Campus Landscapes and the Student Experience
Some of the most influential and cherished settings on American college campuses are the outdoor spaces that stitch buildings together. How do successful landscapes come to be?
The Nord Family greenway is a new civic landscape, physically and visually connecting the University Circle district of Cleveland to the Hough and Upper Chester neighborhoods. This new connection engages various cultural landmarks as it passes through portions of Wade Park, the Fine Arts Garden and the Cleveland Museum of Art, and will serve as a main link between Case Western Reserve University’s main campus to its emerging west campus.
In the summer of 2013, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA), and The Cleveland Foundation (TCF) held a design competition for the space connecting CWRU’s main campus to its developing west campus. The area of interest included portions of Wade Park, the Fine Arts Garden, and CMA. Sasaki was selected as the winning design firm, and was engaged by the three institutions to further refine the design concept, initially called the “The Great Connector.”
Measuring 300-by-2,200 feet, the greenway extends west from CWRU’s core campus at East Boulevard, across the front yard of the museum and Rockefeller Park to the university’s Maltz Performing Arts Center at Temple-Tifereth Israel, located a half mile to the west at East 105th Street and Ansel Road. New open green spaces serve as a connector, but can also enjoyed as venues for recreation and repose.
Major investments and planned future investments within and around CWRU and CMA indicated that the time was right to consider a comprehensive vision for the Connector area. CMA completed a major expansion and renovation in December 2013 while CWRU completed construction on the Tinkham Veale University Center in August 2014 and the first phase of The Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center in September 2015. Future investment was planned for CWRU’s West Campus included the Cleveland Clinic-CWRU Health Education Campus, which opened in the fall of 2019.
The Nord Family Greenway is a major component of CWRU’s 2015 Master Plan vision and also responds to the goals of area stakeholders, including the City of Cleveland, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, University Circle Inc., and Holden Parks Trust. The Nord Family Greenway is designed to be a world-class civic space in the heart of University Circle that links the historic Hough neighborhood to the west, and positively impacts the social aspects of the city, the economy, and the environment.
Sasaki won the project competition by showing that a simple rectangle of new landscape could unite its campus, the art museum, and the temple in a new spatial composition that invites surrounding communities to access the cultural heart of Cleveland.
For more information contact Andrew Gutterman.