Common Ground

Minneapolis Parks Foundation > Common Ground > Projects > RiverFirst > News Release: West 8, SCAPE, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol named Water Works finalists

News Release: West 8, SCAPE, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol named Water Works finalists

Design teams will interview in Minneapolis, June 25-26

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.”

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.”

About the Minneapolis Parks Foundation
The Minneapolis Parks Foundation is creating the Next Generation of Parks™. Through the generosity of our donors and grantmakers, we provide private-sector leadership and support for RiverFirst and Water Works, innovative urban design projects that build on our 100-year legacy of visionary parks. We work collaboratively with multiple government and non-profit partners on these parks projects, as well as our education programs – SiteSeeing Urban Design Curriculum and Next Generation of Parks™ Lecture Series. The Minneapolis Park System enhances the quality of life in our city and creates social and economic environments that strengthen communities throughout the region. Learn more and donate at

# # #

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

YOUR DONATION helps ensure the parks in our city remain accessible, equitable and serving everyone.