USAFA Character and Leadership

Center for Character and Leadership Development

Landscape Architecture > Urban Design and Civic Spaces> Leadership Center - USAFA

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Client: United States Air Force Academy

As part of the Skidmore Owens Merrill (SOM) Design Team, THK lead the urban design effort for the plaza, fountain and landscape areas reserved for AFA Staff and Cadets. The two plazas adjacent to the building included a custom turf/paving system that was designed to support cadet traffic.

Passive reflective pools were also designed and are reminiscent of the original reflective pools designed by acclaimed landscape architect Dan Kiley. These fountains included a passive circulation system to support the quiet, reflective experience of cadets using the plaza. The fountain mechanical system was hidden with unique weir and cobble lined bottom.

Plant materials were selected that require minimal maintenance and were selected for to minimize debris accumulation in the reflective pools. A sports turf sod was specified that was capable of sustaining high volumes of pedestrian traffic.

The Center for Character and Leadership Development was awarded the International Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design in 2011.