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Iowa State Capitol: West Terrace
State of Iowa: Department of Administrative Services
Des Moines, Iowa
To strengthen the connection between the State Capitol Complex and Downtown Des Moines, this project involved a visionary transformation of an existing surface parking lot into a welcoming pedestrian-oriented space.
Re-imagining the form and function of the existing grounds involved replacing existing vehicular infrastructure with a master plan for a 10-acre green sanctuary allowing visitors to assemble, picnic, walk or demonstrate. Confluence collaborated with Capitol staff to lead a facilitated planning process building upon the strengths of the site's existing formal French Plan and Beaux Arts style. The new design integrates plantings native to the State of Iowa while crafting spaces supporting a variety of experiences and activities - from quiet individual contemplation to hosting thousands during large community events.
The design approach accommodated for an overall grade change of over 30 feet while creating five distinct areas, all connected through accessible ramps and steps with each offering a different experience as one moves throughout the mall environs.