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[+] DOW GARDENS
LOCATION: MIDLAND, MI
AWARDS: 2012 AMERICAN SOCIETY OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS- MICHIGAN HONOR AWARD, 2012 NOMA CITATION AWARD, 2013 AMERICAN SOCIETY OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS- LOUISIANA
The 47 building site is the historic grounds of one of Herbert Dow’s original laboratories and office, and the long time location of The Dow Chemical Company’s World Headquarters. The location of the site relative to downtown Midland, the Tittabawasee River, Dow Chemical’s Michigan operations, and the new minor league baseball stadium, provides the opportunity to enhance the existing network of open spaces, while highlighting the distinct contributions made to the community and the world of chemical engineering.
The design develops the site as a passive, commemorative space that makes a statement about the Company’s heritage and legacy. Native granite boulders gradually emerge from the earth to form five walls leading to the bluff above the river. They symbolize the bond between chemistry and humanity. A pathway along the top of the bluff reveals five walls one at a time. Secondary paths frame diamond-shaped spaces to create an ‘Idea Garden’ where exhibits, events and displays can take place. Rows of fruit trees reflect Dow’s personal passion for orchards and horticulture, and plantings of pines recall the heritage of Midland and times when Dow would “walk through the pines” to solve problems and contemplate ideas.