Kaleidoscope Landscape

URSINUS COLLEGE  |  Collegeville, PA

The Kaleidoscope Garden grows at the threshold of Ursinus College, ushering students and visitors onto the pedestrian-centered campus. Conceived as greater than an entry garden, the plan includes sweeps of perennials adjacent to the main walkway, river birch dancing across the landscape, a demonstration wetland garden to employ ecology students, native groundcovers for slope and edge retention, and sculpture sited for the best view in the house. Their artful composition evokes the Kaleidoscope: myriad colors, shapes, and patterns cascading in ever-changing detail, to enjoy as one walks past and with the passing seasons. Designed in collaboration with Bill Roberts (retired landscape architect and founding principal of Wallace, Roberts & Todd), the solution successfully addresses the problem of a residual, engineered landscape—of eroding soil, a drainage swale, and an exposed loading dock and utilities—in a highly visible location. The Kaleidoscope Garden was funded by a group of Ursinus alumnae to create a welcoming entryway between the college’s main parking lot and campus at its new, exquisitely designed performing arts building, The Kaleidoscope.