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University Of Dayton

Central Mall

The University of Dayton seized the opportunity to renovate its underutilized Central Mall when it decided to demolish an outdated engineering building nearby. Despite its location, the Mall was a classic leftover space: disjointed, lacking amenities and often ignored. After a complete overhaul, the 7-acre Central Mall is now the most popular space on campus.

UD wanted a versatile space that could comfortably accommodate large crowds just as easily as individuals and small groups. The design had to include open space for large tents, replenish a depleted tree canopy, separate pedestrian from vehicular traffic and solve serious drainage and topographical problems.

The landscape architects led a multi-disciplined team throughout the design process, solving the site’s programmatic and technical issues while creating a memorable center for the campus. The solution is both crossroads and gathering space – a 500-foot, terraced lawn bordered by trees and seat walls, with a plaza and fountain at one end, an amphitheater at the other and an innovative bio-retention garden along one edge.