- Photographs: Bill Timmerman
Text description provided by the architects. The design for the ASU Polytechnic Campus transformed a decommissioned airbase into an inviting pedestrian campus that celebrates the desert landscape and created a new identity for the program. Fourteen acres of asphalt and concrete were removed to transform the site into a desert landscaped mall. Storm water is slowed, captured in detention basins throughout the mall, and used to nourish the landscape. The strategy minimized the load on the existing detention basin and established an indigenous landscape as the heart of the new campus.
By segmenting the program into five buildings, the architects formed four shady courtyards linked by portals and arcades, creating a cohesive pedestrian campus. The three largest buildings turn their sides to the east and west protecting the courtyards and atria from the seasonal monsoons. These shady, open-air atria provide environmentally sensitive social spaces that maximize visibility, daylighting, and the sense of community while minimizing energy usage by significantly eliminating interior conditioned circulation space.
Purposeful environmental strategies such as narrow building sections, shading devices and solar orientation allow 90% of the spaces to be effectively daylit, reduce thermal loads and contribute to a LEED Gold rating. Exposed building systems and regional material palette such as locally sourced ground faced block and perforated corrugated weathered steel reinforce the straightforward philosophy of the campus.