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IU wraps up landscape project at Owen Hall, finishing work on Student Building

Mar. 5, 2015

The ground may be covered in snow now, but once spring has sprung, faculty, staff and students will have two newly renovated areas outside Owen Hall to enjoy IU Bloomington’s campus view.

Work on both the north and south sides of Owen Hall is now complete. The projects originated from a class design project in the College of Arts and Sciences. The south side of the building was completed at the end of the fall semester and is intended to “bookend the Old Crescent and complement the Sample Gates.”

Owen Hall

Faculty, staff and students will soon be able to enjoy two newly renovated areas outside Owen Hall. | Photo By Chaz Mottinger, IU Communications

“It creates a gracious entry to Owen Hall and ties into the surrounding landscape,” said Mark Ramsey, director of landscape architecture at IU. “The defining element of the space is the limestone wall and bench with engraved text reflecting the mission statement of the school.”

The north side of Owen Hall was completed in February, and creates a direct connection from the north entry of Owen Hall to the IMU, as well as improved accessibility to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Limestone walls were used to retain the slope and create a terrace space, according to Ramsey, with inlayed stainless steel text included in the limestone paving. Mature shade trees were protected to provide a canopy over the seating areas, and tables and chairs along with plants will be installed in the spring.

Student Building project

Work on the outside area of the Student Building north plaza will continue in April. Improvements will include the addition of limestone walls, brick paving, arching steps, limestone balustrades, and tables and chairs.

The project will clean up what was used as a service area on the backside of the building, according to Ramsey, and will provide building access compatible with ADA guidelines at three locations. 

Ramsey said the concept for the project came about two years ago during the design and construction of the Room 015 Collaborative Lab. The new outdoor area provides a direct link to the classroom space, and functions as a perch overlooking Dunn Meadow and the Jordan River. 

“The space will be ideal for outdoor study opportunities and classroom breakout space, and it will provide an opportunity for relaxing and enjoying the iconic Bloomington campus environment,” Ramsey said. “We were able to transform a dumpster access area and loosely defined parking lot into a much higher use in one of the most desirable parts of campus.”

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