2017 PA/DE American Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award Winner

The Child Care Center at Hort Woods, the first LEED® Platinum-certified building anywhere in the Pennsylvania State University system, was recently announced as the Merit Award winner by the Pennsylvania-Delaware Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Located on the beautiful grounds of the University Park Campus, the project reflects the University’s understanding that interaction with nature is essential to children’s well-being and development. Located at an important campus gateway and creating a new edge to Hort Woods, the award-winning project is carefully integrated into the natural setting using native plants, rainwater harvesting, and a natural ventilation system. The project also showcases the use of locally salvaged stone, bricks and boulders and required an extremely high degree of sensitivity to the existing specimen trees on site. This award recognizes excellence in site design and especially the natural play area which is seamlessly integrated into the woods. The custom play equipment was designed by studioMLA’s landscape/playscape team.

The result of the highly collaborative and integrated design approach is an environment where children are exploring the world outside and connecting the inside and outside in a more natural and healthy way. Pashek + MTR, studioMLA Architects, and Robin Moore/Natural Learning Initiative worked together to design an award-winning natural play environment. Hats off to the entire team!

Design Team 
Landscape Architecture Firm: Pashek + MTR. Ltd.
Architect/Project Lead: studioMLA Architects
Nature Play Consultant: Robin Moore/Natural Learning Initiative
Civil Engineer: Sweetland Engineering
MEP Engineer: Reese Engineering

Owner Team – The Pennsylvania State University
Gordon Turow, Director of Campus Planning and Design (former)
Katie Rountree, Office of Physical Plan Project Manager
Linda Duerr, Director, Child Development Laboratory (former)
Derek Kalp, Campus Landscape Architect
Brian Phiel, Supervisor of Grounds Maintenance

General Contractor: Leonard S. Fiore, Inc