This project began as a parking lot removal and quickly transformed into a much needed “front yard” pedestrian plaza. Fire access to the two existing dorm buildings was critical, as was keeping car and truck loading away from the building entries. Lumos provided concept sketches and landscape architectural services to DCS architects, who detailed all of the hardscape treatments.
The design intent was to create an area that was free of parking, where students could socialize, recreate, hang out, listen to live music, and of course study when time allows. A turn around loop was proposed to the west of the plaza, with removable bollards for emergency access. The plan included a fire access loop with concrete pavers bordered by a large central lawn area. There were secondary existing lawn area and planters at the building edges that were retained during construction. Trees were planted around the plaza perimeter to provide shade and soften the overall look of the surrounding nine story halls and parking garage.
At the entryway on the west side, plantings were added to buffer the west winds that predominate. Additional bench and wall seating were a constructed for students waiting for friends or sitting and listening to music. Pedestrian lights replaced the large overhead parking lights that caused glare in the upper floor windows. An under pavement heating system was also added to the north side of Nye Hall to alleviate the severe icing issues in the winter. Lumos coordinated with DCS to complete both the initial conceptual site plan and the final landscape/irrigation plans. Eliminating parking on a college campus is never popular, but this project was the exception, given the fantastic student space it created. The plaza opened at the end of August in time for dorm move-in and was home to a recent block party for new freshmen and students returning for the current school year.