Eda U. Gerstacker Grove

University of Michigan

University of Michigan College of Engineering North Campus

Project Designer: Stoss
Scott Bishop as Principal in Charge

Mannik Smith Group


The Eda U. Gerstacker Grove project will significantly bring more vitality and activity within the North Campus core, offer more opportunities for interaction and improve the quality of this outdoor space. Covering approximately four acres, the project includes creating a new central plaza that can serve as an informal amphitheater, new walkways, integrated seating throughout, additional trees, improved lighting, and electric and water infrastructure to support outdoor activities, events, and displays.

This project exemplifies how a client that is interested in sustainability and ecology can support goals and interests far beyond those required by law or performance standard. 

The unique features that are created called the "Infiltration Gardens" can infiltrate all of the rainwater up to a hundred year storm on site and support a unique planting pallet dominated by bald cypress trees that can both tolerate dry and wet conditions. They also host custom design light wands that interact and respond to various climatic stimuli. Over 200 new trees will be planted to create a new hardwood forest in the heart of the campus. Custom pre-cast seat walls and curbs fluctuate throughout the space and crescendo into metal ribbed high back seating to create social clusters. The plaza area draws people into the space where they can interact within this signature open space for the North Campus.