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University of Dayton seized the opportunity to renovate its underutilized Central Mall when it decided to demolish an outdated engineering building nearby.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.