The development of Ann Arbor’s municipal center has transformed the aging civic complex into a pedestrian- friendly, dynamic “green” space that demonstrates the environmental, social, and economic benefits of sustainable design. The re-imagined 2-acre civic campus is comprised of City Hall and most of the city’s administrative services, as well as a new police and courts building.
Designed to better serve the citizens of Ann Arbor, the nearby University of Michigan, and over 400 municipal employees, the site is a vibrant urban center with abundant garden spaces, plazas, picnic tables, public art and a green roof promenade. A large glass atrium creates a sense of openness in the new justice center, while a landscaped plaza provides a connection to City Hall. Several sustainable measures optimize the site’s ecological performance, with the water and vegetation systems designed to help protect the nearby Huron River.
The use of permeable pavement, rainwater planters and streetscapes, and a rain terrace serve multiple functions, including public seating and gathering space. These and other green infrastructure tools help slow, cleanse and cool rainfall on site, significantly reducing stormwater runoff. Sculptural water features and runnels, some of which have been created by world-renowned artist Herbert Dreiseitl, display moving rainwater as an art form.