Indiana Statehouse Bicentennial Plaza

Indiana Statehouse Bicentennial Plaza Indianapolis, Indiana

Services Provided

Site Planning
Landscape Architecture
Urban Design
Fountain Design

People Involved

Eric Lucas
Brett Davis

Bicentennial Plaza encourages civic participation and visitor interaction while celebrating 200 years of state history.

In 2016, in celebration of Indiana's 200th anniversary, the Indiana Department of Administration and the Indiana Bicentennial Commission sought to create a physical legacy of the State's Bicentennial through a new outdoor plaza within the government center campus.

Interpreting the State's goals, MKSK identified opportunities to commemorate Indiana's 200th anniversary through a new civic space at the heart of the government center campus and to increase downtown connectivity and Statehouse security by closing portions of Senate Avenue and Robert D. Orr Plaza. The design transformed the two streets on Statehouse grounds into the grand pedestrian-oriented civic space now used daily by residents, workers, and visitors. 
 

The plaza includes gathering spaces, public art, an interactive water feature, stormwater gardens, and flexibly-designed space to host large-scale events like the governor's inauguration and smaller-scale weekly events such as in-season farmers markets.

The core feature of Bicentennial Plaza is the interactive Bicentennial Fountain - when the water jets are turned off, the still water becomes a reflecting pool showcasing the Statehouse. Seating elements within allow people to engage the water, illuminating at night and throughout winter for additional layers of interest. Two iconic sculptures, Lux-Aeterna (Eternal Light) by artist Osman Akan and Time Flow by artist Dale Enochs, flank the central fountain. 

 
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The design incorporates native limestone elements, such as large limestone benches, to compliment the Statehouse architecture. The addition of large planting beds and trees throughout the site softens the hardscape and provides shade for visitors.

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Bicentennial Plaza fulfills Homeland Security Requirements while activating a central area for Indiana's citizens and visitors. The new civic space will serve as an attraction for visitors to enjoy the Statehouse for years to come.

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