8 Best Campus Designs for Landscape Architects

Creating a design project for university or work place campus is both a challenge and an important part of the growth of society and research. Landscape architecture can help with campus design in many ways, such as site planning, urban design, ecological and environmental planning, and more. Given the sheer number of incoming students universities have to deal with, and the ongoing periods, students will be on campus studying for, it is critical for landscape architects to understand and shape the identity of a campus into a space for study, relaxation, well-being, and recreational activities.

This feature post takes a look at eight of the most impressive campus designs ever created. 

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Umea Campus Park, Sweden

Designed by Thorbjörn Andersson with Sweco architects, in Umeå, Sweden, the Umea Campus Park is an exemplary example of landscape architecture that accomplishes the objective of balancing individual architectural features and nature. The campus sits on the coast, surrounded by green open spaces. Its 35,000 students have access to a network of walkways that link the campus’ buildings to the park, as well as terraces and floating piers placed around an artificial lake. The architect emphasised the necessity of constructing open spaces over auditoriums and micro-spaces. The environment on this campus is the consequence of informal exchanges among students; in reality, here is where professors, researchers, and students from many areas convene to discuss ideas. During breaks, individuals can completely connect with the natural environment, which encourages interaction and raises their level happiness. 

Kyushu Sangyo University’s Campus, Japan

The Fukuoka-based landscaping business Design Network revitalised the surroundings of Kyushu Sangyo University. All the buildings on campus had their own unique look, but what really mattered was the analysis of student pathways, which informed the campus landscape’s layout. The terrain and elevation profile were composed of asymmetrical lines, providing enough opportunity for inventive path making. Some of the project’s most defining characteristics are the round pergola and the multipurpose cloud seats in the centre plaza. Staff and pupils are encouraged to have lunch together and socialise on the terraced plaza, which is reminiscent of terraced rice fields and may be walked through as well. 

Symantec Chengdu Campus, China

The landscape for the research and development facility for Symantec in Chengdu, China was designed by SWA. This project revitalised a once unused one-hectare plot by planting roof and conduit gardens atop and along untouched sections of infrastructure, reconnecting it to the environment and resulting in a bucolic oasis amid an otherwise corporate, densely populated cityscape. Southwest Chinese deciduous trees and several conifers were selected to complement the winding wooden walks, water mirrors, white pebbles and plants. Unique underneath lighting brought the landscape to life after dark, highlighting its status as a veritable paradise in the city. 

Cox Enterprises, USA

Located in a bustling part of Atlanta, Georgia, next to a forested area, the Cox Enterprises Gardens is an office complex that displays some great examples of landscape design. HGOR designed the landscape architecture for this office complex, creating a garden that fostered workers’ sense of connection to nature and general well-being. Relaxing at waterside seating areas is a perfect illustration of this concept. The glass offices blend in with the surroundings thanks to the masterplan’s ingenuity, making it the ideal spot for staff get-togethers. The Georgia Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects honoured the effort in 2008 with an Honor Award. 

Rega Leuven, Belgium

Think of your lunch breaks in the immediate vicinity of the river. This project exemplifies how landscape architecture may be used to tackle a specific issue. Before the birth of this project, the University of Leuven in Belgium was converting many buildings when part of the renovations that had been built over the river Vunt collapsed, revealing a hidden section of the river that had been concealed. The landscape architects at Ontwerpbureau Pauwels proposed a radical overhaul that would include, among other things, exposing the previously hidden water and selecting a layout that actively interacts with the water itself. The end result of this project is a huge platform made of pre-fabricated concrete slabs that can also be used to cross the river. People can lie down on the concrete in the park and enjoy this strange oasis above an internally flowing river

Copenhagen Business School "Kilen", Denmark

Is a particular urban landscape project that was designed by Marianne Levinsen Landskab. The campus area is situated on ground that was once occupied by a decommissioned railway line known as the “Frederiksbergbane.” The structure of the area is formed by red oak trees and wild grasses dispersed around a large outdoor zone, with a prominent promenade running alongside the main CBS Kilen building. It is the ideal setting for running or cycling, both of which can be achieved in a single location. 

Novartis Headquarters Forum, Switzerland

PWP Landscape Architecture won the competition for the masterplan in 1999 and was responsible for the design of the project situated in Basel along the Rhine river. The purpose of the project was to transform an industrial area divided up by railroad lines into a cutting-edge pedestrian campus that included huge works of art ands open-air parks. PWP was responsible for the creation of all of the outdoor spaces situated in the immediate proximity of the headquarters. These areas include the Forum plaza, the Courtyard, and the streetscape. The success of the design as a whole may be partially attributed to the incorporation of eco-friendly elements, such as native flora and green roofs, among other things. 

Scholars’ Green Park, Canada

This gh3 project has a very evocative, irregular aesthetic and functions as a gathering place for students and members of the community. It has a prime location in the heart of the new Sheridan College campus in Toronto. The extensive greenery and pedestrian route consists of a series of unique straight lines that are intersecting and span the property. They are complemented by irregular segmented concrete partitions surrounding individual trees and nothing in the park is symmetrical. The pavements are also made of permeable recycled glass. 

The concept of sharing fosters the personal development of individuals, which is especially important in settings such as workplaces and educational institutions. Design and landscaping have a responsibility to encourage the function of a building. Especially so in places of work and study, where so many people rely on such spaces to help them focus on the tasks at hand. We need to continue to incorporate green spaces into the landscape design of our buildings. The benefits to focus and well being are well known. 

What kinds of things do you think should be considered when designing the landscaping for campuses? Leave a comment with your thoughts and suggestions. 

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