Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JUN 2017

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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58 Landscape Architect and Specifier News The site was largely turf grass and concrete and lacked any meaningful gathering space. However, the space contained many mature trees—a critical design feature that was seamlessly integrated into the new improvements. Western is a proud member of Tree Campus USA, so this project presented a prime opportunity to preserve and protect these trees for generations to come. The design team included landscape architects, water resource engineers, architects, electrical engineers, lighting designers, artists and structural engineers. Using Nature As a Guide The overarching design motif takes cues from a rare indigenous ecotype of the Driftless biome in southwest Wisconsin known as the "tamarack bog." Editor's note: The "Driftless" is a region of deciduous hardwood forests and limestone bluffs. The tamarack bogs comprise a canopy of tamarack and black spruce, with scattered paper birch The Team Civil/Electrical Engineering, Landscape Architecture, Lighting Design: RDG Planning & Design General Contractor: Fowler & Hammer, La Crosse, Wis. Irrigation Design: FRS Design Group, Spring Green, Wis. Structural Engineer: JPSE, LLC, Des Moines General Excavation/Site Prep: Strupp, Inc. Site Electrical & Lighting: Poellinger Electric Landscape/Hardscape/Irrigation Contractor: Winona Nursery, Winona, Minn. and white pine. The bog is dominated by rosemary, Labrador tea, bog laurel and early low blueberry. These tamarack bogs are naturally found within the college's school district and in areas that have remained relatively undisturbed from development or agricultural practices. The courtyard has elements that relate to the tamarack bog and its significance. Whether it's the bold paving patterns and arching precast concrete walls drawn from fallen tamarack needles, or the bioretention cells that are literally depressions in which tamarack trees reside, the design engulfs users without being overbearing. The generous pedestrian circulation pathways are constructed from a mix of standard and permeable unit pavers that visually connect with the adjacent campus amenities, providing meaningful access through the site. The paths were designed with ease of snow removal and maintenance in mind. The prescribed native plant palette offers diverse seasonal interest, filters stormwater and eliminates the need for lawn care. One of the signature design elements is the suspended boardwalk above the central bioretention cell. The boardwalk is a mixture of steel bar grating and native black locust lumber that smoothly integrates with the paving patterns. The boardwalk provides the necessary site circulation, while allowing users to connect within the stormwater best management practices occurring in the middle of campus. More than Meets the Eye… As a LEED Platinum project, the landscape architects led the site design and coordinated several significant efforts: • A 50KWh photovoltaic array offsets 5% of the Integrated Technology Center's energy consumption. The array's design includes a real- time monitoring system that lets students and educators understand the current performance, track energy trends and see how the harvested energy offsets building demand. • A 15,000-gallon water reclamation system near the courtyard's eastern border collects rainwater and discharges waste water. The cistern helps offset 100% of the irrigation demands for the campus' six block length, and also keeps over 3 million gallons of water from the city's storm sewer system on an annual basis. WESTERN TECHNICAL COLLEGE INTEGRATED TECHNOLOGY COURTYARD BOG MISSISSIPPI RIVER DOWNTOWN LA CROSSE, WIS. Continued on page 96

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