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Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens

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Emily Knox
Landscape Architecture
Master 1
Katherine Bennett
LARCH 6920
Spring 2016

This project attempted to incorporate a variety of early form-finding exercises into the context of Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Garden, on OSU’s campus. It also attempted to make a political statement about climate change. The site was dual-function: bus stop (campus hub) and arboretum. The final design spoke to both of those uses, by providing pathways to and from the bus stop to academic buildings, as well as providing space to incorporate the mission of a learning garden/arboretum. An existing grid of test plots was pulled across the larger site, interrupted by pathways that pulled and pushed the test plots along the x, y and z axis. This created an interesting set of small scale micro – experiences, each unique, that dictated planting choices and varied the user experience across the site. By extruding the test plots to various levels, a series of individual microclimates were formed. These were intentionally planted with species typically found in northern climates, but that have recently begun acclimating to warmer climates and migrating south as a result of climate change. The interruption of the test plots and plant species among the otherwise typical (existing) test plots (currently used by students and faculty of the agricultural campus to test perennials) call the political background of the project to the attention of the user, as well as invites the users of the site to join the climate change conversation. It provides an interesting planting scheme to satisfy the needs of a learning garden, as well as allows for multiple types of movement across the site (students and visitors).

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