2014 Awards

Design: Commercial and Institutional

Merit Award

John Lo Schiavo, S.J. Center for Science & Innovation at University of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
Lead Landscape Architect: Zoee Astrachan
Design Principal: Andrew Dunbar
Project Designers: Jon Ganey, Tim Bragan, Shye Jones
Client: University of San Francisco

"River" of permeability flows through the plaza, linking the Campus Walk and north campus.
Passage (at lecture hall) under lawn where landscape steps and terraces up to the Campus Walk.
Newly-aligned Campus Walk establishes focal point on St. Ignatius campanile an dome.
Deep native plant garden filters storm water and support a bio-pool for science instruction and habitat.
Ergonomically varies concrete skylight-seating projects over plaza surface folded at slot drain.
West Plaza: extruded skylights become seating elements aligned with Fibonacci paving pattern over student labs and lounges.
Lawn surface links new Campus Walk to the entry plaza of Sciene Center tower.
Undulating lawn over lecture hall below provides social space for students "on display" above.
Multi-level plazas connect labs, classrooms, existing Science Center and Student Union buildings.
Folded multi-leve llandscape defines the new heart of campus between the science center and student union.

A transformative landscape approach completely re-configures the central social hub of the 87 year-old University of San Francisco campus. The new Center for Science and Innovation was sited by the design team, at the very center of student life, where limited land demanded an unprecedented level of integrated project delivery and an architecture and landscape typology that fully engage the topography. A re-imagined and highly articulated academic landscape now redefines the original Harney Plaza, fulfilling a socially and ecologically sustaining role in line with the University’s pedagogical mission—one in which landscape merges with architecture to take front stage. Breaking from a century-old campus approach of landscape being subservient to buildings, the highly evolved design solution creates a rejuvenated and integrated multi-level plaza landscape that connects and enriches as it weaves through and over the new LEED gold building. The resulting design includes a deep and complex outdoor-classroom that treats, infiltrates and collects storm, a native plant community, a bio-pool that supports plants, insects and birds, and most importantly a new social hub for students and faculty.