Bates Walk is illustrative of the transformative power of a thoughtful landscape in the American campus. Two iconic campus places, the Mount and the Pine Grove, existed beyond the ends of the proposed walk. Both of these wonderful places have handsome mixed groves of white pine and canoe birch. The idea was to use the canoe birch as a strong informal grove to visually link these two iconic spaces. The use of the single species served to replicate the boldness, simplicity, and grace of the original quadrangle of sugar maples. The Walk removed a remnant city street and parking lot, installed a major campus utility corridor, infiltrated storm water, tied into a new dining commons at its terminus, and united several other existing and new campus buildings around one simple long space: a modern Maine and campus landscape. Topographically, Bates Walk unites the upper historic quad on the south to the low-lying pond district on the north. Several secondary paths serve as these north-south connections. A new amphitheater/outdoor classroom marks the major crossing and grade change. The space today is the most vital on campus, and was achieved with the sparest of means. It has become a true crossroads where the realms of academic, civic, and social intersect.
DumontJanks team members led the development of the above project while employed by Sasaki Associates, Inc. DumontJanks is not associated with Sasaki.