Woolpert was awarded a Landscape Architecture and Community Planning Merit Award by the Cincinnati Design Awards program for its University of Cincinnati (UC) Main Street North Plaza project. The award was announced via YouTube during the CDA24@Home event.

The Main Street North Plaza serves as the hub at the center of UC’s main campus, connecting Main Street to the university’s new College of Business. Woolpert provided structural engineering for the College of Business and provided planning, design and landscape architecture, as well as civil, electrical and structural engineering for the plaza.

At the CDA event, Woolpert was lauded for seamlessly integrating the plaza into the Main Street landscape, enhancing safety and promoting functionality. The design includes clearly defined pathways that complement the campus aesthetic, relocating a bus stop and removing a pedestrian barrier, and installing innovative bioswale rain gardens to support stormwater management and the environment.

Kim Way of the American Society of Landscape Architects announced Woolpert’s award at the event. He shared feedback from the CDA jury that included noting how “the project does an elegant job of mitigating many levels and changes, allowing the user to navigate those changes in an effortless way. As one jury member said, ‘You would not have to make a decision. You can just glide and enjoy.’”

Way also shared that the judges were impressed by how the project tied together several elements of the UC Master Plan, including the proper completion of the landscape concept created by George Hargreaves and the university’s sustainability strategy.

Woolpert Senior Landscape Architect Bruce Rankin said this project was a well executed, interdisciplinary team effort from landscape architects and engineers throughout the firm. He said he and the team are honored by this award and by the kind words from the CDA jury.

“From the LA and placemaking perspective, it is wonderful to hear what the jury shared about the ease of gliding through the plaza without needing to make a decision. That was an important objective of the university and of our design team,” Rankin said. “I also appreciated that they used the word ‘elegant,’ since that was another objective of our design. Our goal was to resolve this complex site and engage green infrastructure, while keeping the artistry of the design at the forefront. We are pleased with how it all came together and with how well it’s serving the university today.”

Click here for a full slideshow of the project.