Grand Junction Plaza, also known simply as “The Junction,” is a modern hub of community and the central park for the City of Westfield, Ind. Bisected by the riparian corridor of Cool Creek, the park sits at the intersection of four trails, reinforcing feelings of centrality and the notion of people coming together with the landscape.
To create the ambiance and amenities fitting of the community destination, the Indianapolis-based landscape architecture firm David Rubin Land Collective developed an extensive design program for the site which includes a wintertime ice loop, a café, a play park, a water overlook, and a landform amphitheater and performance venue. Complementing the space are wall-integrated benches, a bar-height counter, and a terraced plaza edge.
Initially, the overflowing, unstable creek widened the project’s scope to include a full-scale revitalization, but David Rubin Land Collective was delighted by the opportunity. The firm chose to both revive Cool Creek and restore the community’s relationship with the waterside environment that had dwindled since the mid-19th century.
Central to rediscovering this identity is the Wetland Amphitheater, a flowing cascade of concrete and Ipe wood designed by David Rubin Land Collective and engineered and manufactured by Landscape Forms’ custom division, Studio 431. David A. Rubin, principal of David Rubin Land Collective, explains his firm’s design intent: "We found inspiration in Michelangelo's Laurentian Library steps, where he carved stone to resemble flowing water,” Rubin says. “In the amphitheater, we allowed wood to be described as cascading water, flowing down the steps to the creek itself.”
Achieved throughout Studio 431’s custom terraced plaza edges, the Wetland Amphitheater’s seating is a visual effect which Rubin describes as the "liquid expression of solid wood.” The Studio 431 team put the full force of their manufacturing expertise behind transforming the crisp edges of Ipe boards into smooth and continuous flows of warm wood throughout the park. "The language of the whole project was very conceptual and high-design,” Rubin continues. “Studio 431 allowed us to explore options that could be deployed strategically to complement and reinforce that language.”
For Studio 431 market specialist Mark Haase, the Grand Junction Plaza project was right in Studio 431’s wheelhouse, taking full advantage of the custom division’s unique ability to guide and consult on the front end, and then to adeptly navigate challenges during construction phases to execute an exacting design with excellence. "When you're working with the top echelon of landscape architecture firms, which David Rubin Land Collective is very much a part of, everyone is so detail-oriented and focused on the utmost quality of fit and finish,” Haase says. "These are great opportunities for Studio 431 to showcase their unique talents and help elevate already great designs to an even higher level.