05-19-23 | News

Messiah University Campus Commons, Mechanicsburg, PA

Submission by Derck & Edson
by Staff

The very center of the Messiah University campus was a confluence of students, staff, and visitors - existing with, and sometimes competing with, vehicular traffic on a prominent loop road with adjacent angled parking and parking lots.
As part of the master plan for the campus and in conjunction with the campus community, Derck & Edson reformulated the entire zone, creating plans for two simultateous projects - building a new campus welcome center that embraces a new pedestrian-only zone in the campus core, now known as the Commons. Now, where roads and parking once dominated, a central green space, trees, and barrier-free pedestrian walkways are the focus.
The landscape treatment is in line with the previously completed plant palette for the campus and includes low maintenance materials with concentrations of color at all building entries. The expanse of lawn is important for recreational and social components of the space.

Concrete walks follow the hierarchy for campus walkways in terms of width, thickness, and
scoring. Fiber reinforcement in lieu of welded wire reinforcement helps prevent spalling and enhances the integrity of the concrete, given winter conditions and treatments. It also provides added strength needed to accommodate emergency and maintenance vehicles.
Main entrances to all the buildings that ring the Commons are enhanced with pavers and, as mentioned above, refined landscape treatment. A custom granite seal with the University logo is a key feature at the top of the Commons and the main entrance to the Welcome Center.
The entire Commons is further enhanced by new site furnishings (benches, trash receptacles, and lighting) that follow the standards set for the overall campus.

The upcoming School & Campus Design Issue of Landscape Architect and Specifier News saw many firms submit their projects for feature consideration. This project was not chosen for a Feature in the issue, but we at thought the project deserved to be showcased online . . .

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