Erie Street Plaza

Stoss Landscape Urbanism

Principal designers: Stoss Landscape Urbanism.
Design director: Chris Reed.
Project manager: Scott Bishop.
Design Team: Chris Muskopf (co-project manager), Tim Barner, Adrian Fehrmann, Kristin Malone, Graham Palmer, Megan Studer.
Collaborators: Light THIS!, Vetter Denk Architects, Graef Anhalt Schloemer and Associates.
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States.
Area: 1,011 s.q.
Date: 2006-2010.
Promoters: City of Milwaukee.
Photographer: John December.

An initiative based on hydric conciliation between the changing water levels of Lake Michigan, the groundwater supply, and the ecological activation of the site. Building a soft edge for the water will also restore the contextual relationships, providing program flexibility.



Milwaukee’s new waterfront plaza is the result of the proposal by Stoss for an international design competition. The proposal is for a flexible social space that can accommodate large gatherings and day-to-day activities, built on sustainable design principles. It is one of a series of public space activators along the Milwaukee Riverwalk, a three-mile pedestrian and bicycle corridor that connects downtown Milwaukee to the emerging and redeveloping Third Ward and Beerline Districts, and to the lakefront beyond.






The plaza is conceived as a flexible field that fosters social and environmental activity and appropriation. It activates and registers environmental cycles of storm water by collecting runoff to support a reconstituted marsh/wetland, recharges the groundwater tables and utilizes river water for irrigation. Socially, the plaza is designed to accommodate a wide array of potential activities including art festivals, gatherings, concerts, movies, weddings, festivals, farmer’s markets, and winter carnivals, as well as less intense, everyday activities like boat-watching, fishing, sunbathing and simply hanging out.





Extract from coming-soon
Total Landscape
Related publications:
Total Housing
Total Latin American Architecture
Total China
Total Singular Housing

The project has included extensive interface with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the City of Milwaukee Public Works and Community Development Departments, the Planning and Fine Arts Commissions, and various community groups, abutters and stakeholders.