SWA Group has won a design competition to provide master planning and landscape architecture improving sustainability for the 247-acre (100-hectare) campus of the University of Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico. The assignment includes a phase-one implementation of site design for the Art and Design School Building under construction by noted architect Tadao Ando, the 1995 winner of the Pritzker Prize.
SWA’s assignment for the University of Monterrey (UDEM), Mexico’s premier institution of higher education, will help transform the campus from a vehicular orientation to one that encourages pedestrian, bicycle and transit use. The master plan will also incorporate greater sustainability by use of indigenous plant materials, natural water-retention and filtration, low maintenance landscaping as well as site-design strategies to enhance the learning and collaboration among students and faculty.
Tadao Ando’s structure, called the Gate of Creation, is a $34.5 million project encompassing 94,000 square feet (8,719 square meters), with spaces for design, research, teaching and exhibition, as well as 22 laboratories and workshops. According to the university, the building will help it establish Mexico and Latin America as a leader in the education of art, architecture and design.
“The landscape architecture and site design effort for UDEM is both a challenge and an honor that we are thrilled to be undertaking,” said Rene Bihan, SWA’s San Francisco-based managing principal overseeing the design team. “We will be working with the architect and the university to provide a proper landscape backdrop to what is considered one of the most significant architectural buildings in all of Latin America, while also helping the university move its campus to a higher level of sustainability.”