FROM CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY:
Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Art today announced an innovative urban landscape project that will connect the western edge of the university’s main campus to its West Campus parcel, home of The Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center at The Temple – Tifereth Israel.
Stretching from the Tinkham Veale University Center through to East 101st Street, the Nord Family Greenway will include an event lawn, an amphitheater with sloped grass steps, a paved walkway and a cantilevered bridge and overlook of Doan Brook. Designed by Sasaki Associates, the 430,000-square-foot commons exemplifies the ideals of connection and community central to Case Western Reserve’s 2015 master plan.
Cleveland Museum of Art Director and President William M. Griswold said the project will beautifully complement the Fine Arts Garden designed by the Olmsted Brothers landscaping firm, which features both Wade Lagoon and the “Fountain of Waters” created by artist Chester Beach.
While other participants presented a range of impressive designs for bridges, Sasaki instead offered its bold greenway concept instead. Not only would the open space provide additional natural beauty to the area, Sasaki’s representatives explained, but it also would be less expensive to create and maintain—even as it served many more functions than an elevated walkway ever could.
"We challenged ourselves to establish a bold, yet responsible vision of a clear and continuous landscape structure—framing the site's significant architectural achievements and rehabilitating the historic landscape,” the firm said in a prepared statement. “We also set out to weave these broader ambitions with accessible and intuitive pedestrian circulation, new transitional gardens, and flexible civic-scale spaces that welcome a range of community activities."
The Boston-based firm drew on examples ranging from the iconic Lawn at the University of Virginia (UVA) to the historic Killian Court at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Each is home to annual commencement exercises as well as a range of less-formal activities. In 2014, the American Planning Association named the green at the heart of UVA’s Academical Village one of the nation’s 10 Great Public Spaces.