September 14, 2012
The landscape for the Husky Union Building has been designed with the ambition to be a living, breathing system that provides a venue for students to interact, govern, eat or play.
Landscape construction is still under way, but here are a few of its planned features, according to landscape architect Gustafson Guthrie Nichol:
• Water collection is maximized. Site topography and a shallow hardpan layer below grade support the water’s natural collection and movement. Water is also collected from adjacent hardscape surfaces and directed to planting beds. Soils have been amended or imported to enhance water absorption.
• Biofiltration cleanses site water. A biofiltration swale along Stevens Way collects building and site runoff. The swale is prominently placed along the building’s east side, enabling students to regularly experience it as they dine nearby, enter or exit the building, wait for the bus or walk by it as they move between buildings along Stevens Way.
• Flexible event spaces reinforced. Spaces are designed, reclaimed or reinforced to fortify the HUB’s job as the primary meeting place on campus for special events like concerts, rallies, banquets, job fairs, student orientation and other student functions.
• Outdoor gathering spaces become an integral part of daily life. A variety of gathering spaces, seating areas and viewing perches are integrated throughout the landscape for quiet contemplation, studying, meeting friends, eating, performing, informal sports or watching others.
• A four-season landscape. The HUB planting will provide seasonal interest year-round to provide variety and appeal as well as to reinforce the fact that the landscape is working hard all year, just like the students are.