Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JUN 2015

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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Right On the south side of the school buildings is a Reading Garden (left) with a hardscape of Hanover 'Prest' pavers, limestone slabs for seating and multi-stem 'Whitespire' gray birch trees. The lower level closest to the street offers green space of fescue sod, a serpentine concrete walk, two small gathering areas with more limestone slab seating and 'Red Sunset' maples. The trees on the grass-lined parkway by the street are thornless Cockspur Hawthorns. Below, Right Whitespire gray birch trees flank the Reading Garden. 'Annabelle' hydrangea, birchleaf spirea, 'Palace' purple coralbell and 'Royal Standard' hostas add interest. Above, Left This specimen Cuprea european beech tree, known as the "Knowledge Tree," is at the secondary entrance plaza and complements the purple brick color of the architecture, as do other herbaceous and deciduous plants used in a variety of locations around the building. The underplantings for the beech tree are spirea, 'Blue Pacific' juniper and 'Max Frei' geraniums. In the background is a 'Chanticleer' pear tree, 'Annabelle' hydrangea and 'Jolly Bee' geraniums. Plants used around the site are thornless, nonpoisonous and produce little fruit if near paved or other developed areas. To keep the area from getting overgrown and being a security concern, the shrubs are predominantly dwarf species. The site features accessible, multifunctional space including a biology garden, diverse native plantings, community gardens, outdoor classroom/picnic area, built bleachers and custom concrete sport seating, council ring, rain gardens, a cistern, geothermal field, and native plant education signs. A special planning strategy minimized haul- off costs by utilizing the tons of gravel fill that would otherwise need to be removed during site prep – thus transferring savings into landscape elements. Strategic elements of the plan that helped to achieve this savings include raising the north end of the site, and built up raised areas for viewing sports creating custom seating berms in lieu of aluminum stadium seating for each sporting program on the site. With a budget of 65 million, the overall project cost was under budget at 62.4 million, with landscape site elements being over 2 million of the cost. Site paving and sidewalks connect key nodes and provide safe and accessible routes from the permeable paver parking lot, around the building exterior, in the main entry plaza, and walks connecting the various site features, providing an ease of maintenance and easy accessibility around the school. A bike lane dissects the site connecting the east side of the site to the parking lot where bicycle racks occupy the west end of the site. The north side of the school contains 40 above ground community garden plots, a sculptural metal cistern, and a multi-functional outdoor classroom/picnic plaza. The community garden plots are 8'x5' in size and 10 of them are 74 Landscape Architect and Specifier News

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