Dirtworks Wins Awards
by David Kamp, FASLA, LF

Dirtworks, PC of New York, New York has earned a number of awards for its design of the Science Center Courtyard and Outdoor Learning Environment at Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire. The Natural Science Courtyard at Keene State College redefines the landscape of education—motivating students to think in the greater context, making them more acutely aware of their surroundings, their place in the community, and in the natural world. The courtyard has become the heart of the new Science Center. It is a place where kids find science “cool.” Nature is more accessible, more exciting and real to both students and community members as they enjoy the serendipity of discovery in this intellectually engaging, sensory rich garden.

Dirtworks was first feted for the Keene State College Courtyard in 2007 with the Honor Award from the Society for College and University Planning, and American Institute of Architects–Committee on Architecture for Education. It also received the 2007 Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects–NY Chapter.

In 2008, Dirtworks earned the 2008 Design Citation Award from the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) for the project. The AASA Awards jury, composed of the AASA and its co-partners, the American Institute of Architects and the Council of Education Facility Planners International, described the Courtyard as “[a] well designed and planned outdoor learning area that addressed the nature of the sciences studies and academic program of the school.” The jury added that it is “[a] living laboratory with skillful adaptation of geological principles and use of materials to elevate awareness of surroundings, place of community, and the natural world.”

Dirtworks was founded in 1995 by David Kamp, FASLA, LF. The firm creates designs that enhance the restorative quality of the natural environment.

David Kamp, FASLA, LF is the founding principal of Dirtworks, PC, and can be reached at: dkamp@dirtworks.us

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