Palo Alto, California
The new quad for the science and engineering school realizes one of three axial quads envisioned in Olmsted’s 1889 master plan for the campus – the central, main quad the only one built at the time. The quad not only creates a major new “campus within the campus”, it also establishes north / south and east/ west connections and provides a framework for future campus expansion. The project was phased over 10 years, with each building and associated open space occupied as soon as completed, with the final phase completed in 2015.
The open space design is notable for the number of goals it fulfills: a balance of native, sustainable landscape with paving to create both a respite and a place for desired outdoor uses; a re-interpretation of the design of the historic quad, using similar elements but in a more contemporary way that provides for casual use as well as formal identity; and the relationship to below grade architectural spaces, giving light and access to the expansive lower level of meeting, learning and office spaces. The central open space of the quad is a vibrant destination and is the cohesive tissue for 600,000 SF of new labs, offices, and classroom spaces, as well as academic facilities and amenities for campus-wide use.