The USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies is located on Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles. The campus sits within a valley opening towards the campus boat dock at its lowest end. The buildings were built through out the years as the campus called for expansion therefore no clear organizing concept exists within the current campus plan. There are within the campus a student commons building, an administrative building, a laboratory building with classrooms, a water tank facility, and student housings spread into two clusters in the valley. One major road way cuts through the campus and leads toward the nearest town - Two Harbors.
A master plan team was formed among students to create a new master plan for the campus. With the campus’ educational goals in mind, our team came to the conclusion that the campus itself needs to focus on its relationship with nature since the institute teaches about its environment.
Our team decided to create an artificial aqueduct that flows down the valley and intersect with the natural wash that already existed on the site. The treatment plant at the top of the site becomes the water source for the aqueduct. The treated water flows through the campus and is used for irrigation purposes. The intersections of the artificial and the natural water provides important nodes within the campus that allows students and faculties to ponder the importance of human interaction with nature.
A reflecting pool at the center of the campus where the commons building is serves as a central gathering place for students and faculties while they can view both up and down the valley at the orgin and termination point of both the artificial water and the natural wash.
Status: School Project
Location: Two Harbors (Catalina Island), CA, US