With the University quickly expanding, USI was in need of a unifying space to connect the new buildings on campus. The quadrangle would serve as a new focal point on campus - much more than just an area students travel to get from one building to another - but a destination. It is all part of building community on the USI campus and giving students more opportunity to “see and be seen”.
The quadrangle includes many new areas of landscaping and seating while leaving open a lawn area for games of Frisbee and lounging in the sun. A plaza was designed between the University Center encircled by a brick and stone seat wall. It features a large fountain, with geysers that are computer controlled to add variety and fun. The second plaza is a passive area where students can gather with umbrella tables and seats. These focal points are all connected by well lit, well landscaped walks. Indigenous plant material is used throughout and the entire area is irrigated to maintain the varied and colorful plant life.
A natural amphitheatre provides seating in front of Rice Library. Trees planted on either side of the seating area frames the entrance to the library. Working with Labryinth Enterprises of St. Louis, a paved labyrinth modeled after New Harmony’s Cathedral Labyrinth was constructed in front of the Liberal Arts Center at the opposite end of the quadrangle. The Cathedral Labyrinth is a replica of the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral, built in the 12th century near Paris, France.
The quadrangle is a great “exterior room” where students can be seen studying, hanging out with friends, reading a book on the seat walls, playing sports in the great lawn, or attending campus events. The quadrangle has transformed the previous sprawling USI campus into an organized collection of exceptional academic and social experiences.