Lake Monona Waterfront Design

City of Madison Lake Monona Waterfront

Lake Monona is an integral segment of downtown Madison, Wisconsin. The City of Madison launched the Lake Monona Waterfront Design Challenge in early 2022 to reimagine the underutilized waterfront site with hopes of creating a visionary, inclusive, and environmentally focused master plan for 1.7 miles of shoreline and 17 acres on Madison’s second largest Lake.

The primary goals of the Design Challenge were to create a Vision for welcoming destination for all Madison residents and visitors, connect Downtown Madison to Lake Monona, enhance community connections, increase physical and visual access to the lake, improve Lake Monona’s water quality and aquatic habitat, celebrate Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural legacy in Madison, and preserve Lake Monona’s cultural history from the Ho-Chunk nation to the present day.

The City of Madison recieved14 consultant responses to the initial RFP, and ultimately three teams were selected and advanced through the competition.

After 14 weeks of design and development, the design teams completed their master plan submittals. The Ad Hoc Committee evaluated the three master plan submissions and scored each team on five primary categories: alignment with guiding principles; overall project vision and cohesion; response to and engagement with the public input; project feasibility; and overall quality of plan materials.

GRAEF, along with project partners Sasaki and Moffatt & Nichol, were unanimously selected by the City of Madison’s appointed  Waterfront Ad-Hoc Committee.

As the “winning team” the next phase of Waterfront Master Plan is to modify the vision plan submitted and finalize a master plan based on the guidance of the Waterfront Ad Hoc Committee the community input received during the comment and review period and a rigorous interface with major stakeholders. Over 2000 responses were received during the public review and comment. The revised Lakefront Master Plan is anticipated to be presented to the Common Council in October 2023. This will be followed by a series of RFP’s for the design and engineering of  the initial and prioritized projects.

Renderings Coutesy of Sasaki

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Lake Monona Waterfront Contact

Freer Ed Cropped

Ed Freer

Market Area Leader - Landscape Architecture, Senior Landscape Architect 

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