Steel mushroom shade structures have sprung up in the largest plaza at the University of New Mexico's main campus, Smith Plaza, outside the Student Union. Named in honor of Sherman E Smith for his "outstanding & versatile contribution to the university, his special interest in landscaping made this campus a more pleasant place in which to live & work."

Smith Plaza has never been known as a nicely landscaped gathering place, until now. The 3.3 acres, also adjacent to the Zimmerman Library, had consisted of hot brick & concrete--a massive heat-island--& was a challenge to cross during the hottest months. The plaza, which sees around 10,000 people cross each day, has been greened-up & reimagined. The mushroom shade structures that spread out across the plaza are great additions, creating shade, reducing the heat-island effect & they are stunning pieces of contemporary steel art.

From the Pascetti Steel Design website:

"These maintenance-free steel structures were built with precision laser cut steel panels and will stand the test of time; for generations to come. A true conversation piece!

The massive size and shape of each structure will welcome you in with a friendly hue of bright yellow. Just for fun, you will need to stand under one to truly appreciate and experience the daylight in several ways; which will depend on the time of day you visit."

You can read more about the project & perhaps buy the naming rights to one of the new Plateaus in the plaza...