1999 American Society of Landscape Architects/ Prairie Gateway
In the late 1960s, renowned landscape architects Sasaki & Associates created an innovative master plan for Corporate Woods in Overland Park, Kansas. The critically-acclaimed design carefully placed a high-density, 120-acre office development in a woodland setting. As often happens with designed landscapes, property managers made gradual changes to plantings and details, eroding the natural character of the woodland site and the simple modernist clarity of Sasaki’s vision.
In 1996, Jeffrey L. Bruce & Company created a new landscape master plan to renew Sasaki’s ecological and spatial design intent. JBC’s plan guided extensive urban ecological restoration that fulfilled Sasaki’s bold, original woodland concept.
Over 20 percent of the landscape was removed from manicured turf maintenance and restored to native woodland and prairie ecologies—all without expensive intervention. Over six years, JBC experimented in planting matrices, species mixes, and modest maintenance protocols to achieve the most sustainable and lasting solution.
Far pre-dating today’s green movement, JBC used research and phased demonstrations to reassure the client in a bold ecological innovation in the heart of an important office park. The gamble paid off by pushing the edge of public perception and the science of urban restoration, while considerably reducing operational costs.