Inspired by the natural history and landscape of Western New York, the project applies a regional landscape vernacular to a modern academic campus. This connection of regional geology and ecology is symbolic of the interaction of different fields of study at the University, and is highlighted by the project’s integration into the existing campus fabric.
The Science Walkway and Courtyard strengthen the sense of place at SUNY Fredonia by connecting the Science Center to the surrounding campus and larger regional landscape. Built on a former parking lot, the courtyard expands the classroom experience outdoors by engaging students with native plant and geologic materials. Rich in regional meaning and adaptable for multiple uses, the courtyard promotes social interaction among students and meets University program needs, such as providing space for social events. The courtyard also contains nooks and smaller intimate spaces for studying, quiet reflection, and socializing. The Science Walk strengthens the campus community by transforming Science Drive into a new pedestrian corridor, and interfaces with the existing Modernist campus fabric by injecting a new energy to the southeast corner of campus. Throughout the project, bands of native stone and exposed aggregate concrete illustrate geologic strata of Western New York. Dirtworks’ services also included the careful introduction of new walkways and a tree revitalization program for the campus quad designed by Landscape Architect Dan Kiley. The project is currently under construction, and is seeking a LEED Silver rating.
architect: Mitchell | Giurgola Architects