The Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building Modernization is a GSA Design Excellence project. Building tenants include the offices of Maine’s US Senators, the US Marshall’s office, and US District Courts, and the Social Security Administration. The modernization of this important urban federal building was initially focused on building energy savings and, later through Studioverde’s design leadership, came to embrace sustainable landscape principles.
Studioverde designed the exterior entrance plaza to enhance the streetscape views to the building for wayfinding and to enhance the downtown district. The design also integrates native materials into the modern architectural palette – through the use native Maine granite and plant materials.
Studioverde also transformed the all-brick plaza by creating garden alcoves that can be viewed from both the interior and exterior of the building. This landscape art feature borrows its forms and materials from the Kenduskeag Stream – an important Bangor waterway that runs behind the building and was a place where Henry David Thoreau often hiked and noted the plant and flower life along its shores.
Two raingardens are planned to infiltrate runoff from the plaza. Turf and planting areas were designed to reduce the need for irrigation and herbicide use. The project has been awarded LEED Platinum status.