SMC plaza on magazine coverPublished 11:36pm Monday, February 13, 2012
Southwestern Michigan College new Alumni Plaza recently was featured in Landscape Architect Business magazine, a national publication for landscape architects and designers.
Alumni Plaza, located on the college’s Dowagiac campus, was completed in fall 2011. Designed by Arkos Designs Inc. of Niles, the plaza is the focal point of the campus and offers an open space for students and staff to relax and for campus activities to be performed.
Engraved brick pavers and limestone slabs are being sold so alumni and friends of the college can leave a lasting memory around the plaza.
Eventually, a clock tower will be constructed in the center of the plaza.
“The design team saw a unique opportunity to integrate the clock tower and enhance the students’ campus experience,” wrote Darla Davidson Aldred, a registered landscape architect with Arkos Design and author of the article in the January/February edition of the magazine. “With SMC’s mission of ‘knowledge for all’ as a catalyst, the concept of a dynamic center that ripples outward – like a pebble thrown in water – was developed.”
Located in the quadrangle between the College Services Building, Fred L. Mathews Library and the Daugherty and O’Leary buildings, the plaza has a lower level with a short wall to sit with steps leading up to and through the center of the plaza.
Students and staff frequently pass through the plaza to and from classes or the library.
Fifteen-foot-tall banners flank the upper level of the plaza, which is lit at night.
“The curved cast-stone seat wall is elegantly simple, maintaining a monolithic appearance with a single, continuous recessed shadow-line to draw the eye along the plaza,” Davidson Aldred wrote. “The walls are punctuated with recessed LED lights at the corners and every six linear feet, giving the plaza a distinct personality at night.”
Since opening last fall, numerous student activities have taken place on the plaza.
Students and staff are seen during good weather sitting, reading or just enjoying the plaza surroundings.
“The new Alumni Plaza is a representation of what SMC desires its campus environment to be – a place for students and faculty to merge, a place to take a break between classes, a place to conduct classes outside, a place to attend performances and activities and a place for graduates to have their photos taken with family and friends to remember their college experiences,” Davidson Aldred concluded. “It is a place to find connection.”
To read the article in Landscape Architect Business magazine, visit www.LABusinessMag.com.
For more information about purchasing a brick paver or limestone slab, contact Eileen Toney at (800) 456-8675 or email at email@example.com.