Marsh Creek Skatepark: Raleigh, NC
Pillar Design Studios teamed with Stewart Engineering, a local Engineering firm on this skatepark design bid build project. Pillar assisted in the Site Selection and managed the Skatepark Design, Construction Documentation and Construction Observation. As Landscape Architects it is always our goal to minimize site disturbance whenever possible.
The best location for the Raleigh Skatepark happened to be situated on a hill, so in order to work with the site we designed the Skatepark to move with the natural topography of the land. In doing so the need for drainage was prevalent, we realized the water will need to be collected and redistributed throughout the park. By working with Stewart Engineering we collectively came up with the Raleigh Rain Garden system. The Raleigh Skatepark has three separate Rain Gardens that absorb stormwater run‐off. This not only is aesthetically pleasing to the local community but it is one of the GREEN aspects to this project as the rain gardens reduce storm water pollution. The Artisan team was selected to build the Raleigh Skatepark, creating another Pillar/Artisan successful project.
Skatepark Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Project Size: 12,000 square feet
Project Schedule: February 2007 – May 2009
Skatepark Budget: $406,000
Skatepark Project Actual Cost: $475,000
Skatepark Address: 3016 New Hope Road, Raleigh, NC 27607
*The project increase was due to a large amount of granite that was found onsite. The City hired a sub-Consultant to conduct boring samples without involving the Skatepark designer. This is yet another example of why a Skatepark designer should be involved at all times. We recommend 3 to 5 borings at a depth of 10 to 15 feet for optimum results.*
Project Contacts: David M. Shouse, City Planner – 919.996.4788
Graham Smith, Engineer – 919.805.3586
“On behalf of Stewart Engineering, Inc., I wanted to write a thank you for all of the hard work you put into making our project a huge success. The park has only been open for a couple of months and yet it continues to get rave reviews from the local, regional, and national skate community. The quality of the material choices and the quality of the skate experience are second-to-none in the region.
As you know early on, we had to make a choice on whether we should work with you or your previous employer, due to that firm disbanding and then reforming. I had been working with you during the proposal process, but the firm turmoil left us in a quandary.
You and I discussed the fact that you were about to start Pillar. Therefore, I called several references that you gave me and I called several more that I found on my own from your past portfolio. What I heard from everyone was that you approached each project as if you owned it and as if their park was going to be the best. Everyone said that you would be fully committed to the project and that we wouldn’t be let down with the amount of energy and expertise that you’d bring to the project from beginning to end. And now that we have completed our first project (of many?) with you, we were truly pleased to see all of those qualities shining through in your work with us here in Raleigh. You knew your audience, your materials, your construction techniques, and you worked very well with us as a team member.
And in closing, I would also like to commend you on your understanding of context sensitive site design and your ability to tie the skatepark into the chosen site. By being able to work with the site parameters and our park design team, the project truly is a unique space for this entire region and has been successful beyond our imagination. Once again, we are very pleased that we could work together and we hope to do more of the same in the near future.”
Graham H. Smith, RLA, CLARB, ASLA
Landscape Architecture/Land Planning Department Manager
This was a complex project, we meet the City’s lengthy schedule and conducted 4 public input meetings before finalizing design. The Raleigh project is a perfect example of how a design can also affect the construction process. This park was built in sections, allowing portions of the park to be open and skate‐able before construction was completed. Having a Skatepark Designer that is experienced in all types of terrain is beneficial to the client, they are able to circumvent unforeseen issues that may arise. Instead of the excess granite being problematic, our Design team made a few minor changes in design and incorporated as much of the granite as possible. By adding the granite into the design, we were able to drastically reduce the additional removal charge.