WPI Quad & Wedge Terrace win AIA CM Merit Award

Halvorson Design and Worcester Polytechnic Institute received the 2018 AIA Central Massachusetts Merit Award for the WPI Quad and Wedge Dining Terrace. These transformative projects were the first projects implemented in the conceptual framework plan also developed by Halvorson Design.

 Campus Quad and Dining Wedge Site Plan

Campus Quad and Dining Wedge Site Plan

 The goal was to re-establish the Quad as a hub for student activity. (Photo by Ed Wonsek)

The goal was to re-establish the Quad as a hub for student activity. (Photo by Ed Wonsek)

WPI’s Quad has always served as the center of its campus. Unfortunately, vehicular traffic and years of over-compaction had made it more of a mud bowl and less of an inviting green space. With parking and vehicular traffic relocated to a new below-deck garage on the perimeter of campus, space was made available to create a new campus green. WPI engaged Halvorson Design to create an accessible, student-friendly open green space that could be used for programmed and informal events and provide connectivity between campus buildings.

 The open green space was preserved with new walkways integrated to improve circulation. (Photo by Ed Wonsek)

The open green space was preserved with new walkways integrated to improve circulation. (Photo by Ed Wonsek)

Historically, the Quad suffered from ponding, severe compaction and poor soil. A complete renovation of the existing topsoil was recommended and a sub-surface drainage system introduced to substantially reduce the problem, allowing for a more usable space.

 The Wedge Dining Terrace incorporates accessibility seamlessly into the design. (Photo by Ed Wonsek)

The Wedge Dining Terrace incorporates accessibility seamlessly into the design. (Photo by Ed Wonsek)

The design team incorporated a creative mix of paving types, wall materials and surfaces, seating arrangements and styles, decorative and security-minded lighting and native tree and shrub plantings. An expanded high-use lawn area, new engraved brick paths offering fundraising opportunities, large caliper White Oaks that mimic the crimson school colors in the fall, solar powered lights, and multiple seating options at the Wedge Dining Terrace are just some of the highlights of the redesigned Quadrangle.

 WPI’s colors of crimson and gray are reflected in the brick walkways. (Photo by Ed Wonsek)

WPI’s colors of crimson and gray are reflected in the brick walkways. (Photo by Ed Wonsek)

 A variety of seating options on the Wedge accommodate multiple group activities. (Photo by Ed Wonsek)

A variety of seating options on the Wedge accommodate multiple group activities. (Photo by Ed Wonsek)

Since opening, the Wedge has become a new active space and the redesigned Quad has been re-established as a center for student activity. The area was transformed from a once vehicular-dominated, tired space to a welcoming campus green suitable for a variety of educational and recreational activities.

 The Wedge provides a welcoming entry to Morgan Hall with terraced seating to engage with the Quad. (Photo by Ed Wonsek)

The Wedge provides a welcoming entry to Morgan Hall with terraced seating to engage with the Quad. (Photo by Ed Wonsek)

 Amphitheater seating at the Wedge serves as a popular gathering space overlooking the active campus green. (Photo by Ed Wonsek)

Amphitheater seating at the Wedge serves as a popular gathering space overlooking the active campus green. (Photo by Ed Wonsek)

 Red accent lighting adds vibrancy and extended use to the Terrace. (Photo by Ed Wonsek)

Red accent lighting adds vibrancy and extended use to the Terrace. (Photo by Ed Wonsek)