Smart Museum Courtyard
Seeking to animate the existing public courtyard of the Smart Museum at the University of Chicago, UrbanLab and Chandra Goldsmith Landscape Architect designed a public landscape to foster social interactivity and collective life. What was once an under-utilized entranceway to the museum is now a unique asset and a vibrant place for students and the public in the heart of the university. Much of the previous ground materials were removed to make room for a more varied palette of indigenous grasses, assorted native vegetated ground cover, and permeable stonescapes and hardscape. One of the ground covers is three dimensional – a five-foot high hill, which serves as a space for outdoor learning, lounging, sun bathing and playing. Movable tables and seating allows users to interact with the space. The new landscape attracts students, staff, and visitors year-round to an array of exterior programs and events.