University of Arizona Environmental and Natural Resources


The School of Natural Resources and the Environment addresses grand challenges in environmental sciences through integration across the boundaries of biology, physical science, resource management, and international resource issues; addressing complex issues in the environment with interdisciplinary science strategies.

The new University of Arizona Environment and Natural Resources 2 project borrows from the iconic imagery of our region; striking landforms of canyon and mesa, the dramatic play of light, shade, and shadow, and highly adapted flora and fauna, natural sequences and systems understood by those that have built here before, with purpose and fundamental response to the site and setting. The building is comprised of five stories of over-structure garden terraces, creating a vertical ecosystem. Seeps with native ferns and mosses are strategically located in the deep shade areas on each floor with vines cascading from each floor into the central core space. All landscape beds and the tinaja water feature are irrigated with stored condensate from adjacent buildings and rainwater runoff. The hardscape design reflects the carved canyon walls and floors carved by the water flowing in and out of the canyon slots.

A two-year study was developed to study each of the native plants and their adaptability to the different soil types, soil depth, and light conditions to help determine plants that could be able to survive in their diverse micro-climates through the gardens.


Location: Tucson, Arizona
Size: 3 acres
Client: University of Arizona
Completion Date: 2014


Richärd + Bauer
McGann & Associates


Hardscape and Landscape Design
Test-Plot Plant Research and Study Documentation


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Landscape Architecture Magazine | Sep 2015


2019 Arizona Forward Association Environmental Excellence Awards, Distinguished Landscape Award

2013 ASLA Arizona Design Honor Award, Unbuilt Category