OSU Cascades Campus Planning

client: oregon state university

size: 56 acres

location: bend, oregon

duration: 2012-2013

The OSU Cascades planning study generates the portfolio of tools needed to create and bring the vision of a four year university from concept to reality. The site and facility planning coupled with academic program development, scheduling and cost modeling creates a cohesive vision for use in inciting community, legislative and academic discussions and commitment. The plan is the first in a sequence of steps to implement a progressive vision for a uniquely western academic experience profoundly tied to place.

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In the heart of central Oregon, Oregon State University provides critically needed higher education, economic stimulus and community vitality. The vision of a four year academic program serving the eastern half of the state integrates the academic mission with a spectacular site located up slope from the Deschutes River in the Bend community. The high desert landscape of Ponderosa Pine forests and juniper studded sage brush steppe grasslands defines the site.  Located in a pumice quarry, the site is a basin surrounded by a mature pine forest.  The academic programs align pursuits of ecological research and management, recreation and technology innovation with the progressive visionary decision to house the university within a damaged landscape – one of many in the west.  This decision integrates ecological restoration and sustainable strategies at the physical and academic heart of the university. 

As a member of a diverse multidisciplinary team Swift Company led campus site planning coordinating the development of optional strategies including integration of campus life, spatial organization, access, phased basin restoration, rainwater capture, grading strategies, cost evaluation, and integrated sustainable systems for energy reduction and reuse.  Swift joined the team and academic leadership in multiple conversations with the larger community to refine the vision and build support to move the vision toward implementation.

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