UNM Spotlight: Mushroom Shade Structures in Redesigned Smith Plaza
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...