access to the five professional finalists and nine student honorees is available. Questions and comments regarding Parkitecture can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org or (515) 283-8751.