NEWS > West 8, SCAPE, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol named Water Works finalists

Minneapolis, Minn. – Three award-winning design teams were shortlisted for the Water Works park schematic design project, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation announced today. The teams are Gustafson Guthrie Nichol with VJAA and Interboro (Seattle/Minneapolis/New York); SCAPE with Rogers Marvel (New York); and Team West 8 (Rotterdam/New York). A five-member Designer Selection Committee chose the teams from a pool of 27 responses representing seven U.S. states and five European countries to the April RFP for schematic design for a new urban park on “America’s fourth coast.” Design teams will interview in Minneapolis, June 25-26

Water Works is a proposed year-round destination park on the Mississippi Riverfront in the heart of Minneapolis, the largest city in Minnesota. Minneapolis was founded and flourished on the shores of the Mississippi at the river’s only true waterfall. Water Works connects with this powerful natural resource, as well as existing city, regional and national parks, is permeated with Native American and industrial history, and forms the intersection of multiple streets and biking and walking paths.

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation is leading Water Works, a RiverFirst Priority Project. The Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board is a Water Works partner. The Foundation will announce the winning design team on July 9, with design beginning in late summer and continuing through early 2014.

Shortlist Selection
The Designer Selection Committee comprises experts in parks, urban design and city planning: Bruce Chamberlain, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board; Laura Salveson, Mill City Museum & St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board; Kjersti Monson, City of Minneapolis; Matthew Tucker, Dept. of Landscape Architecture, University of Minnesota; and Mary deLaittre, Minneapolis Parks Foundation. The committee shortlisted teams based on team composition (disciplines represented) and experience, philosophy and approach to design and planning, and proposed design process and fees.

“All 27 submissions were compelling, but Team West 8, Scape and Gustafson stood out for their expertise, as well as design philosophy generally and approach to Water Works specifically,” says Mary deLaittre, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. “The selection committee determined that these teams understand the site’s dual significance as a focus of civic identity and living history. Each team has the capability to help us visualize, and then realize, Water Works’ tremendous potential.”

RiverFirst is a multi-agency, multi-year effort to bring sustainable destination parks and trails to both sides of Minneapolis Upper Riverfront, along 5.5 miles from the Stone Arch Bridge to the city’s northern limits. The RiverFirst area is included in both the Central Riverfront Regional Park and Above the Falls Regional Park. RiverFirst Projects will create new Mississippi River experiences for residents and visitors, as well as form critical connections to, across and along the Mississippi River urban corridor. The RiverFirst Initiative is an interagency partnership of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Parks Foundation – together with community and agency participants and the public – to realize the RiverFirst Vision and support the implementation of RiverFirst Projects. RiverFirst began with theMinneapolis Riverfront Design Competition in 2010; the first Priority Projects are anticipated to open in 2016. Learn more at

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Water Works is Supported By:
St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board | Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation

Pentair Foundation | Many Generous Donors

Additional Funding Provided By:
McKnight Foundation | George Family Foundation| Curtis L. Carlson Foundation

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