Historic Core Landscape Concept Plan

March 2023   Austin, TX
Key Points

A Historic Core Landscape Concept Plan for the University of Texas at Austin aims to enhance the campus and guide improvements for the next chapter of it’s legacy.


The project emphasizes environmental responsibility, supports long-term ecological health, and promotes heat mitigation.

Identity-Infused Spaces

Thoughful design choices reflect the character and history of the campus and transform outdoor areas into gathering spaces well suited to host formal events.

The Historic Core of the University of Texas at Austin’s campus, known as the Forty Acres, is a 40-acre area bordered by 21st Street, Guadalupe Street, 24th Street, and Speedway. At the heart of this space is The Tower and Main Building, designed by Architect Paul Cret to mark the intersection of crossing axes.

The goal of the Historic Core Landscape Concept Plan is to enhance the university’s landscape to reflect its world-class status, using low-maintenance solutions as outlined in the University’s landscape master plan. Our team conducted a thorough site analysis, including comprehensive surveys of the site’s heat and circulation patterns, to make informed recommendations. Since this area is one of the busiest on campus, our focus was on creating more rest and gathering spaces and improving the journey between them. The concept plan presents ideas for hardscapes, including upgraded walkways, plazas, seating amenities, and lighting upgrades to improve daily life for the community and better support large university events.

The concept plan also provides recommendations for diversifying plant species in all plantings. The campus is home to beautiful live oaks that can be protected by increasing the diversity of the surrounding trees. Overall, the solutions presented in the Historic Core Landscape Concept Plan aim to honor the site’s historical legacy and align its functionality and appearance with the current and future needs of students, alumni, staff, and visitors.

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