Centennial Center Park Adventure and Discovery Playground

Centennial, Colorado


In January 2009, Design Concepts began working with the City of Centennial to develop a Master Plan for their 11-acre Civic Center Park, contiguous with their 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, connecting the east and west sides, and allowing for easy access by all residents. Through an extensive series of public meetings, a final Master Plan was completed. We also assisted Centennial in preparating a GoCO Grant to secure funding for the park's construction. Construction documents were then prepared for the entire site.

The theme of park is "100 Years of History and 10,000 Years of Human Habitation." It highlights the site's strong connection to Colorado's history and the park's name and location, Center Park. 

The park's custom design conveys the passage of time, articulated through the nautilus shape of the central playground complex and 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 representing 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 contoured topography. The Butte, the dominant high viewing hill, was formed by soil removed from carving out the grassy amphitheater. 

There is a central gathering point to the park, Festival Plaza, that connects the grand entryway, extensive playgrounds, shelters, Butte, amphitheater, and parking. All the gathering places are close together to allow flexible socializing with friends and neighbors. We 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 maintaining a sense of secluded protection in smaller, more intimate places.

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