Dow Gardens/Whiting Forest, Comprehensive Plan

Midland, Michigan

Metcalfe brought its sensibility to this project for the family of Dow Chemical’s founder, HH Dow. The founder once engaged in “open-ended play” while working in his beloved apple orchards, so Metcalfe and the client imagined a family play forest. Visitors encounter a series of “right-brained” experiences involving a progression of open fields and dark forests. They are not constrained to staying on trails; the more they wander, the closer they get to nature and opportunities for introspection.


Interconnected spaces and active zones include two bridges, an amphitheater, orchards, an expansive canopy walk, a nature play area, a visitor center, an art studio and a public program building.


Opening October 2018.