the Ellipse outdoor (class)room
Client: University of Oregon
Outdoor Learning and Community Space
Outdoor Learning: Nature Sustains and Inspires. The Ellipse is a beautiful outdoor (class)room and campus community space that unites Tykeson Hall with Chapman Hall with a new landscape that provides inspirational opportunity to interact with nature within an educational setting. Space planning features flexibility and adaptability to accommodate a variety of current and future functions, including differently-sized classes and small educational gatherings that can meet social distancing requirements.
Poetic Biodiversity, Sustainable Materials, Equitable Access, and Spatial Adaptability. The design transforms the area by weaving formal geometry with playful curves and promotes biodiversity and habitat creation with drought-tolerant, adaptive native vegetation and water-efficient drip irrigation systems. Sculpted topographical mounds accentuate curved concrete and wooden seat walls. Blue and purple camas poetically complement yellow tulips and native grass of varying heights.
An exposed aggregate concrete walkway with locally sourced Oregon stones defines the inner ellipse, and light-colored concrete enhances surrounding areas to reflect solar heat and reduce heat island effect. Site-wide storm water treatment is incorporated into the landscape design. Preserved mature tulip and oak trees form two edges of this outdoor room with gently sloping pathways.
Integrated seamlessly into the campus framework of open spaces, the design connects with existing pedestrian circulation (80 walk score| 100 bike score) as well as nearby mass transit for equitable access.
The Ellipse is an extension of Tykeson Hall, an innovative academic center at the University of Oregon designed by OFFICE 52 Architecture. Landscape photos and prismacolor drawings by Michelle LaFoe and Isaac Campbell.
Design team: OFFICE 52, LandCurrent, KPFF.
Construction complete 2021.