Loyola University’s Lake Shore Campus is a collection of historic and contemporary buildings with dramatic views to the lake. Hoerr Schaudt prepared a master plan for the 46-acre main campus that guides the expansion and addition of several facilities while introducing a missing key element – a central campus quadrangle. The planned landscape enhancements, many of which have been implemented to date, have served to enrich Loyola’s sense of identity and presence. Important components of the plan include the use of art deco motifs drawn from campus architecture, improved connections between buildings, and landscape treatments that cohesively knit architecture elements together.
When Loyola approached Hoerr Schaudt, it had experienced a period of poor finances, plummeting enrollment, and years of deferred maintenance. Its Lake Shore campus lacked a sense of place, and the downtown Water Tower campus struggled to distinguish itself as a distinct presence amid its dense urban neighborhood. As the University began to plan its renaissance, it sought guidelines for developing a strong campus identity and a unified image for its campuses that harmonized disparate elements into a cohesive, distinctly Loyola experience. The resulting plan establishes a highly effective branding strategy for the University’s landscape that has already been implemented in projects throughout the Water Tower and Lake Shore campuses.
As a first step, Hoerr Schaudt worked with the client to delve into the history, mission and values, symbolism, and existing physical assets of Loyola’s Water Tower and Lake Shore campuses. The University’s distinguished collection of stained glass, art deco architecture and existing sculpture emerged as significant design elements to celebrate in translating its identity into the landscape. In addition, the University sought to create spiritual, organic, and social connections to nature.
A new courtyard between the art deco style Mundelein Center and historic Piper Hall mansion eliminated surface parking, incorporates contextual design motifs, and creates a definitive destination place where students can socialize.
A landscape restoration at Piper Hall created a park-like landscape for one of the University’s architectural gems. Within the design, the design team incorporated religious statuaries into an intimate grotto used for reflection and prayer.
Landscape Master Plan
The landscape master plan for the Lake Shore Campus puts forth a series of guiding principles that would cultivate the campus setting the University aspired to have. The plan's goals included creating a sense of place through a palette of distinctive and consistent materials, infusing the campus with memorable social destinations, and introducing campus walkways and green spaces with organic shapes that promote a sense of discovery and change. The plan sought to ameliorate the impacts of stormwater runoff by reducing paved areas in favor of plantings that celebrate the seasons. Finally, in order to illustrate the strong faith of the institution, the plan recommended creating spaces for the display of iconographic symbols and sculptures that would anchor the campus experience, and reinforce the University's Jesuit mission and value system.
A new athletic field at the north end of campus introduced sustainable landscape design elements that include a rain garden, tree bosques, and landscape mounds for vertical greening, and porous paving. The design reduced paving by eliminating a poorly utilized parking area and closes off a north-south vehicular route that bisected the campus.
Improvements at Water Tower campus incorporate custom-designed planters that connect it to the Lake Shore campus. The art deco style motif that adorns the planters is a visual cue to identify it as a distinct area within downtown Chicago.
New intersections along Sheridan Road at Kenmore and Winthrop streets on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus draw on the art deco motif from Mundelein to alert pedestrians and vehicles to the busy crosswalk