Des Moines Water Works Parkitecture

Sponsor: Des Moines Water Works Board, Iowa State University College of Design Department of Landscape Architecture
Type: Open, two-stage
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Language: English
Fee: none
Eligibility: Open to teams in architecture and related fields.
June 8, 2011 – Registration open
August 1 – Registration deadline
October 3 – Submission deadline
October 24 – First Stage winners announced
November 7-11 – First Stage winners visit Des Moines, IA
December 16 – Second Stage submission deadline
December 30 – Second Stage winner announced
Each first stage winner (the jury will select 3-5 teams) will receive $10,000 dollars for the second stage of the competition for design and travel. Payment will be issued after second stage submittal has been received.

1. Des Moines Water Works Director of Water Distribution
2. Des Moines Water Works Board Member
3. Iowa State University College of Design Department of Landscape Architecture Faculty
4. Iowa Landscape Architect
5. Nationally recognized Landscape Architect
6. City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department Director
7. Des Moines Art Center Director
8. Des Moines Community Member
9. Des Moines Community Member

Design Challenge:
For nearly 100 years, Des Moines Water Works has supplied water to the residents of Des Moines from Water Works Park, located along the Raccoon River. Parallel to the river is a 3-mile-long infiltration gallery, which early in its history provided the entire water supply for the city of Des Moines. This gallery, one of the largest in the United States, was built in the 1920s and ’30s and is a historic example of urban infrastructure. Today, the concrete access structures are a visual reminder of the park’s history and stand as sculptural objects defining the character of today’s park.
The challenge for design teams is to create a comprehensive vision plan for the 1,500-acre park in addition to meeting current demands of the public open space, responding to historic functions of flooding and urban watershed protection, and attesting to the park’s future use. The winning design proposal will integrate the ecological and social functions of the park and river into a unified landscape that performs in all manners associated with the word. The winning design proposal should operate at the scale of the watershed, the city and the site, exploring diverse functions and uses for all its constituents. Finally, the winning proposal will transform and reshape the park to inspire the community.
Submission Requirements:
First stage design proposals will be presented in both electronic and physical format to the competition jury as well as in public exhibition. Submissions must be in the form of stand-alone board presentations that can be displayed online and published in print as part of the competition documentation. Submissions must communicate ideas in a clear and compelling manner and express the unique character of the design and design team.
The format for the second stage will be announced at the conclusion of the first stage submission. First stage finalists should be prepared to meet with the jury and discuss developing their submission in both board and electronic format.
For more information, go to:
Carl Rogers at