Science Museum of Minnesota

Native trees and shrubs in an urban plaza.

St. Paul, Minnesota

At the Science Museum of Minnesota, our challenge was to use exclusively native plant materials in an urban setting. The entire plaza was also a deck for the underground parking below.

For the plant palette, we selected several xeric prairie plants native to the local River Bluff. A monoculture of Little Bluestem gives the wild planting a simple and neat appearance. Bold massings and intentional geometric arrangement helps people to perceive the planting and then introduces plants with form, colors and textures that are rarely used in a downtown streetscape.