The academic campus of Simmons College consisted of a ring of buildings with a parking lot at the center until the construction of the new School of Management allowed the parking to be placed underground and offered the opportunity for the College to develop an organizing landscape plan. CSS developed the Landscape Master Plan while construction of the building and underground garage were in progress, working with the constraints already established by the height of the garage roof and its loading capacity.
The Master Plan was developed through a series of meetings and presentations to the Design Committee and the College President, using workshops and questionnaires to generate feedback and solicit ideas. The Plan features a central raised Green, centered on the classically-designed Main College Building. A stepped “amphitheater” negotiates the steepest grade change on the site, culminating in an enlarged plaza at the entrance to the Library. Raised gardens containing secondary pathways and intimate seating areas are located on the side of the quadrangle that receives the greatest range of sun cover. Gardens for the use of the Science faculty and students are located beside the Science Building. CSS developed final design plans for Phase One of the Master Plan, and construction of this Phase was recently completed.
CSS is currently working with NBBJ on a landscape programming plan for both the Academic and Residential campuses.