Landscape Architect & Specifier News

FEB 2016

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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February 2016 49 Public Space, Public Art From the outset, artistic form was an important principle of the square's design. Kent + Frost designed the six vine trellises to create vertical accents that relate to the pavilion. Composed of 1" stainless angle bars, the plant-like forms emanate from welded bundles and terminate with flared panels of polycarbonate that match the pavilion roof. Red trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is planted at the base. A public competition resulted in the commission of "Weaving Shuttle" by Connecticut artist David Boyajian. The sculpture represents Mansfield's history as the home of the first silk mill in North America, built around 1810 on nearby Hanks Hill. Use of the Square The square has performed well since opening in June 2015. Since seating was a priority, Kent + Frost advocated for moveable furniture on the square, but the owner was wary of theft. A small-scale test indicated this shouldn't be a problem. There are now dozens of lightweight bistro tables and chairs. Some mornings, a motivated resident arranges the furniture along the arc of elm trees. By evening, they are scattered and in use across the plaza. On a sunny September day the "Celebrate Mansfield" festival attracted crowds to booths, food vendors and live music in the square. A parade down Storrs Road, with a performance by the high school marching band, ended at the plaza. The surrounding streets were closed to traffic and filled with tents and vendors. For an afternoon, the downtown was a pedestrian-only zone that revealed the magic of a central open space within a mixed-use urban community. Above The steel and polycarbonate trellises were designed to contrast with the native plantings while connecting with the pavilion and the rest of downtown through the use of the color red. An LED uplight from B-K Lighting is centered underneath each trellis. The sculptures were fabricated locally using a CNC (computerized numerical control) tube bender for the curved pieces, and a CNC router to cut the red polycarbonate panels.

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