Waukee Railroad Pergola: In the Shadow of the Rails

Waukee, IA

Services provided on this project:

Art Studio Overview:

This dynamic integration of public art and infrastructure is based on the history of the railroad in the development of the City of Waukee. Located at the trailhead of the Raccoon River Valley Trail in Dallas County, the installation creates a unique “experience” for visitors and a new destination for bicyclists and pedestrians alike. The pergola is a dramatic sculptural icon and regional landmark, a colorful and whimsical connection between the past, present, and future of the community. A trellis of railroad rails casts shadows that weave along the trail. A series of handmade ceramic clad columns, over 350 feet long, frame the trail. Accompanying ornamental bollards wrap the trailhead to reinforce the “triangle,” symbolic of the original town center of Waukee. The pergola installation introduces a meaningful contemporary visual theme that can be scaled appropriately to welcome riders at the entrances to other communities along the trail.

Engineering Overview:

Provided Electrical Engineering and support

Landscape Architecture Overview:

Lighting Design Overview:

This dynamic integration of public art and infrastructure is based on the history of the railroad in the City of Waukee. Located at the trailhead of the Raccoon River Valley Trail in Dallas County, the installation creates a unique experience for visitors and a new destination for bicyclists and pedestrians alike. The pergola is a dramatic sculptural icon and regional landmark, a colorful and whimsical connection between the past, present, and future of the community. LED illumination gives dimension to the structure and provides a colorful “light show,” thoughtful of the site as it changes from day to night. The color-changing lighting adds an important safety feature for night riders, and gives the installation special interest and flair as night descends.

  • CLIENT: City of Waukee, Iowa
  • COMPLETE: December 2017
  • AWARDS:
    • ASLA Central States - Merit Award in Design (Built) - 2021
    • Rails-to-Trails Conservancy - National Hall of Fame - 2021
    • ASLA Iowa Chapter - Merit Award in Design (Built) - 2020
  • LINKS:
  • View Related Project Types:
    Parks & Recreation,