Eda U. Gerstacker Grove 

 

Eda U. Gerstacker Grove is a renovation of an underutilized campus quad at the heart of the University of Michigan’s North Campus, home to the Colleges of Engineering, Art, and Architecture. As such, the space is intended to activate and better serve the students and faculty within these disciplines, but also appeal to a broader range of students as the heart of student social life on the University’s 21st century-focused expansion campus.

The Grove is a lush and active space that can accommodate a range of rotating performances, events, and everyday activities. It was conceived as a flexible green quad, with clearings in an elegant grove that can host larger-scale activities like musical and arts performances, student and alumni events, and casual play or recreation. 

Designed to amplify daily and seasonal change, the space brings to life different parts of the quad in warmer and cooler months and hosts a series of changing installations by engineering and architecture students that combine interests in technology, design, and play. Formally, the plaza paving is an expressive feature that in actuality was conceived as a cost-saving measure. With little budget for high-end pavers, the design team utilized pour in place concrete and the required expansion joints in an innovative pattern, creating a truly unique look and feel.

Timeline

2013—2015

Status

Built

Size

4 acres

client

University of Michigan

location

Ann Arbor, MI

TEAM

Stoss Landscape Urbanism
Mannik Smith Group
Illuminart

Infiltration+Garden_night_purple.jpg

Infiltration gardens planted with bald cypress trees and ferns collect rainwater on site while a weather station reads rainfall, temperature, and other data illuminating over 100 acrylic rods with vibrant LEDs to create a sparkling dance of color and light.