Eda U. Gerstacker Grove

University of Michigan

As Associate Principal at Stoss, Scott Bishop led the Eda U. Gerstacker Grove project to bring increased usability and significant vitality to the North Campus core, through offering more opportunities for interaction and improving the overall quality of this outdoor space. Covering approximately four acres, the project includes a new central plaza that has the ability to serve as an informal amphitheater, new walkways, custom integrated seating throughout, many additional trees, improved lighting, and electric and water infrastructure to support outdoor activities, events, and displays.

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

The infiltration gardens form a distinctive design feature, created exclusively for the Grove, that not only have an innovative design, but are capable of infiltrating rainwater on site, up to a hundred year storm event while supporting the noteworthy planting palette dominated by bald cypress trees tolerant of both wet and dry conditions. The infiltration gardens host bespoke light wands designed to interact and respond to various climatic cues. Over 200 new trees were planted to create a 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 is designed to draw people in, where they can interact in this signature open space for the North Campus.