UCI University Hills Area 7
The University Hills Area 7 Faculty Housing and Park-Paseo project at UVI extends over approximately 14 acres and addresses a great variety of topographic and microclimatic conditions. The housing component of the project is a nin-acre, 110 unity faculty housing complex set into a gentle hills by a system of small streets. The Park-Paseo part of the project covers five acres and links the housing development to its different parts as well as the greater UCI open space system.
IVY served as the Landscape Architect and Site Planner for the entire complex in conjunction with the UCI’s department of Campus Planning, The Irvine Campus housing Authority and the Design Architect. IVY was part of a larger team composed of Campus Planners, Architects, Engineers and Community Representatives. IVY Landscape Architects prepared and managed the public participation process for all site/landscape-related. Elements.
The program elements address the needs of modern living in an open but carefully planned community with single-family dwellings. The pedestrian and vehicular experience is carefully balanced to avoid any sense of dominance by vehicles. Street trees and plantings, street furnishings and the relation of slopes to views make up the outdoor living experience. The Park and Paseo are defined by paved and unpaved pathways/trails, large-scale turf play areas, children’s playground and structures, lookouts with seating, grassy knolls and runoff detention basins that also serve as mysterious overgrown gardens for children to explore. Other elements include native plantings that enhance existing rock outcrops and long views, flowering and succulent gardens at the interfaces with the four neighborhood accesses and a demonstration community garden.
The guiding concept for the design of the site derives from the University’s own Green and Gold program for environmentally sustainable design and incorporates input from the Community Process. The landscape design is a hierarchical progression of large-scale, utilitarian design elements that become smaller and more heterogeneously detailed as the user moves from a vehicular to a pedestrian experience, or as a pedestrian traverses ever smaller paths that become unpaved trails ending in quiet shaded overlooks. The major program elements are located contectually in relation to the proximity of dwellings, slopes, rock outcrops or the possibility of sweeping views.