SCUP Excellence in Landscape Architecture - General Design,
The University of Chicago, Illinois for the Walkways and Gardens in the Historic Main Quadrangle Landscape with Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects
|Photo by Linda Oyama Bryan|
Multiple projects within the University of Chicago’s most historic quad restore the architect’s original intent for pedestrian space and take its landscape in a direction first formulated by a botany professor at the turn of the last century.
Two multi-phase projects are powerful examples of how horticultural diversity can create a distinctive sense of place and how thoughtful design can contribute sustainable solutions to enhance the image of heritage campuses. Though different in scope, the Walkways and Gardens projects respond to historic plans and visions for the heart of the campus.
The jury “ . . . liked how they focused on lushness and material palette . . . it was seductive and gorgeous . . . want to be in the space . . . liked concept of campus as a botanical garden . . .”
Several principles guiding design included: create inviting spaces for repose and activity; enhance the historic image; design for formal campus rituals; and enhance academic teaching resources.
The walkways are a mix of traditional materials and contemporary technologies that enhance the quad’s image. The gardens have a level of detail designed to resonate on an individual level. The layered plantings soften the existing architecture and creates a space that is restful and intimate.
Together, the changes raised the level of detail and quality in the quad’s landscape in a way that honors its history and speaks directly to the prestige and distinctive qualities of the education it provides.
“Campus planning should take the long-range view, as university campuses are built for the centuries,” says Richard C. Bumstead, associate director for campus environment. “We finally achieved the original vision of these iconic quadrangles and enhanced the university’s ability to continue its mission of cutting edge research and top tier instruction.”
Project Team: The University of Chicago, Illinois with Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects; also HOH Engineers