Keene State Science Center Courtyard

Dirtworks PC: The advancement of the natural sciences is at the forefront of Keene State College’s academic agenda. The redesign of the natural sciences building enclosed an 8,500 sq. ft. courtyard and provided an opportunity to promote education through the landscape. The design team worked to capture the essential character of the New Hampshire landscape and distill it into an idealized snapshot of the state, creating a model outdoor field laboratory to generate geological, botanical, and ecological awareness for the college and community. Dirtworks worked closely with the faculty to develop elements for use in teaching. Paving patterns and materials illustrate geologic strata and processes with native stone types. Large boulders, representing rock outcrops, provide opportunities to study natural rock formations. The plant palette was carefully selected to represent native New Hampshire flora, the systematic hierarchy of botany, and botanical evolution. Two wells allow for monitoring water quality and groundwater levels. While closely linked to the academic curriculum, the courtyard also offers a convivial setting for relaxation and inspiration.

Landscape Architect: Dirtworks PC
Location: Keene State College Science Center, Appian Way, Keene, NH 03431
Client: Keene State College
Type: Higher Education
Courtyard Size: 8500 SF = 790m2
Architect of Record: Banwell Architects
Design Architect: Mitchell Giurgola
Design: 2003
Completed: 2005
Awards: 2007 ASLANY Honor Award, 2011 BSLA Honor Award, 2007 SCUP Honor Award

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