The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning

Landscape Lab: Collaborative Re-Design of the Williams Building Landscape

The Williams Building property in the University of Utah’s Research Park offers a unique opportunity to host a demonstration project for the Red Butte Creek Strategic Vision. In partnership with the Office of Sustainability, the Global Change and Sustainability Center, campus facilities and planning, and the Real Estate Administration, the CEPD has convened a collaborative design process to re-create the landscape of the Williams Building property. Led by a landscape architecture consultant, the research design team has worked to weave ecological and social-impact research questions into the new landscaping process so that the University can benefit from an ongoing investigative and learning relationship with this piece of land. The project will restore native ecological diversity and function to this portion of the Red Butte Creek watershed; increase access to recreational space for occupants of the building, the campus community, and the public; and test research questions about urban stream restoration, urban runoff management, hydrology, use of public space, and more.

This project is funded with support from the Real Estate Administration for the University of Utah Research Park.

Our research teams are currently collecting baseline data for the site, including water quality in the creek following precipitation events and human behavior in the William’s Building landscape.  We anticipate breaking ground on the new design within the next year.  After the installation of the landscape lab, researchers will study this site again, this time using the baseline data as a method of comparison to determine the project’s impact on the surrounding ecology.