Research Campus Landscape for a Private University
Previously a headquarters and laboratory facility for a major pharmaceutical company, this 100+ acre site is now the home of a research-based science campus for a private university. Towers|Golde, after developing the master plan, was charged with envisioning a new landscape framework for the ten-acre core of this campus to better integrate it’s many buildings with a campus character more in harmony with a university setting than the existing corporate one.
The existing site was dominated by large open parking lots, limited tree cover, awkward building-to-building pedestrian connections and a generally inhospitable user experience. The main project goal was to provide a more unified approach to the landscape character with appropriately scaled, verdant walkways between buildings and outdoor spaces of varying scales intended to promote opportunities for collaboration amongst researchers.
Planting played a significant part in the development of the new campus. 240 trees, 1,000 shrubs, 31,000 perennial/groundcover plants and a 1-acre native wildflower meadow contributed to a significant increase in
the site’s biomass. While the primary function of the new plantings was space creation other areas were more performative. Rain gardens linked within the parking lots treat stormwater before entering into the drainage system. These in turn, along with the majority of the site’s runoff, empty into a larger basin that intercepts the stormwater before returning into the system again. This stormwater approach coupled with the decrease of 24,000 square feet of impervious area helped to redefine the site’s identity.