Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Marylhurst University, Clark Plaza

The existing conditions

The design concept

The finished product

The space between the main classroom building and the Student Union at Marylhurst University in Lake Oswego, Oregon, was a parking lot and service yard for deliveries and garbage collection from the kitchen. So every day people had to wind their way through a parking lot and past the trash bins to get between the two main campus buildings. There was also about a six foot change in elevation. The design concept for the space was to use the simple and clean modernist elevation of the Commons building as a stage backdrop for a casual landscape amphitheater. The stage has become a gathering place for students and faculty. The movable furniture can be rearranged to meet a multitude of activities, from small classes to catered events or performances. Two diagonal ramps provide ADA accessibility and are placed to facilitate connection to areas of campus on either side. This way the ADA accessible route is not an awkward set of ramps placed to the side, but is the main circulation path used by everyone.

This is an example of how a major impact can be made on the usability, character and image of a campus for a relatively small amount of money.

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