the university of virginia ivy corridor district landscape

the university of virginia ivy corridor district landscape

The creation of the Ivy Corridor District began as a strategic district study led by DumontJanks in 2016. That idea outlined the transformation of a 14-acre parcel, seen as the potential uniting district between north grounds and historic central grounds. The parcel, roughly the size of the historic UVA Lawn and pavilions, with 45’ of elevation change, will be transformed from its current pattern of remnant woods, commercial, hotel, and parking uses, into a new academic and mixed-use district of approximately one million square feet. The key organizing idea is a terraced central preserve composed of bold bosques of trees, a water course (the site contains a partially buried and exposed stream), and a wide pedestrian environment of walks andbridges connecting the preserve and buildings along the entire length of the parcel. The plan was approved by the Board of Visitors in late 2017.

DumontJanks has led a diverse team of civil engineers, transportation engineers, biologists, ecologists, and hydrologic engineers to bring the approved district idea to implementation and regulatory approvals. The district will be composed of collaborative academic, performing arts and museum, new hotel and conference facilities, residential, and support office and retail uses to create a vibrant and connective new district on Grounds. The DumontJanks team is responsible for the entire composition of all site development, infrastructure (public and university), streets, public frontage, and a connective system of internal walks, bikeways, and bridges on site.

Specific to the landscape idea is the need to restore a visible water course to the district in two distinct phases. In the lower, larger Phase I, this entails constructing an approvable stream/water way that meets and exceeds biological, water quality, and water storage aspirations for a 180-acre diversified, disturbed and undisturbed, upstream watershed. The terraced water course and its supporting landscape must accommodate seasonal stormwater fluctuations. Stormwater storage therefore necessitates an understory and tree regime that can endure and thrive in saturated and inundated environments. The water terraces lead to a major water element and amphitheater at the corner of the site looking east to Central Grounds and the Rotunda.

In the upstream Phase II site, the watershed is essential to the remaining five-acre site. The idea captures all runoff from new building roofs, pavements, and planted areas, and imagines the center preserve as an upstream tributary to the lower Phase I preserve.

DumontJanks is currently designing and implementing the built work for the Ivy Corridor, including the new hotel and conference facilities, and the first academic buildings.

Our work on the Ivy Corridor received a SCUP Honor Award for Excellence in Landscape Architecture for Open Space Planning