The one-acre green roof facilitates access to and from the upper levels of both buildings, including the Science Center and Graduate Student Housing, providing an intimate green space for students and visually integrating the new complex into the campus. Two curvilinear paths stretch between three roof levels while an oval garden provides an intimate space separated from foot traffic, ideal for relaxing and horticultural exploration.
In addition to providing much-needed open space to the campus, the green roof provides an insulating layer that helps to keep heat in the garage and maintain a summer temperature 13 degrees cooler than the ground level. Lawn, shade trees, and ornamental grasses and shrubs adjacent to the glass wall of the Behrakis Health Science Center not only reduce glare but also boost the building’s energy efficiency, lowering the building’s overall operating costs. Lush plantings and lawn provide both monetary and aesthetic benefits as well as a substantial reduction of stormwater run-off.
Home to the Northeastern University Law School and located in the center of the campus, Dockser Hall received a complete renovation in 2009. The University had a goal of achieving LEED certification with the new construction, and with an appealing and thoughtfully designed landscape that helped the project achieve a Gold rating from the LEED-governing US Green Building Council (USGBC).
The landscape utilized attractive, low maintenance plantings that require minimal watering. That, combined with a drip irrigation system in the lawn keeps water use to a minimum. Two large existing trees were protected during construction and continue to provide shade within the park. Site drainage was designed to keep all of the water from the site within the project area, and lighting was installed to reduce off-site light pollution. Additionally, a light colored paver was used to accent the campus standard brick paving and to help reduce heat absorption in the landscape.
Spatially, the new building layout provided the opportunity for a larger gathering space near the main entrance. A granite seat wall provides seating and defines the sidewalk edge near the entrance. An inviting, shaded seating area with several tables near the rear of the building is ideal for lunch or a quick rest while walking through campus. The resulting park-like landscape, while environmentally designed, blends well with the existing campus vernacular.
Gordon Tribute to Engineering
Northeastern University Facilities developed a monument to honor Bernard Marshall Gordon, a lifelong inventor. Mr. Gordon has created items such as the high-speed analog-to-digital converter, instant imaging computer-aided tomography scanner and Doppler radar. He has been a loyal supporter of Northeastern University and recently donated a gift to establish The Bernard M. Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems within the College of Engineering. Northeastern designed a tribute on campus that embraced Mr. Gordon’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. Northeastern decided that a portal, showcasing 10 world renowned engineers throughout society would be an excellent tribute to Mr. Gordon. Northeastern facilities developed the Portal, which is 12’ tall rectangular archway with a motion activated video display. Once a viewer passes through the portal, the LED display becomes active with moving patterns and a video display providing information on each engineer. The portal was sited adjacent to the entrance of Snell Engineering Center in a newly paved plaza. Landscape enhancements included: a complex pavement design drawing from symbols found in the scientific world, new planting, contemporary seating, and lighting elements.
Northeastern University Facilities designed a park that introduces visitors to the Northeastern campus by ensuring that the first steps evoke the contemplative atmosphere they seek for learning. An industry survey found that college-bound students make their decision to attend a college or university within the first minute of arriving on campus. This critical need to make a strong first impression has been resolved with the Sculpture Park. In 1997, prospective students and their parents followed a road map to the campus parking garage, crossed a footbridge over the commuter rail and at the end of the bridge they gained their first view of the Northeastern campus through the Sculpture Park. The park is a well-maintained, relaxed landscape with a curvilinear path extending past the student center and the main library to the center of campus. Sculptures are placed close to bright, curving walkways and on the banks of a brook that empties into a lagoon with a waterfall. Seating opportunities and lawn areas allow students to enjoy the sculpture while they study or relax between classes.
The Northeastern University Veterans Memorial, dedicated on Veterans Day, November 11, 2006, honors the memory of those soldiers, students of Northeastern, who lost their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the current conflict in Iraq. The Memorial provides a place for contemplation, reflection and remembrance. The project’s significance lies in its ability to make a seamless transition between public and private outdoor space that is both ceremonial and intimate in nature. Three parallel elements co-exist to organize the site including: a contemplative garden which honors the fallen soldiers, a public plaza for ceremonial events, and a black granite wall with poignant images of each conflict.Plant material was selected to highlight and strengthen these spaces and provide seasonal interest in a highly visible location.The Veterans Memorial received a Merit Award in Memorial Design from the Boston Society of Landscape Architects in 2008.