On May 22, 2017, construction began on the East Side of Washington University in St. Louis’ Danforth Campus, marking the beginning of a three year project projected to be completed by the Spring of 2019. The redevelopment aims to provide the Danforth Campus with a new and improved entrance to the public and to provide a new focal point for student activity.
Key features of the project include moving the current parking lot underground to create a large open central green way at the surface. Also, construction of five new buildings above the parking lot to become additional space for the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Sam Fox School of Design, and the Undergraduate Admissions Office of the university. An important goal for the development is to foster a sense of community within the new end of campus; it will allow for collaboration and cross communication between fields of work and study that would not normally mix. The university hopes that the completion of the East End Renovation will foster learning and involvement for both students, faculty and the general public.
In line with Washington University’s sustainability efforts, the east end transformation will also take green design into great consideration. All of the new buildings have been designed to achieve an LEED Gold certification and most will host features such as photovoltaic panels to lessen electricity consumption. The underground parking lot was designed to reduce the heat island effect by removing hardscape from the surface while creating a natural landscape above it. The park itself will incorporate landscape design elements such as rain gardens and bioretention areas that will host native plants and a diverse tree canopy. Alternative modes of transportation will be encouraged with facilities devoted to commuter biking such as a network of pathways that will connect the local greenways and Forest Park.
To learn more about the East End Transformation and plans, visit https://campusnext.wustl.edu/.
Article by Makio Yamamoto on 15 June 2017