University of Michigan, The Medical Center Courtyard

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Landscape Architecture category

The Medical Center Courtyard is the most important focal point of the University of Michigan Medical Center campus. Within the medical center area, the courtyard is an activity hub of several surrounding hospitals.

The Courtyard is a contained space defined by the University of Michigan Hospital to the north and east, and ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONFEATURED IN2000 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYLandscape Children’s Hospital, Holden Women’s Hospital and several smaller medical facilities to the south and west. Originally, the space consisted of a parking lot and a road that allowed access to fire and emergency vehicles. The university saw the opportunity to create a major space that would serve as an organizing element for the medical center and become a space for social congregation.

To achieve this goal, parking was relocated to the perimeter, and an access road was incorporated into the design to meet ADA and emergency accessibility. A combination of paved areas, seat walls and benches was used to create interaction space for children and adults. A centerpiece of the space and focal point for The Courtyard is an amphitheater, which takes advantage of the natural grade. Bold patterns provide visual interest when the amphitheater is viewed at the ground and upper levels of surrounding buildings.

Note: Area = 1 acre