The Water Works Parkitecture competition called for proposals that could bring community and landscape together in order to generate discussion about watershed issues. By braiding the ecological functions of the park + river and the social functions of recreation, the winning plan by Sasaki, RDG and AES: “shaped two distinct yet complementary sections of Water Works Park: the wild and the engineered.”
This proposal is particularly innovative in making water management the overarching educational component. Through the use of varying media (maps, brochures, and digital info) the park opens up to users, bringing them closer to the processes behind water harvesting, treatment and reuse. In that light the engineered portions of the landscape offer more structured event spaces while the wilder portions offer more dynamic encounters.
The framework of the engineered portions of the landscape work to address the surrounding context of the city streets and therefore introduce the city to the park and the park to the urban fabric of Des Moines. These transitions create fresh opportunities for constituents to further understand the role of water in the city-region nexus.
This international design competition was organized by Des Moines Water Works and Iowa State’s Dept. of Landscape Architecture and it is notable with respect to urban hydro-logics because of its scope: “the creation of a conceptual plan to form dynamic relationships between the river, the watershed, and the Greater Des Moines community.” To learn more about the Water Works Parkitecture competition and the winning proposal by Sasaki, RDG and AES – please visit HERE.