South Bend, Indiana
Trammell Crow Company, Urban Design Group
Wolff Landscape Architecture, Inc. worked closely with the architect, Urban Design Group, in the conceptual design phase of the project to develop an overall urban design plan for this complex of three buildings in downtown South Bend. The three buildings include a speculative office building, a medical clinic and its associated health club and offices, and a parking structure.
The goals of the urban design plan included establishment of project identity from the street, development of a distinctive character in the South Bend office market, and development of a central courtyard, separated from the street, that could be used for sitting, lunch, and small events by tenants, guests, and other visitors from South Bend’s downtown.
The courtyard is built above a parking structure, which limited the depth and weight of soil that could be used for landscaping. The response to this site constraint is a “hardscape” solution. Large piers establish project identity along the street frontage; within the courtyard, these piers are transformed into smaller piers and light fixtures that define the pedestrian walkway and seating areas. A circular pergola structure acts as a focus at the far end of the courtyard, and acts as a “knuckle” that resolves two pathways entering the courtyard at right angles from adjacent streets. Benches with raised backs are equal in height to the height required for planters, and disguise the fact that all landscaping is raised above the parking structure below. Work was completed in 1999.