MNLA has completed the development of a 20-year Landscape Master Plan for Smith College, a private women's liberal arts college.
This master plan will guide the evolution of Smith’s outdoor campus landscape to meet current and future challenges while manifesting the College’s values, educational goals and strategic priorities. The 2020 Landscape Master Plan establishes an overarching philosophy for the landscape by recalibrating the relationship between humans and their environment, grounded by four foundational landscape themes: inclusive, adaptive, educational, and connected.
The Smith College campus is comprised of three distinct districts, River, Core and Town, each with its own distinct character and shaped by unique history, locality, ecology, and cultural influences. The landscape master plan seeks to accentuate what is most important about each district, while maintaining a cohesive campus feel.
Four landscape systems form a matrix within the campus and connect it to its regional context. Circulation, land cover, hydrology, and cultural systems are the mutually dependent networks that ground the Smith campus landscape.
The Landscape Master Plan values performance of the landscape over a particular aesthetic. Implementation Guidelines were developed to provide a methodology to achieve an inclusive, adaptive, educational, and connected campus landscape.
Following the completion of the Implementation Plan, several projects were developed to a detailed level. Pilot projects can be implemented quickly to demonstrate and test transformation of spaces that herald longer-term initiatives, while priority projects invest in the future of the campus landscape by implementing meaningful projects that address multiple guiding principles of the Landscape Master Plan.
MNLA provided opportunities for the Smith community to express their thoughts during each step in this process through robust on-campus engagement sessions, interactive student projects, and Groundswell Magazine, an innovative online resource designed and implemented by MNLA. It has been used to both inform the community and alumnae of the project’s development and to collect their feedback and comments.