Red Pole Park & Ford Credit Motor Company Courtyard Receive Michigan ASLA Awards
HED is pleased to share that the Red Pole Park project and the Ford Credit Courtyard have each received a Design Merit Award from the Michigan Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).
Red Pole Park
As part of a new pedestrian and bike path, the Red Pole Park is the first in a series of “landscape moments,” or outdoor rooms, that heighten both the pedestrian experience and driver awareness of the path. An environmental art piece that is visible from the adjacent freeway as well as the pathway, Red Pole Park is a Placemaking feature that has created a buzz for the City. It is experienced from within the artwork, from freeway passersby, and from building viewpoints. The design concept was to metaphorically represent the people of the city standing side by side. The bright red color was selected as a symbol of strength and the color of energy, love and passion, that inspires citizens to action as well as being high-visibility. This project is significant in that it demonstrates the breadth of influence that landscape architecture can provide for community vitality and it shows how unique, environmentally-scaled art can enhance awareness and Placemaking to change perceptions of a walkable city.
Video property of Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Ford Credit Motor Company Courtyard
Envisioned as an accessible outdoor space that would be comfortable for both small, intimate groups at lunch or large gatherings such as company-wide picnics, the Ford Credit Motor Company Courtyard project sought to transform inaccessible space into visually and physically accessible and inviting space for employees to engage and congregate. The design concept sought to juxtapose the strict orthogonal shape of the courtyard and flanking office spaces with a space that was completely different for maximum contrast. Soft, curvilinear areas of pavement interplay with lush vegetation and landform that provides a radical contrast from the former grass “desert”. A main space was created for the larger, programmed event gatherings. This main space is a simple, circular form with a part of the circle completed by a mass planting of perennials combined with Spring-flowering bulbs. Adjacent to the center space are smaller lobes of pavement for more intimate seating. Near which HED designed abruptly rising landforms and planted them lushly with perennials, ornamental grasses and understory trees - the effect creates spaces that are comfortable to sit in and provide 4 seasons of interest from perimeter views. Pollinators such as butterflies and honeybees are suddenly prevalent where few visited the space before. The courtyard conversion has been very popular with staff and has received robust use.
Formerly an inaccessible, forlorn grass “desert,” the courtyard is converted to a lush outdoor gathering space at the Ford Credit Courtyard - important because it shows how creative design, lush plant palette and bold landforming can create delightful spaces that draw people outdoors and enhance views from within.