Des Moines Water Works Park

The finalists for the Water Works Parkitecture competition were announced last month and collaborator of ours Ed Wall of Project Studio led a team that has been shortlisted. Other finalists include Sasaki Associates, Martha Schwartz Partners, AECOM and Nomad Studio. The project, titled Park Works, is a collaboration across landscape, engineering, infrastructure and architectural disciplines.

The Park Works proposal sets out a new, dynamic, and working park for Des Moines, Iowa. The design creates a responsive and adaptive plan that will develop, over days, seasons, and years, from the scale of the watershed to the everyday experience. This unique Park Works plan allows park managers, individuals, and communities to share information, learn from, participate in, and build the spaces, structures, and activities of the new Des Moines Water Works Park.

The international Water Works Parkitecture competition is organised and sponsored by the Des Moines Water Works Board and Iowa State University. The competition encourages responses that will consider the park and river as a public open space that combines the ecology and the community and contributes to wider social, economic and environmental success. The second stage of the competition continues until December 2011 where the finalists will present their proposals to the jury and the public.

In December, Ed brought us on board and we worked with his team at Project Studio, with Christian Gabriel of Thomas Balsley Associates, in the final stage of the Des Moines Water Works Park Competition.

The team put together an ambitious proposal that was only made possible by a fantastic London/US based team including Christian Gabriel (Thomas Balsley Associates), Brett Douglas (Genus), Fred Schwartz (Frederic Schwartz Architects), Steven Handel (Green Shield Ecology), John Paul Goedken (JP-SE), Mark Land (Snyder Associates), Bryan Bertrand (CPMI), Tim Marshall (ETM), Helena Rivera (A Small Studio) and us at Room60. Finally, without the design critique and stunning drawings of  Aaron Carpenter, Harry Bix, and Joe Sanders this proposal would have only been a jumble of ideas…

We produced visuals and graphics for the proposal as well as some animated snippets for the presentation. We’ll be editing all that into a short film soon but for now check out the gallery of images above to get a feel for this fantastic project.

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