Our Firm

  • Welcome to the Team!

    November 13, 2015

    Join us in welcoming Ron Peterson (Sioux Falls) and Meredith Ver Steeg (Kansas City) to the Confluence team. Jake Coryell recently relocated from our Sioux Falls office and now calls Minneapolis home.

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  • Krause Gateway Center Groundbreaking

    October 21, 2015

    Confluence joined Kum & Go leaders and associates, state and local officials, and the project team to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Krause Gateway Center in downtown Des Moines.

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    • On Tuesday, October 20, Confluence joined Kum & Go leaders and associates, state and local officials, architect Renzo Piano, and the project team in celebrating the groundbreaking of Kum & Go’s new downtown Des Moines Headquarters, the Krause Gateway Center, at 1459 Grand Ave. in Des Moines. Kum & Go CEO and President Kyle J. Krause; Governor of Iowa Terry E. Branstad; Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie; and Pritzker prize-winning architect, Renzo Piano, gave remarks at the event before the crowd of 200 participated in the ceremonial groundbreaking. The new headquarters building is expected to be complete in early 2018.

      Confluence is leading the site and landscape design for the five story Krause Gateway Center, intended to function as an extension of the adjacent Pappajohn Sculpture Park. Internationally renowned architect, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, was selected to design the building. OPN Architects, local Architect of Record, is providing architectural counsel and construction documents. Ryan Companies US, Inc., is the general contractor.

  • SF Greenway Honored

    September 11, 2015

    Our work on the Sioux Falls Downtown River Greenway recently received an Honor Award from the Great Plains Chapter of ASLA. Many thanks to the City of Sioux Falls and all involved for allowing us to be a part of this exciting project!

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    • Confluence has been awarded an Honor Award by the Great Plains Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects for their design of the Sioux Falls Downtown River Greenway.

      The goal of the greenway is to increase pedestrian access to the Sioux River and enhance the riverfront by incorporating trails and public amenities including an amphitheater, plazas for public and private use and interpretive opportunities. The project is intended to create a complete riverfront trail loop between Falls Park and Fawick Park and connect both sides of the river. In addition, the project has created important infrastructure for downtown and riverfront redevelopment to support entertainment, recreation, and economic development opportunities.

      The first phase of the project created an urban river walk on the east bank of the Big Sioux River. The focal point of the project is an amphitheater for small events. The stage area is defined by an arc shaped stone wall that projects into the river and is flanked on both sides by a stepped river edge to allow easy access to the water while also providing an informal sitting area. Interpretive light piers create night interest and include panels to educate users about the history of downtown and the river.

      A new 200-foot single span pedestrian bridge replaced an old railroad bridge that impeded river flow during flood events. This new bridge completes a pathway from the emerging East Bank shopping district to Falls Park West and also serves as a bypass trail during large events that may impede trail use. Access to the bike trail was improved and a canoe and kayak launch was incorporated in response to requests made during the community involvement process. Quartzite stone was used to construct the center amphitheater and incorporated as an accent throughout the project. This local material, prevalent throughout the downtown context also complements the natural stone outcroppings visible on the site.

  • Sustainable Communities Conference

    August 26, 2015

    Brenda Nelson is co-presenting ‘Lessons from Iowa’s Epic Floods’ at the 8th Annual Growing Sustainable Communities Conference being held October 6-7 in Dubuque, Iowa.

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    • This presentation will examine how two Iowa communities, Cedar Rapids and Ames, have worked to recover since the epic floods of 2008 and 2010, respectively. On June 13, 2008, the Cedar River crested to its highest level in Cedar Rapids history. The flood penetrated 10 sq. miles, almost 14% of the city, impacting 5,390 houses, dislocated more than 18,000 residents and damaged 310 City facilities. The City is now putting in place its “Flood Control System” – an integrated plan that includes aesthetic improvements, greenways, public art, stormwater management, natural habitats, trail connections, upstream watershed management as well as resiliency against flooding. As part of the recovery effort, the City’s Parks and Recreation Department is developing a riverfront greenway, comprised of previously existing park properties and additional properties that were flooded in 2008 and have since been acquired by the City.

      Confluence led a multi-disciplinary team to develop concept-level design plans as well as a business/operations plan for three existing park properties and boardwalk connection which represent a long term vision for the downtown riverfront greenway. The plans will be used for future budgeting, construction planning and development.

      For more information visit: http://www.gscdubuque.com/

      Hosted by the City of Dubuque, Iowa and Sustainable City Network, the Growing Sustainable Communities Conference will provide two days of education, inspiration and collaboration on topics of interest to anyone who cares about the convergence of economic prosperity, ecological integrity and social/cultural vibrancy in community design and development. In 2014, approximately 400 people from 100 different cities in 21 states attended the 7th annual event.

  • School’s out for Summer!

    July 1, 2015

    Hannah Luloff, Michael Schmidt and Shannon Hoy, all recent ISU grads join us as full time employees while Carly Herron (CR), Jim Dunn (DM), Kevin Tousignant and Tyler Landry (SF) are summer interns.

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    • We are excited to welcome several new employees and summer interns to the Confluence team!

      Originally from northeast Iowa, Hannah Luloff is a recent graduate of Iowa State University’s Landscape Architecture program and joins our Des Moines office as a Landscape Architect-in-Training.

      Prior to joining our Kansas City office as a full time employee this June, Michael Schmidt worked as an intern in both our KC and Des Moines offices. A native of KC, Michael graduated from Iowa State University where he received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture.

      Shannon Hoy recently graduated from Iowa State University with a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Community and Regional Planning from ISU. She will be putting her knowledge of both planning and landscape architecture to work in our Des Moines office.

      Carly Herron is a summer intern in the city she calls home, Cedar Rapids. She will be a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she is majoring in Geography with a focus on Human – Environmental Relations (at least until we convince her to become a landscape architect!)

      James (Jim) Dunn is originally from Mitchell, South Dakota but is spending his summer as an intern in our Des Moines office before returning to ISU to complete his 5th year in the landscape architecture program.

      Originally from Milwaukee, Kevin Tousignant has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Planning + Landscape Design from the University of MN – Twin Cities and could not get enough. He is now pursuing his master’s degree in Landscape Architecture. This summer, he is interning in our Minneapolis office.

      Tyler Landry received his undergraduate degree in landscape architecture from South Dakota State University just days before starting an internship in our Sioux Falls office where he will spend his summer before heading to the University of Colorado to pursue his master’s degree in Landscape Architecture.


  • ASLA Awards

    May 18, 2015

    Several Confluence projects have recently been recognized with both local and regional-level ASLA awards.

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    • Tifereth Israel Synagogue in Des Moines received a Merit Award for Design at the 2015 Central States Conference held in Oklahoma City. The Prairie Gateway Chapter recognized both the Shawnee Mission Parkway Corridor Plan and North Oak Corridor Transit Study with Merit Awards for Planning at the recent award gala held in Kansas City.

  • ULI Honors Olathe Community Center

    April 29, 2015

    Congratulations to the City of Olathe whose new community center received a ULI Kansas City ‘Development of Distinction’ Award! Take a look:

    Olathe Community Center

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    • On April 28, 2015, the Olathe Community Center was one of three award-winning projects honored for exceptional achievement of best practices in development. We congratulate the City of Olathe for their commitment and vision and this well-deserved recognition!

      Nestled among the mature oak trees of Stagecoach Park, the new Olathe Community Center provides residents of all ages with basketball courts, party and community rooms, fitness equipment and group exercise room, walking/running track, and natatorium. This aquatics area features a lap pool, two water slides, a lazy river, leisure pool, hot tub and splash pad. Early in the design process, the theme of “Water is Life” emerged and guided the development of both interior and exterior elements throughout the project. The community center and surrounding park will host year-round activities including a farmer’s market and the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting and programming with the Mahaffie historical site is also planned.


  • Inside the LA Studio

    April 16, 2015

    If you didn’t make it to our presentation at the ASLA Annual Meeting last fall, you can view it here:

    Confluence Inside the LA Studio Presentation

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  • 2015 CSI Program

    April 3, 2015

    The Sioux Falls Downtown River Greenway was selected by the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) for their 2015 Case Study Investigation (CSI) program.

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    • The Sioux Falls Downtown River Greenway is one of 18 high-performing landscape projects selected by the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) for its 2015 Case Study Investigation (CSI) program. CSI is a unique research collaboration that matches LAF-funded faculty-student research teams with leading design practitioners to document the benefits of exemplary landscape projects.

      Participants from each firm will work with the 2015 Research Fellows to evaluate the environmental, social, and economic performance of the selected projects. The resulting Case Study Briefs are published to LAF’s award-winning Landscape Performance Series database of over 100 projects.

      The 2015 CSI program kicks off in March and runs through early August. The resulting Case Study Briefs from these participating firms and projects will be published in the fall.



  • We’ve Moved!

    March 27, 2015

    Our Des Moines office has a new home in the Iowa Paint Building at 17th and Ingersoll!

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    • As of Monday, March 23 our new address is 525 17th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309. Our phone number will remain 515.288.4875.

  • Confluence welcomes new employees!

    March 9, 2015

    Please join us in welcoming Brad Aldrich and Mimi Yang to Confluence!

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    • With over 14 years of experience, Brad will be a project manager in our Minneapolis office. His experience has been focused on sustainable site design; green infrastructure design and development; and sustainable solutions for a wide variety of design, planning, and community issues. His creative and collaborative approach to projects has been instrumental in garnering LEED points and Living Building Challenge petal certification for numerous projects throughout the Midwest. A native of Wisconsin, Brad received his Master of Landscape Architecture and BS in Environmental Design, with a Minor in Urban Studies, from the University of Minnesota. When not in the office, Brad enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons and participating in many outdoor activities including camping, hiking, canoeing, skiing, fishing, golf and mountain biking.


      Mimi is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she received her Bachelor of Landscape Architecture as well as a 2014 Sasaki Day Award. A native of southwest China, Mimi moved to the United States three years ago. She will be working in our Des Moines office where she enjoys the alternative music that is often playing in the studio. Mimi used to be in a Chinese heavy metal band called Cenicero and, when not working, she enjoys reading, drawing and going to concerts.


  • Welcome new Interns!

    January 30, 2015

    Confluence welcomes interns Andrew Holzum, Blake Oslund, Matt Mitchell and Michael Schmidt!

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    • This spring, we welcome three new interns to the firm!

      Andrew Holzum,  a 4th year student at Kansas State University will be working in our KC office. He’s from St. Louis, Missouri and hopes his time at Confluence will allow him to “Learn the basics of a landscape architecture firm’s culture as well as improving my knowledge of program software.” When not in the office, he enjoys sports (both playing and watching) and furniture building.

      Blake Oslund, a 4th year student at Iowa State University, will be working in our Des Moines office. He’s from Sheffield, Iowa and chose landscape architecture because, in his words, he “wants to make a difference”—on the environment, people’s lives and the way in which they experience the built environment. He enjoys the outdoors, music and sports of all kinds (“If there is a score, I’ll watch it!”).

      Matt Mitchell is a senior at Waukee High School and part of the district’s select School to Work program. He’ll spend a few hours each afternoon in our Des Moines office. Matt has been involved in the ACE mentorship program and has his own design-build landscape company. He will attend Iowa State University in the fall and plans to major in landscape architecture. He also plays the tenor sax.

      Michael Schmidt, who interned in our Kansas City office last spring/summer will continue to work in our Des Moines office while he finishes his final semester at Iowa State.

      Welcome aboard!

  • See you in Topeka!

    January 23, 2015

    PJ Novick will present at the Kansas Recreation and Park Association Annual Meeting on Thursday, January 29 at 10:30am.

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    • Please join Confluence Principal PJ Novick, ASLA, LEED® GA, at this year’s Kansas Recreation and Park Association Annual Meeting in Topeka, Kansas where he will present ‘The Kansas City Parks and Boulevard System: Listing a Historic Landscape’ with Cydney Millstein, Owner, Architectural & Historical Research, LLC.

      The Kansas City System of Parks and Boulevards designed by George Kessler and Hare & Hare is one of the most significant designed landscapes in the United States. This session will present an overview of the system and the National Register nomination. The panel will discuss the process of documentation and nominating a designed landscape.

      Please stop by our booth see PJ and to learn more about how Confluence is helping communities develop truly memorable parks and civic spaces.