Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JAN 2018

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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Continued on page 16 14 Landscape Architect and Specifier News h a rd s c a p e s Located 40 miles west of Boston, Worcester is the second largest city in New England with a population of approximately 185,000. With the growth of its biotechnical and healthcare facilities, Worcester is becoming a center of medical research and development. The city is reimagining and rebuilding its urban core to bring activity back and create an engaging city center. The city is investing in a new network of roads, public plazas, and an underground parking garage to attract more private development. Referred to as "CitySquare," the plan calls for residential, commercial and retail buildings to be integrated into the new downtown. Landscape architecture firm CBA first worked with the architect, Arrowstreet, to design the landscape for the new Unum Insurance headquarters and for Mechanics Plaza, both within the re-envisioned downtown. CBA again joined with Arrowstreet to design the plaza and park at street level above the new underground parking garage. The garage park plaza is the major public open space of the redevelopment. The new plaza had two major challenges. First, the weight restrictions dictated by the underground structure limited the planting depth in most locations. The second was that about two thirds of the new plaza is to be permanent, while the remainder of the space is a "place holder" that will be replaced by a new hotel within the next several years. (Support for the weight of the future hotel was factored into the construction of that part of the garage.) The city wanted to minimize the cost where the future hotel is to be located. CBA's solution was to create a large lawn area. For the permanent open space, CBA designed a paved plaza with cutouts for ornamental grasses and trees. The areas of ornamental grasses were raised to allow for increased soil depth, as were the beds for trees. The location of the trees was by Clara Batchelor, CBA Landscape Architects A Park for the Garage In Worcester, Massachusetts, CBA Landscape Architects was hired to help revitalize the city center, including this plaza and park that sits above a new underground parking garage. This space is planned to be the major public open space of the new downtown. Currently, a lawn occupies the future site of a hotel.

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