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Project Name: Newfields – A Place for Nature & The Arts

Project Location: Indianapolis, IN

On November 7, 1883, the Art Association opened at the English Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. The exhibit featured 453 works by 137 artists, which quickly expanded into more exhibitions, lectures, and eventually a campus that featured the Indianapolis Museum of Art and an art school.

Now known as Newfields, the 152-year-old campus comprises historic landscapes, gardens, performance spaces, and an art/nature park, all surrounded by wetlands, woodlands, and outdoor sculptures for all walks of life to enjoy. Newfields is home to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, The Garden, Lilly House, and the Elder Greenhouse.

Project Background & Solution:

With the Newfields rebranding, the project owners decided to embrace more than just the traditional art museum events by offering visitors movies on the lawn, Octoberfest events, and a Winterlights experience. Due to the increased number of visitors during these events, their parking area could no longer accommodate growing traffic requirements.

In 2018, the design team contacted the local material supplier to expand their event parking into grass overflow parking spaces. They wanted to preserve the campus’ natural aesthetic by avoiding the addition of a traditional concrete or asphalt parking lot. These areas were currently at finished grade, so minimization of the paver section depth was imperative to managing earthwork costs and reducing disturbance to the surrounding areas.

To accomplish this, the owners chose the GEOBLOCK®5150 Grass Porous Pavement System. Approximately 70,000 square feet of GEOBLOCK Porous Pavers were installed in July 2019, creating a green parking area for visitors.

During Newfield’s Winterlights event, which takes place every night between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, there is a great deal of traffic on these parking areas during the wettest time of the year in Indiana. The entry time slots are every half hour, so visitors are in and out of the grass overflow parking area constantly. Heavy traffic combined with saturated ground is a recipe for deep rutting and permanent lawn damage. With the GEOBLOCK Grass Porous Paver system, Newfields can be confident their overflow parking area will support seasonal, heavy traffic without damaging the lawn.

Product Information:

The rigid GEOBLOCK5150 System is designed to handle the most demanding load support requirements while promoting natural stormwater infiltration, reducing runoff, and reducing or eliminating the need for detention or retention ponds. Excelling in turf protection, this 2-inch-deep porous pavement system is placed over an engineered base (topsoil/aggregate mix) and filled with topsoil. The engineered base with topsoil infill provides an excellent growing medium for the sod placed on top of the GEOBLOCK system. The deeper cells prevent topsoil compaction and vegetative damage caused by repeated loadings.

Project Update:

In June 2021, the material supplier visited the Newfields project site. After two years and many events, the GEOBLOCK5150 System has held up beautifully.