Article by Eni Çeka – We take a look at 6 awesome campus designs from around the world that have contributed to happier, healthier and more productive environments. A campus — the grounds and buildings of a university, college, school, office, or hospital — is an academic, social, or spiritual entity. It is crucial that this space be attractive and functional, because it is a place where most of us spend a considerable amount of time. A subtle integration of this outdoor space with the natural environment, physical activities, social meetings, and relaxation enables diverse experiences. “First life, then spaces, then buildings – the other way around never works,” says Jan Gehl, an urban design expert. Here are six great campus projects that demonstrate how exceptional landscape designs can increase the joy of users and enhance their quality of life. (click on any of the headlines or images for more information on that project)
Imagine if your rest breaks could take place in a lovely campus that invites natural beauty in. One such great design is offered in Umeå Campus, Sweden’s fifth-oldest university and home to 35,000 students, professors, and researchers from all over the world. The campus offers a generous variety of places with a unique character that merges with nature while providing spaces for non-conventional academic activities and informal gatherings. Connections among the buildings, park, and the artificial lake are made through carefully designed paths, walking trails, and three terraces with floating piers. Unique interaction and a harmonious combination of work and play make for a great atmosphere in this campus.
The Teikyo Heisei University campus design is all about the experience of a place, in which the perfect atmosphere of a space becomes the place. A reinterpretation of nature creates a truly unique experience achieved through a repeated square-shaped pattern and Zelkova trees. The paving directs users through different motifs, with black and white granite paving stones and wood decks for contrast. The flooring pattern also differentiates vertically on various levels to indicate diversity of uses and activities. Here, a symbiosis of design and function creates a truly special experience.3. Symantec Chengdu Campus, by SWA, Chengdu, China This exciting one-hectare campus serves as an oasis in a dense urban location, greatly improving the overall quality of life in the city. A weaving of the building, vegetation, and path create a magical feeling of finding ourselves in a natural environment far from the city. The beauty of this functional and environmentally sensitive project lies not only in the design itself, but also in the perfect harmony between modern and old traditional Chinese design. Deciduous trees characteristic of Southwest China and different types of conifers give the typical sense of isolation found in ancient Chinese gardens. Soft LED lights installed inside wooden paths contrast with the greenery by creating a charming aura even at night. 4. Caulfield Campus Green, by Taylor Cullity Lethlean (T.C.L), in Monash University, Victoria, Australia The playful atmosphere of this campus offers new ways of learning through its engaging design. The university’s motto, Ancora Imparo (I am still learning), is applied not only indoors but also outdoors. Here, learning is interactive and simulated by the natural environment. The local ecosystem is exposed to users to educate them using eco-revelatory design. ERD reveals the processes of stormwater retention, harvesting, and treatment. The water clarity guides people from the beginning ponds with no vegetation to the last pond full of native wetland vegetation. The campus is open and free to students and staff, but also to passersby willing to explore the different topics within.
What can be more environmentally conscious than a campus with 78,000 square feet of green areas and 9,000 square feet of wooden terraces and decks? Add to this the fact that the wood is made of 60 percent bamboo and 40 percent non-toxic resin, the walls are covered with black volcanic granite, and low-maintenance plants were added to decrease water usage. All of these sustainable measures are applied in Coyoacán Corporate Campus, winner of the All of these sustainable measures are applied in Coyoacán Corporate Campus, winner of the CEMEZ Award in 2013 and first in the category of “Commercial and Mixed Uses.” The corporate building of Coyoacán is located in one of Mexico City’s oldest neighborhoods and is built horizontally so that the landscape design serves as a transitional space from one building to another. This project is an outstanding example of people-oriented design with its buildings and landscapes designed at human scale, creating a stronger connection between users and the space. This project is an outstanding example of people-oriented design with its buildings and landscapes designed at human scale, creating a stronger connection between users and the space.
As winner of the Honour Award from the Georgia Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2008, The Cox Enterprises Gardens display how a brilliant project works. The implementation of HGOR’s SEE philosophy (Social, Economic, and Environmental needs) creates a very successful and engaging space for people to enjoy. This office campus design is integrated with the landscape, combining formal shapes and free lines that result in a dynamism that matches that of the company. All of the elements converge at the central water surface, which reflects the surrounding environment and a seating area. The multifunctional space also offers the possibility of physical activities with views of nature.Whether we are talking about a university or an office building, the innovative designs of these campuses offer different ways to make people healthier, happier, and — as a result — more productive. Each of these projects demonstrates that by carefully designing the space between buildings, we decide what kind of public life we want to have.
- Becoming an Urban Planner: A Guide to Careers in Planning and Urban Design by Michael Bayer
- Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design With Nature by Douglas Farrs
- eBooks by Landscape Architects Network
Article by Eni ÇekaPublished in