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Centennial Courtyard

BWP’s Centennial Courtyard transformed a substation “ruin” into usable open space.

Part of BWP’s EcoCampus Project, the innovative design of the BWP Centennial Courtyard showcases how an industrial relic can be transformed into usable open space. Demolition of the un-used electric substation was paid for by the scrap value of the metals. Materials were reused in the courtyard avoiding most waste from going to landfills. The skeletal remains of the substation will be used as a trellis and soon will be covered in living vines, creating an interesting juxtaposition of industry and environment.

All the storm water landing in the Centennial Courtyard is directed to a utility tunnel running the length of the courtyard. The tunnel has been re-purposed into a phyto-extraction canal where carefully selected species of plants filter water runoff before releasing it back into the ground. Additional sustainable courtyard features include the solar-powered flow of recycled water through its fountains.

BWP commissioned Culver City, California-based AHBE Landscape Architects (AHBE) to create the EcoCampus master plan. AHBE President Calvin Abe, states, "Landscape has a key role to play in the regeneration of our cities. Beyond the aesthetics, it can proactively counteract many of the problems that we face in urban environments. BWP's EcoCampus stands as a restorative example of what can be accomplished when there is a long-term vision.”

The courtyard is currently being recognized as a test site for The Sustainable Sites Initiative Project (SITES) – a two-year pilot program of over 150 landscapes worldwide, led by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, and the United States Botanic Garden to create guidelines for leadership in landscape sustainability. The BWP campus is the only industrial project included in the SITES program.

 Re-purposing to Create Courtyard

  • A steel structure was re-purposed to create a super trellis.
  • Boulders relocated from the local landfill were used to create the two fountains.
  • Renewable solar energy powers the flow of recycled water through the fountains.
  • Concrete ruins remain as sculptures to pay tribute to the long history of service 
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