A Noteworthy Mixed-use Center Is Rising
Along the banks of the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a noteworthy mixed-use center is rising, with its starting point at what was once an abandoned dock. The site was purchased by Commercial Properties Realty Trust, a branch of a local philanthropic foundation that invests in well-intentioned developments in the community.
The plans call for centers of retail, commercial, government, and residential activity to coexist in environmentally-sustainable surroundings - collectively known as The Water Campus.
Reich Associates, the oldest landscape architecture firm in Louisiana, was hired to design the project's landscape and streetscape as part of a larger team led by the urban planning firms of Dover, Kohl, & Partners, Urban Design Associates and Stantec, and the architectural firms of Coleman Partners Architects LLC, Perkins + Will Architects, and Antunovich Associates.
The first phase of development is complete and includes 1200 Brickyard Lane, a commercial/retail building, flanked by 200 Water Street, a residential complex. Between the two is a green area that offers a respite to office tenants, residents, and visitors.
A Place to Relax
Main Square Park, nestled in between CPRA, the LSU River Model Complex, 200 Water Street Residences and the 1200 Brickyard building is one of what will be a series of public gathering places at The Water Campus to foster flexible open space. In this way, it also acts as a front door to the 200 Water Street loft apartments and looks across to the 1200 Brickyard Lane office building.
With the wide variety of entities adjacent to the park, the design needed to be flexible and allow for a variety of programming activities. This includes a tree bosque with caf?(C) style tables and chairs that will allow for shaded meeting places or a quiet space to pull up a chair.
The Signature Feature
A sparkling ribbon of water runs almost the length of the park thanks to a custom-milled, granite fountain that separates the park from the pedestrian sidewalk adjacent to Brickyard Lane.
The fountain's design is inspired by the Mississippi River and its many twists, turns, and undulations that the river organically created throughout time while forming much of Louisiana.