The Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA
(2011 - Ongoing)

The Engineered Biosystems Building (EBB) and South-Central Sector Plans comprise a 100-acre area of Georgia Tech’s 400-acre campus. Catalyzed by two new building projects, the Sector Plans create a 100-acre landscape fabric that advances ambitious environmental sustainability goals while strengthening regional identity and quality of spaces for learning, working, and playing at the center of this urban campus. The Eco-Commons concept builds on the 2004 Georgia Tech Landscape Masterplan Update and functions as a connective armature of the Sector Plans. Numerous design strategies are proposed to restore ecological functionality to the landscape toward achievement of one of Georgia Tech’s highest priorities to reduce exported stormwater. NBW analyzed the natural history of the study area including hydrologic systems that have long been erased; patterns of development; and existing conditions such as current uses of exterior space, canopy cover, circulation patterns (pedestrian, bicycle, vehicular), and current stormwater conveyance systems. The synthesis of information from these analyses generated the design for the Sector Plans.

NBW worked in collaboration with Lake Flato Architects, and local landscape architects JB + A to create a landscape program that extended the forward looking design of the new LEED Platinum $113 million Georgia Tech’s Engineered Biosystems Building, stitching it seamlessly into the existing campus fabric, and taking advantage of its location within the Eco-Commons district. Dynamic spaces were designed throughout the landscape allowing for a variety of spaces accommodating different program, from small gatherings in the amphitheater, to shade and quiet study areas. A fountain at the entrance of the building also acts as an overflow and conveyance for stormwater collected in cisterns from foundation dewatering and building condensate. The watercourse runs along the north facade of the EBB building through dense native plantings and eventually feeds a wetland at Atlantic Promenade, sending water to a textured rill and then a meander through dense plantings connecting to the Eco-Commons. Native vegetation responds to the hydrology and topography of the site. 

Collaborators: Cooper Carry, jB+a - Landscape Architects, CMS Fountain Consultants, Rico Associates