Tempe Transportation Center links the light rail, bus, bike and pedestrian activities providing a strategic hub in the transit system for the Valley and Arizona State University. The project incorporates a variety of cutting-edge environmental strategies including the first climate appropriate green roof and first gray water system in the City of Tempe. The design is a model for sustainable design and community planning. The Center is slated to be LEED Platinum.
The plaza is an extension of the adjacent Tempe Butte landform – sacred to Native Americans – and an omnidirectional connection which links the light rail to the community. Interpreting the geology of the Tempe Butte, multi-hued pavers of varying sizes, inspired by the fragmented rock of the butte, create the alluvial fan paving pattern of the entire plaza.
The living/green roof garden patterned after the buildings glass facade is planted with drought tolerant plant material from the Sonoran Desert and other arid parts of the world. The garden is recognized as the fifth elevation, optimizing the site’s relationship to the trails of “A” mountain and nearby high rise buildings as well as air traffic flying over the site.
The courtyard beneath the multi-faceted community room, designed in collaboration with artist Lorna Jordan, is a shaded gathering space and link between the light rail, bus bays, ASU and the City. The canted, faceted forms are planted with low xeric material in masses creating swaths of dramatic color and texture. Gabion baskets filled with clear glass slag create the illusion of fractured rock jutting through the space. The glass slag baskets are internally illuminated with LED lights creating a vibrant display of color at night and a subtle glow during the day. Bands of terrazzo paving traverse the ground plane of the courtyard with shades of color that complement the adjacent pavers.