Capitol West

Capitol West

Abandoned and under-used buildings are abundant in many downtown areas. Luckily, they provide an opportunity to re-invent or reinvigorate city blocks, and often catalyze creative solutions that would not have been born had a site footprint not already existed. This site and its unique place between two very different parts of downtown demonstrates the influence that a pre-existing development can have on design decisions.


Alexander Company and LodgeWorks


Madison, Wisconsin


Landscape Architecture, Mixed-Use, Residential, Urban Design, Urban Planning


2.2 acres

An abandoned hospital campus took up an entire city block in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. The heart of the city was just blocks away — thriving, pulsing — while the 300 block of West Washington Avenue sat tired and underused.

Alexander Company, a planning company with a national reputation for creative urban land use, saw the site’s potential: a mixed-use urban development with myriad modern homes, storefronts, and an upscale hotel.

Capitol West
Capitol West

Our team was brought in to provide urban design and site engineering for this reimagined neighborhood. We had big ideas for not only transforming Capitol West, but for creating a blueprint to potentially guide future urban development projects.

Capitol West

Integral to this design was public input. Capitol West was smack dab in the middle of two very different density developments, and the community was concerned with the type of development this project would birth and its ability to integrate into the neighborhood.

Our team ushered the project through the city and neighborhood approval process. Part of that responsibility was acknowledging the influence of this site, which would not only be a destination but would serve as a connector between the two disparate development types. Street and pedestrian engagement was critical for this objective, and the design included neighborhood bicycle and pedestrian links, and sustainable site design and landscaping.

Capitol West — a central haven for different types of businesses, homes, and densities — now reflects the very city it calls home.

Capitol West