Building Materials

A landscape project for a state capitol’s grounds demands a grand-scale plan, and the recent public-space addition to Iowa’s capitol proves no exception. The design, developed by Brian Clark + Associates (BCA) of Des Moines, incorporated granite as a key element to achieve the classic, carefully planned look for the capitol’s new public space. To complete the project, a 500-stall parking lot was demolished to make way for 10 acres of terraces ascending from Pennsylvania Avenue to the capitol.

The design reflects the capitol’s 19th-century architecture as well as blends in with nearby public spaces. BCA matched granite for the capitol with the granite used on the streetscape in the East Village. In addition, some of the landscaping from the East Village was carried throughout the plaza. One of the project’s most distinguishing features is a granite map of Iowa on the terrace’s west end.

To create the map, Coldspring water jet-cut the shape of each county from 2-inch-thick slabs of Thermal-finished Rockville White® granite.

A granite compass in Rockville White®, Charcoal Black® and Carnelian® complements the state map. Thermal and Diamond® 10 finishes were used for the compass, which highlights the fact that the city grid is not on a true East/West axis. 754 square feet of Charcoal Black® granite in Rub and Sand finish was used for the stair treads and curbs.

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