Bowie State University Center for Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Nursing
The assignment read like this: Create a landscape that would both complement the new STEM facility and attract students to live on campus. Bowie State, an historically black university, also had the goal of tapping into the African heritage of its students and so we incorporated African elements into the Maryland campus as well.
To address the university’s vision, we looked to science and geometry.
The team drew inspiration from the Fibonacci Sequence, a repeating geometric pattern found in nature and, as synchronicity would have it, woven African baskets, pulling the curriculum into the landscape.
Using the patterns on tiles encouraged discussion of nature’s breathtaking mystery outside the classroom. And more conversations continued around the Fibonacci-inspired bench installations—quickly adopted as a vibrant meeting spot.
In the end, Bowie’s sweeping landscape design, also by our firm, now pulls together student organizations and the new campus building—energizing the outdoor space with social activity.
Bulldogs fly the gold and black as their official college colors. So to stay on-theme, we planted yellow and black flowering plants into the acres of green. Think golden rod and black-eyed Susans with touches of purple foliage throughout.
The backdrop greens are loaded with thousands of native perennials, shrubs, and trees. Rushes and grasses also feature prominently given the plant life has to handle both wet and dry conditions of the Chesapeake and surrounding estuary.
When taking in a new outdoor space, one professor commented, “This will be perfect for outdoor classes.” Our thoughts exactly.
Sam Qaimmaqami, OSCR Planning & Construction, Facilities Management, University of Maryland