Regeneracion A vision for the Campus and District - Sasaki Associates
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Regeneracion A vision for the Campus and District

Sasaki Associates

27 October 2015

Regeneracion A vision for the Campus and District of the Tecnologico de Monterrey

A Vision Plan For The District And Campus Of The Tecnológico De Monterrey, Mexico
PROJECT NARRATIVE - Tecnológico de Monterrey, with an extraordinary and continuously expanding influence across the spectrum of Mexican education, is poised to become a leader in stimulating urban and economic regeneration and prove the power of Latin American universities as engines of innovation and entrepreneurship.
In response to this vision, the plan for the Tecnológico de Monterrey establishes the framework for the long-term evolution of the campus, and the regeneration of the communities surrounding the university into a lively, attractive, dynamic, and integrated district, while creating an environment that will attract significant research and development investment.
New leadership at the Tec de Monterrey is committed to positioning the Tec as a catalyst for regeneration of higher education and of the connections between universities and their communities. This required expanded emphasis on research, commitment to an engaged learning process, and a willingness to reconnect with the challenging surrounding community. As the flagship of a 31 campus system, Monterrey could become a catalyst for nationwide integrated planning.
The 70-year-old campus, the first master-planned campus in Mexico, was tired. Recent buildings had violated the powerful sustainable integrity of the original vision. There was no culture of planning. While the campus atmosphere was vibrant and energized, it was fighting physical realities. A massive but obsolete stadium was surrounded by acres of on-grade parking, occupying key land adjacent to the core. In surrounding neighborhoods, a sense of danger and neglect was prevalent.
The job of the Master Plan process was to reverse this situation, create a culture of planning, and develop an implementable vision that would immediately generate optimism and excitement.
INTEGRATED PLANNING AND ANALYSIS - From the start, the Tec and the design team were aiming for a plan that integrated social, economic, and educational realities. The plan had to transform education, attract private investment, and regenerate the neighborhood.
Every landscape and urban design move grew out of an educational principle. Opportunities for new land use or building use, and for creating a fully integrated learning and research environment, as well as addressing mobility and connectivity issues, grew out of extensive early analysis.
Research included an online survey tool that allowed all members of the community to graphically map how they used the campus and the neighborhood. Findings, such as the preferred open spaces in the neighborhood and opportunities for investments in the public realm, were filtered, combined and visualized as knowledge base. The creation of custom software tools allowed dynamic and compelling visualization of space on campus. A vision for engaged learning and an online survey of desired academic and administrative adjacencies suggested the need for transformative improvements.
An active community engagement process ensured community buy-in, as did meetings with public officials. DESIGN PROCESS AND STRATEGIES.
The plan capitalizes on the benign Monterrey climate to create a series of campus districts fully inter-
connected by a bolstered public realm, and projects a clear message that the whole district is a learning environment, committed to transparency, connectivity, and engagement. In each district, whether it be the central Faculty Student Commons in the core academic campus, one of the inter-disciplinary Learning Nodes, one of the mixed-use R&D districts, or the park-like sweep of playing fields and sports facilities, there is a sense of connection to the larger campus and the district. Buildings and landscape work together to generate a powerful sense of place.
The proposed Learning Nodes – nestled in the academic core in previously underutilized spaces – are a wholly new concept for a campus designed as a learning and social crossroads that expresses the Tec’s entrepreneurial spirit. The public realm of the university and the district is carefully connected and integrated through a series of pedestrian routes, public spaces and shared uses.
IMPLEMENTATION - To ensure effective implementation and to support design quality, the planning process included overall systems integration and detailed design guidelines, explaining each urban design move, landscape character, sector by sector, in illustrative plans, to ensure that this was a plan for placemaking, and not a collection of buildings.
The team also developed a dynamic visualization tool for prioritizing investment for more than fifty identified projects on the campus and in the neighborhood. With the tool, projects can be instantly re- prioritized and placed on a timeline based on shifts in emphasis (e.g. student life vs. research partnerships) and available funding sources. The tool ensures that individual projects cannot be treated in a vacuum.
FULFILLING THE MISSION OF THE INSTITUTION - Commitment to a campus that nourishes Mind, Body, and Spirit; to fostering a climate of collaboration and entrepreneurship; to stimulating engaged learning; to re-engaging with the neighborhood and the City; and to facilitating rapid growth of research partnerships: each is a major focus of the Master Plan vision. The project illustrates the power of passion, commitment, and a wholly collaborative partnership between
client and design team. In terms of innovation, the plan takes a strong position on partnerships related to applied research, learning environments, community building and the importance of the public realm in integrating the campus and the district into a single organism.

Sasaki Associates - Our practice comprises architecture, planning, urban design, landscape architecture, graphic design, interior design, and civil engineering, as well as financial planning and software development. Among these disciplines, we collaborate in equilibrium, and each is recognized nationally and internationally for design excellence. On our teams, practitioners from diverse backgrounds come together to create unique, contextual, enduring solutions. Our integrated approach yields rich ideas, surprising insights, unique partnerships, and a broad range of resources for our clients. This approach enables us to work seamlessly and successfully from planning to implementation. While our disciplines offer depth of expertise, our studio structure engenders breadth, innovation, and interdisciplinary collaboration. From our headquarters in metro Boston, USA, and with an office in Shanghai, we work in a variety of settings—locally, nationally, and globally.


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