Centennial Center Park

Centennial, CO


In January 2009, Design Concepts began working with the City of Centennial towards the development of a Master Plan for their 11 acre Civic Center Park which is contiguous with their existing City Hall. Incorporated in 2001, Centennial wanted a central gathering place for the community. The city, with 100,000 residents in 28.7 square miles, spans approximately 14 miles east to west and three to four miles north to south, and is shaped like a bow tie. The park is located in the center and brings the east and west sides of the city together, providing easy access to all residents. Through an extensive series of public meetings, a final Master Plan was completed, along with assisting the City in the preparation of a GoCO Grant to help secure funding for the park's construction. 

Construction documents were then prepared for the entire site. The theme of Center Park is "100 Years of History and 10,000 Years of Human Habitation" because of the site's strong relationship to Colorado's history and the City's name. 

The park's custom design is intended to convey the passage of time, which is articulated through the nautilus shape of the central playground complex and the integration of arches, spirals, and curves in the park's structures. Among the park's educational elements, the main plaza showcases the historic timeline of the Cherry Creek Basin, including fun facts and a map of the Cherry Creek Watershed. The amphitheater's design incorporates elements that represent the four periods of human history: Lithic, Archaic, Formative, and Classic. 

The design for a safe and comfortable environment for all ages called for shaping the land to create overlooks and a more contoured topography. The Butte, the dominant high viewing hill, was formed by soil removed from carving out the grassy amphitheater. 

The Festival Plaza, a gathering point in the center of the park, connects the grand entryway, extensive playgrounds, shelters, the butte, amphitheater, and parking. All of the gathering places are close together to allow for socializing with friends and neighbors. The firm used the concept of outdoor rooms radiating out of a hub to provide a variety of experiences and to allow people to be near each other while also having a sense of protection in smaller and more intimate places.