Arizona State University, Vista del Sol

Tempe, Arizona

Vista del Sol’s original intent was to meet Arizona State University (ASU)’s enrollment objectives while attracting upperclassmen back to campus with apartment accommodations, amenities and an active retail plaza.

To finance this project, ASU pioneered a long-term ground lease transaction with American ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY1,866COST PER SQ FT$164.73FEATURED IN2009 Architectural Portfolio Communities. Through the American Campus Equity (ACE) program, ACC uses its own balance sheet to develop, manage and own on-campus student housing with no financial impact to ASU’s credit, freeing resources for the university’s academic mission.

Prior to Vista del Sol, the South Campus was a disorganized assembly of outdated housing and undeveloped parcels—a poorly articulated campus edge. The site had been defined by an informal and relatively unsafe traffic route of students walking to the campus core. Now, the new development channels thousands of student passersby along the Vista del Sol community center and retail plaza.

This community meets market expectations for today’s upperclassman student with an expansive fitness center, media room, retail plaza, business center, basketball court and resort-style pool. The campus no longer suffers attrition because students do not move away in search of modern amenities and privacy.

Vista del Sol‘s architecture represents uniqueness in an open and welcoming community, yet is bounded and secure for its residents. The symbolic entrance into the community is through a shaded urban plaza flanked by the twin mixed-use residential towers situated at the terminus of the campus’ primary pedestrian circulation malls. Reflecting a strong contemporary reference to the great public spaces of the past, this plaza is upfront and accessible. It serves as a common meeting ground for public and private communal interaction. Deeper within the community proper, there is greater privacy in courts that relate to the individual residence groups.