Sculpture Garden Courtyard at the Smart Museum
University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Seeking to animate the existing public courtyard of the Smart Museum, UrbanLab and Chandra Goldsmith Landscape Architect proposed a public landscape of varying surface “patches” that attract and support multiple public programs and ambiances. New spaces encourage interactivity and create vibrant centers of collective life. Portions of the existing paving were removed to make room for a more varied palette of indigenous grasses and assorted native permeable ground cover. One of the patches is three dimensional -- it is a five foot high hill to be used for a café, outdoor classes, lounging, sun bathing and playing. The new quilted patch landscape attracts students, staff, and visitors year-round to an array of exterior programs and events. The sculpture garden is home to contemporary sculptures by notable American and European artists Scott Burton, Jene Highstein, Richard Hunt, Louise Nevelson, and Arnaldo Pomodoro, as well as an annual Threshold art banner installation.