Florida International University (FIU) Graduate School of Business
We had the wonderful experience of creating plaza spaces in between the separate portions of buildings that created the FIU Grad School of Business. Imagine a rectangle that has been put on a tilt. A sidewalk cut through the center of that space from the upper left to the lower right separating the space and building essentially into 2 spaces and 2 buildings. One of the open spaces in the center was treated as a shaded plaza. Grass was grown within the confines of the space while Royal Palms were planted in a series of rows to provide
shade. The other open space was treated as an open plaza. The grass surface provided a gathering space for the raised stage adjacent to the building. Along another side of that plaza, trees were planted to provide some shade along the perimeter where students would gather at tables and benches to grab a snack or get some reading done. Adjacent to the plaza spaces and within the raised gathering area pools, jets of water were added to shoot upwards from the pumps at the bottoms of the pools. Cascading waterfalls spilled water into the pools from periodic downspouts that protruded from the buildings’ walls. The entrance areas to the plaza space (at the corners mentioned above) were landscaped in colorful plant material including a specimen sized Royal Poinciana Tree in each corner. All green spaces were irrigated.
State School JJJ
School JJJ, also known as Hialeah Gardens High School was an excellent opportunity for us. We provided landscape and irrigation design services for the entire high school site which also included a 2 acre re-created wetlands area. The wetlands portion of the project was coordinated, in terms of plant material, with the Army Corps of Engineers. It provided a unique educational opportunity for the students (and faculty) at HGHS. We provided landscaping to address the school buildings while also providing “garden areas” adjacent to the buildings. Some of the garden areas were also located near entrance points to the buildings; they served as a welcome mat for the students, faculty, parents, and visitors. A shaded plaza, utilizing shade trees, was used as a design element
to join separate buildings together in a strong architectural statement. Open green areas were provided in between buildings
as a unifying element as well. The athletic fields, as well as green spaces away from the buildings, were on a separate pump/well irrigation system in order to reduce HGHS’s water bill. An irrigation system connecting to the City water meter watered the areas adjacent to the school buildings in order to eliminate the discoloration of iron in the pump/well water.