2015 Merit Award, St. Louis ASLA
"El Agua y La UTPL” (Water and the UTPL) is a Landscape Master Plan for the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja (UTPL), located in Loja, Ecuador and ranked one of the top three Universities in the country. The Master Plan focuses on storm-water management, public-space activation and blending the boundary between infrastructure, design and public art.
Alternatives to present-day unattractive and ineffective storm-water management are suggested through pilot projects in each of the UTPL’s four campus zones- Central, East, Residential and Hilltop. In each project rainwater is treated as a valuable, integrated and attractive landscape element that can sustainably manage storm-water and help activate the campus’ many outdoor areas.
A technically difficult project due to extremely steep terrain and impervious clay soils, this Master Plan proposes bold and iconic strategies that support the University’s desire to be a regional leader for sustainable design. In this “opportunity-driven” proposal, storm-water and public space infrastructure are woven together creating a network where people and water move and gather beside one another.
The curved runnels and elliptical gathering areas that dynamically move and repeat throughout the Master Plan are inspired by Ecuadorian artists including Oswaldo Guayasamín as well as locally-found petroglyph.