Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 23, 2011.


This 11 week design/build project gives architecture students real experience and gives Downtown Durham a shade structure and stage!


Durham Central Park is so lucky to get the attention of this year’s summer design/build studio from NCSU architecture department. This year’s project will focus on installing a shade structure on the park’s great lawn that can also serve as a fantastic stage! We envision this structure as a venue for musical performances, puppet shows, movies, improv, you name it. And in non-performance times the structure will provide a shady seating area for just relaxing in the park.

Local architect, Ellen Cassilly of Ellen Cassilly Architects together with Randall Lanou, owner of BuildSense Design/Build Studio, are leading this project and will ensure an exceptional degree of quality and functionality. This project provides the students essential real world experience and the satisfaction of contributing a great functional structure to the community.

Starting on May 23rd the project will finish in 11 weeks. We already have $17,000 donated to start the project and we need another $13,000 to fully fund this endeavor. Please consider being a backer! Your help, no matter how small, is greatly appreciated!!


  • The design shown is a preliminary rendering that does not include a removable tensile (fabric) covering of the stage area. Later design images will show this critical and adjustable part. The wooden fins or slats attached to the outer frame of the structure will also provide varying degrees of filtered light to constant shade as the day passes. The shade level will be more substantial in the inner ends of the structure where you will find built-in bench seating. Seating along the perimeter of the structure will also be shady at various times of the day. Tree plantings will contribute additional shade and cooling to the area. It is good to keep in mind that the structure is multi-purpose (functional and artistic) while allowing high-visibility through the structure to other areas of the park. This design/build studio is a fluid process and as such elements of the structure will evolve as we receive more feedback. Thanks for asking and please keep checking back!

    Last updated:
  • The students will make mock-ups of their original designs. Of those, only one structure incorporating all the best elements will be used. Check out the update section of our kickstarter project for up-to-date news.

    Last updated:
  • Durham Central Park is a non-profit organization. Your contribution minus the cost of the reward may be tax deductible. Check out kickstarter's FAQ on this subject.

    Last updated:
pledged of $13,000 goal
seconds to go

See full bio

  • Pledge $5 or more
    You selected

    33 backers

    Thumbs Up! A personal thank-you from Durham Central Park and your name listed on the DCP website as a contributor

  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    22 backers

    High Five! This level gets you the above rewards and a DCP frisbee!

  • Pledge $40 or more
    You selected

    26 backers

    Slap on the back! Get all the above and a gift certificate for 4 Locopops (the sensational local popsicle maker

  • Pledge $75 or more
    You selected

    16 backers

    Huzzah! Stuff your goody bag with all the above plus a DCP water bottle!

  • Pledge $150 or more
    You selected

    16 backers Limited (9 left of 25)

    Jaw dropper! All the above plus the newly designed fantastic DCP tshirt!

  • Pledge $500 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (12 left of 12)

    Abracadabra! You are working magic for us! Take all the above rewards plus 4 tickets to the Meals from the Market Pig-Pickin' party!

  • Pledge $1,000 or more
    You selected

    2 backers

    Forever our friend! For this generous contribution you get all the above plus your name on a plaque that will adorn the structure!

Funding period

- (45 days)