Awards Education

BSLA Honors Copley Wolff Design Group

The playgrounds include turf mounds, exercise equipment, climbing structures, and splash pads. / Photos courtesy of Anthony Crisafulli

Boston – Copley Wolff Design Group announced it has been recognized by the Boston Society of Landscape Architects in its 2021 Awards Program.

The entry path connects to the elementary school entrance and the curves of the building and landscape design celebrate a historic sycamore tree.

The firm was a recipient of the Merit Award in Design for its work on the landscape design at the King Open and Cambridge Street Upper Schools and Community Complex (KOCSUS).

Working with architects William Rawn Associates and Arrowstreet, Copley Wolff served as the landscape architect for the project. Completed in 2020, the complex is a six-acre campus redevelopment project in the Wellington-Harrington neighborhood of Cambridge. It is comprised of the King Open School, the Cambridge Street Upper School, the Valente Public Library, the Frisoli Community Complex, the Cambridge Public School Department headquarters, and the Gold Star Memorial Pool.

The outdoor classroom contains tiered seating, a sloped turf gathering area, educational garden beds, and a 900sf raingarden.

Copley Wolff ’s efforts in the design and creation of this publicly accessible community asset include the main entries to the King Open and Cambridge Street Upper Schools, Valente Plaza, the Storytime/Reading Garden, an outdoor classroom, and five playgrounds.

The preservation of a landmark sycamore tree along Cambridge Street was a design driver for the design team. Monthly evaluations and maintenance of the sycamore were conducted throughout the duration of the three-year construction period and the team was able to preserve the root zone and position the sycamore at the center of the Cambridge Street landscape design.

The various landscape elements that comprise the KOCSUS campus were unified through Copley Wolff’s intricate design developed to provide flexible public spaces, pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, and increased access to the community assets.

An existing library garden was re-conceived, and sculptural “cat” benches from the original garden were salvaged and reused in the new space.

“Our firm is honored to have its work recognized by the Boston Society of Landscape Architecture Awards Program,” said Andrew Arbaugh, principal of Copley Wolff Design Group. “This distinction serves as a testament to our ongoing mission to create memorable and engaging settings for our urban communities.”