The Skatepark Cabinet and California Skateparks collaborated to create a world-class skate park in Des Moines that is set to be one of the largest open parks in the nation totaling more than 65,000 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 skate plaza. The clover bowl and kidney pool are reminiscent of all the influence from backyard pools and 70’s style snake runs. At a base level, the skate plaza is intended to provide safe, fun and challenging opportunities for skate­ boarders and spectators alike. The plaza terrain maintains a focus on modern street/plaza 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 65,000 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.

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. The 2-tiered downhill snake run is over 300 feet long and includes a bit of everything.

The plaza has varying heights as it terraces down the hill in all directions. The lower and upper plaza will contain all the essential elements for modern street skating as well as a pedestrian friendly walkway with shaded seating adjacent to the river. The plazas imaginative architecture replicates the organic nature of real street spots. Features were meticulously designed for optimum functionality and to reflect the true power of skateboarding.