University of Indianapolis, Smith Mall

Indianapolis, Indiana

Landscape Architecture category

For generations of students, staff and alumni at the University of Indianapolis, the dominant physical feature of the campus was the central parking lot, framed by a quadrangle of buildings. A 5.2-acre circle of green, Smith Mall, replaces that parking lot. It has altered the face of the campus, and changed campus life and ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMROAMworksFEATURED IN2000 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYLandscape of the university.

As part of an effort to create a green, pedestrian-friendly campus, the university developed more efficient, landscaped student/faculty/staff parking at the campus’ perimeter. Smith Mall became the green heart at the campus’ center, reflecting the growth of the university and providing a place for student recreation or quiet contemplation and study.

Smith Mall is composed of a series of spaces: the circular Sunken Lawn; a recessed long canal with adjacent water gardens; the partial arc of an amphitheater; a speakers’ platform, projecting to the sunken lawn; and the raised Library Plinth with ramps. Elements that soften, frame and enrich these spaces include a linear spine of 80 bald cypresses; an orchard of flowering ornamental trees; two intimate bronze fountains; and ornamental metalwork and brick arches that protect and add detail to the overall series of spaces.

Note: Area = 5.2 acres

Photographer: ©Dan Francis/Mardan Photography