UMass Southwest Concourse
Amherst, MA 2011
AWARDS
  • Society for College and University Planning
  • Honor Award of Excellence 2014
  • Boston Society of Landscape Architects
  • Award of Excellence for Design 2012
COLLABORATORS
  • SEA Consultants
  • Pine and Swallow Environmental
PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Charles Mayer
  • Stephen Stimson Associates

The Southwest Concourse revitalization project is a comprehensive renewal of the most densely populated area on the UMass Amherst campus. The project began as infrastructure replacement for an outdated area of housing on the flagship campus and grew into a complete renovation of the entire five-acre landscape, including the main pedestrian concourse, adjacent plazas, and related parking areas. Comprehensively, the paving to planting ratio on the site was completely inverted. The 70% of original impervious pavement was reduced to 40% hardscape in the re-design. The 30% of original planting and pervious space was expanded to 60%. The introduction of a highly visible stormwater system and associated bioswales, plazas and infiltration gardens had never been previously attempted on the campus, and pioneered the removal of over 25 catch basins and several hundred linear feet of sub-surface stormwater piping. The scale and diversity of native trees, shrubs, grasses and groundcovers takes design form and influence from the regional palette.