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kent state university STARK PLAZA RENOVATION


Built in the late 1960's, Main Hall serves as the central classroom building for the Stark Campus of Kent State University. Payto Architect's commission for this project was to renovate the out-dated, underutilized plaza at the entry to Main Hall into an inviting, functional plaza to convey a fresh new image. The plaza also connects to several main circulation routes through campus. To unify these routes, a circular form was superimposed over the area to give a sense of enclosure. A large colored and textured concrete compass was inlaid over the space to create another level of interest, while giving the space identity. Free form paving edges and seating areas fill the circle and create smaller, more intimate spaces. Landscape plantings were distributed throughout and plantings were carefully selected to maintain a variety of colors and textures, throughout the year. Illuminated stainless steel pylons were strategically placed at the points of the compass to add an element of height while furthering the visual interest day and night.

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