University of San Diego Pedestrian Mall / Colachis Plaza
San Diego, CA
VDLA submitted a landscape design proposal for a competition for the creation of a pedestrian mall on an existing vehicular street on the USD campus. Our approach addressed the university’s vision statement as included below:
The proposed mall/plaza will encompass the roadway from the existing Colachis Plaza to the west terminating at Copley library. The design should mirror the university's 16th Century Spanish Renaissance heritage with well defined landscaped pedestrian areas, gracefully placed fountain(s), patios, gardens, and study niches. The pathways and landscape must be designed to hide the required presence of access for services and emergency vehicles, and mindful of underground utilities. The design should incorporate a turnaround or drop-off area at the existing Colachis Plaza with the need to accommodate weddings and funerals at The Immaculata and Founders Chapel. The possibility of extending the roadway north and south to the perimeter roads form the turnaround or drop-off area should be considered. The mall/plaza design must respect important features of the current landscape, building facades and entrances that will border the mall/plaza. Particular attention will be required to create study areas for ad-hoc classes, study niches, and quiet areas that can be used day or night; required adequate power and lighting for these uses an public safety. At the west end of the mall/plaza there should be an "anchor" element that gives the mall/plaza a sense of presence. The "anchor" element should also be highly visible and give you direction as you crest the West Marin Way hill and come to a large intersection that contains four major academic buildings. The intersection could be redesigned to connect with the academic buildings, and become an extension of the mall.