The Skatepark Cabinet and California Skateparks collaborated to create a world-class skate park in Des Moines that is set to be the largest open park in the nation totaling more than 88,000 Sq. Ft.

The City of Des Moines, worked with the Cabinet to select a site located along the Des Moines River adjacent to School St. and 2nd Ave. The skatepark will incorporate an extension of the Principal Riverwalk, giving pedestrians an option to travel through the passive part of the skatepark. The nearby Women of Achievement Bridge spanning the Des Moines River adds an additional element to the setting enhancing the interest of the skatepark’s location. The bridge will also serve as a route to the skatepark from the East Village. Centrally located to downtown and the freeway, the Lauridsen Skatepark will be a welcome addition to the network of parks in the city.

Design inspiration was gathered from plazas and architecture found around the world to create the design for the skatepark. At a base level, the skatepark is intended to provide safe, fun and challenging opportunities for skate­ boarders and spectators alike. The terrain maintains a focus on modern street/park and elements with an orientation towards beginner through advanced level users of all ages. Design con­siderations also address the opportunity for users to grow and progress in their skills. The park has the ability to host a variety of events including demos, competitions and concerts. Attention has been given to incorporating a safe pedestrian walkway and inviting viewing/socializing areas.

“The park has the ability to host a variety of events including demos, competitions and concerts. Attention has been given to incorporating a safe pedestrian walkway and inviting viewing/socializing areas.”

At more than 88,000 square feet of skate-able terrain, the design consists of 3 main areas. The lower plaza/pedestrian walk, the main plaza and the snake run, bowl and pool. The park includes decorative paving patterns and an earth tone color pallet consisting of tans, shades of grey, black and steel blue giving the design a unique style that integrates with its surroundings. Detailing for the handrails, ledges, seating benches and shade structures were inspired by the arches and cables seen on the bridges throughout Des Moines.

At more than 88,000 square feet of skate-able terrain, the design consists of several main areas. The promenade, featuring multiple skate elements including a skate-able sculpture entitled “WOW,” competitive street and park courses, a snake run, junior flow bowl, and an amoeba Pool, and a large “spectator park” located along Second Avenue, featuring a switchback trail that gives access to the park from Second Avenue. 

The entire skate park was heavily influenced by the existing topography of the land and the water table. The design also responds to the powerful currents of the river. The snake run lends itself to the flow of water at high speeds. Features were meticulously designed for optimum functionality and to reflect the true power of skateboarding.