This major redevelopment project is a public-private joint venture between Civic Partners, Ada County, and the Center City Development Authority. The Boise Civic Plaza is part of phase two of a multi-phase project, which includes ground level retail space with housing above, a new county courthouse, offices, a hotel, and other government uses all constructed over structured parking.

The overall master plan, prepared by MVE Architects, proposed a mid-block pedestrian esplanade that would link all four city blocks together. The Ada County Courthouse and The Idaho Water Center terminate the spine on the west and east ends. The design of the spine consists of a series of raised planters arranged in “leaf” or “water ripple” patterns. The paving design utilizes the standard Boise red and iron spot brick pavers in an unusual weaving pattern, in an attempt to promote crossing of pedestrian traffic along the spine.

To enliven the spaces, a series of feature elements was introduced along the spine. A water feature, related to the Idaho water Center entry, mimics the visual and audio elements of falling rain. Overhead trellises are designed using the leaf motif to create shaded seating areas and overhead arches to define pedestrian entries into the project.

The environmental graphics utilized the “City of Trees” motto as a starting point, incorporating stylized leaf forms, hills, and the Boise River into the overall project identity. Project Monument and pedestrian way-finding signage used these same forms to provide continuity throughout the project.

Location: Boise, Idaho

Role: Site Planning, Landscape Architectural, and Environmental Graphics design

Architects: MVE Architects, NBBJ, and Armstrong Architects

Owner: Civic Partners

Budget: Implementation Cost: $2,200,000 (site improvements only)

Date of Completion: 2003