Knudsen Park
Holladay, Utah
Best Project

Owner: Holladay City
Lead Design Firm: Naylor Wentworth Lund Architects (NWL)
General Contractor: Hughes General Contractors Inc.
Structural Engineer: BHB Structural
Civil Engineer: Ensign Engineering and Land Surveying
MEP Engineer: Van Boerum & Frank Associates
Landscape Design: E.A. Lyman Landscape Architects

The area that is now home to Knudsen Park was once an unofficial dumping site. Today, it is a 6.1-acre park that includes a pavilion, playground, water play area, grassy fields and a hammock garden, with spaces that also serve as an outdoor classroom. Formerly owned by the Knudsen family, the original property included a historic mill. The city acquired the property with a vision to transform it into a community amenity, but it had to be cleaned up first. 

Certified disposal companies were hired to document and remove hazardous waste, implementing best management practices to ensure containment of any potential contaminants. This was particularly important because Big Cottonwood Creek runs through the site. The team worked with UDOT to transfer new rights-of-way to the city of Holladay and coordinated with Rocky Mountain Power to relocate and bury high-voltage power lines that ran through the park. The project also included placement of a new prefabricated bridge, constructed in the Midwest and trucked to the site. It was lifted in one piece over the creek.

The team aimed to repurpose as much material as possible for the park’s features. To reflect the significance of the old mill, the team designed a concrete board-form tilt-up outbuilding and a pavilion with an comparable design and dimensions to the mill. The 1,748-sq-ft structure incorporates historically accurate louvers, modern LED lighting and tongue-and-groove features.

The team conducted several interviews with the Knudsen family to understand the site’s history and also hosted focus groups and community meetings to engage the public. It then set up vignettes to allow the public to vote on final design components. One of the goals was to create a passive nature park and keep as many trees as possible. More than two-thirds of the original trees were maintained in the finished park.

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