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All in a Rowe

Perkins Rowe in Baton Rouge

by by Reich Associates

All in a Rowe

Perkins Rowe, located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was redesigned by the city's landscape architecture firm, Reich Associates. The redeveloped streetscape is 8 miles from downtown Baton Rouge; 8 miles from Louisiana State University, and less than a mile from other retail centers, the Mall of Louisiana, and Interstate 10.
Photo credits: Lovetrolux Photography

Located within the city limits of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the 11-block streetscape of Perkins Rowe and its immediate surrounding area were underutilized before redevelopment, which was overseen by landscape architecture firm, Reich Associates. Located near the heart of a booming commercial center of south Baton Rouge and nearby upper middle-class residential neighborhoods, this development brought not only a fun and exciting new center for the city, but also a new travel destination for people who live in and around Baton Rouge. The specific location in the city allows for strong connections between major attractions in Baton Rouge and serves as a template for future live-work-play developments in the area.

The Whole Package
This intricately designed shopping-living-working environment is not just another street mall. It is a sophisticated new town center, complete with parks and green space. Town Square, the Courtyard, and the West Plaza green spaces are vital to the success of the street development. The parks and green spaces are the heart of this project and aid in keeping the multi-story buildings along the streetscape at a human scale. The parks and streetscape are also pet friendly, which encourages residency in the urban setting by allowing people to traverse the streets with their furry friends. Reich Associates, brought onto the project by a long-standing professional relationship with the developer, was responsible for coordinating all components of the project between the buildings including paving, site furnishings, lighting, way finding signage, and planting.

All in a Rowe

Aluminum bollards and matching planters line the street. The planters are filled with tiers of seasonal plantings, including boxwood, coleus and moss rose.

The site furnishings were chosen to reflect a more classical palette and include some ornate accents. The main goal was to provide user comfort and convenience. Specifically, the bollards reinforce the concept that Perkins Rowe is about the pedestrian experience, rather than the vehicular. The bollards provide pedestrian security to the everyday shopper and also allow children to run safely around the fountains and parks, without fear of the cars on the adjacent streets. It creates a safe environment within the urban experience. Additionally, some removeable bollards were specified to close down the streets for large events that have included arts festivals, concerts, and various other pop ups.

The rich granites, flagstones, and hardscape materials used throughout the project create a dynamic, formal theme within the energized streets of Perkins Rowe. The paving chosen for the streetscape is bluestone. The bluestone is a typical stone used the region and can be found throughout old Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The designers also used Pavestone pavers, which were chosen to provide a juxtaposition to the bluestone that also complimented the southern architecture.

All in a Rowe

Pavestone pavers line the streets on Perkins Rowe, with wide, clearly marked pedestrian crossing areas taking the focus off of cars. The planting materials used throughout the site help designate areas and street corners.

Tree-Lined Streets
Designers from Reich Associates field tagged live oaks from an existing golf course that was being converted into a multi-use development in Texas. These live oaks were transported and transplanted within Town Square before any hardscape or other site elements were constructed. The live oaks created the proportionally pleasing setting for Town Square's central fountain and provide shaded seating for the surrounding restaurants.

Magnolia Park, lined with stately magnolias, creates a more passive green space for seating, laying on the green lawn, or quiet respite. Palm trees were planted along Main Street for scale and proportion to the buildings. Each palm tree has a monitoring well to insure proper watering, drainage, and aeration. All the palms have colored up-lighting for enhanced seasonal color displays. Reich Associates wanted to reflect a southern palette with its plant choices, coordinating the colors, characters and textures of the hardy native plants.

All in a Rowe

The three and four top light fixtures offer a more ornamental punctuation to the park areas/major intersections and provide more light for increased pedestrian safety. The three and four tops are also closer to the ground, providing an enhanced pedestrian experience. The single top line the streets and are paired with wall sconces to provide adequate and safe vehicular and pedestrian circulation.

Fountains and Features
Perkins Rowe is home to four fountains, one in Magnolia Park, one in the Courtyard, a central fountain across from the movie theater and a fountain in the shape of a pelican. Fog machines were incorporated into the central fountain for additional special effects. The fountain feature at one end of Magnolia Park creates an enjoyable space for lunch or conversations. Reich Associates worked with the fountain designers for each water feature to match the aesthetic theme of the streetscape and chose the placement of each feature in each location along Perkins Rowe.

All in a Rowe

The cast bronze fountain in the Town Square area is lit at night with LED up lights placed around it in the panting beds.

All in a Rowe

During the bright days, a fog machine adds drama when lights will not show well.

The Town Square area's location directly across from the movie theater entrance allowed for several large outdoor display panels on the building fa????ade facing the park. Special effects for Town Square included projections of every sort for the panels, highlighting holiday seasons, special events, or people within the square and along the street.

All in a Rowe

The terra cotta planter pots are filled with aromatic plants including coleus and verbena to enhance the atmosphere.

While not directly part of the streetscape, Reich Associates also designed rooftop gardens for the residential units along the street, which not only create aesthetic plazas for tenants, but also insulate the buildings and reduce the heat exchange and surface temperatures. At the time of construction, the designers used cutting edge green roof technology and raised the bar for future developments in Baton Rouge. Reich Associates collaborated with other disciplines to ensure effective waterproofing, good drainage, irrigation, structural compatibility, and plant materials were used in the rooftop design.

All in a Rowe

The fountain located in the courtyard area of the streetscape is made of granite.

Reich Associates worked with consultants and the developer to determine the project requirements, philosophy, and intent. The main objective was to create something that Baton Rouge had never experienced before. Perkins Rowe is sophisticated in design and implementation, and the project has increased the area's quality of life and become a catalyst for many new developments in the surrounding area. Site accessibility was also a key component for the Landscape Architect, who provided for the safety and welfare of the public.

All in a Rowe

Washington palms line Perkins Rowe, providing a sense of perspective as well as some shade for pedestrians.

This development is unique in Baton Rouge for its use of playful and exciting landscaping and material choices in the live-work-play development. The Landscape Architect was the prime consultant in charge of completing the design development drawings, construction documents, construction observation, and approvals of all exterior areas for this phase of development. One of Reich Associates' goals in this project was to increase the public's awareness that the landscape architecture profession is valuable and vital in improving the image of the city and increasing public safety in new developments. The designers worked to make sure the specific design intentions were upheld and implemented successfully.

All in a Rowe

Team List
Landscape Architect - Reich Associates
Owner/Developer - J T S
Leasing - JTS Realty Services, LLC
Construction Management - Pavlik Development Services
Design Architect - Development Design Group Incorporated
Architect of Record (E) - Niles Bolton Associates, Inc
Architect of Record (B, C) - Cockfield-Jackson Architects
Architect of Record (A, D, F, G, M, N) - O'Brien & Associates, Inc.
MEP Engineer - R. H. George & Associates, Inc.
Structural Engineer - SCA Consulting Engineers
Lighting Consultant - Sardi Design, LLC
Civil Engineer - Benchmark Group, LLC

As seen in LASN magazine, August 2019.

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October 20, 2019, 12:06 am PDT

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