MALAGA UNIVERSITY CAMPUS

MALAGA (SPAIN)

Client: Universidad de Málaga
Location: Málaga, Spain
Date: 2017 – ongoing
Status: Competition First Prize – Construction documents delivered – Bidding process in progress
Program:
Phase1: Landscaping project of Boulevard Louis Pasteur and adjacent areas in the University Campus of Teatinos of the University of Malaga. Area: 52ac
Phase2: Execution Project for the landscaping and urbanization of free spaces in the section between Jiménez Fraud street and Jenofonte street and green area of the Meteorological Center. Surface: 17ac

Ecosistema Urbano, after being awarded a public tender promoted by the University of Malaga in 2016, has developed the Landscape Planning Project for the Louis Pasteur Boulevard and the main public spaces of the Teatinos University Campus, with a total surface area of 21 Ha (52 ac). The completion of the construction of the first phase, comprising a total surface area of 7 Ha (17 ac), is planned for December 2020.

The project, in line with the University of Malaga’s strategies, develops the concept for an open and innovative campus. In order to enhance the academic and social functions within public spaces, the design creates an attractive and comfortable natural environment, as well as incorporates technology that allows for a new atmosphere of interaction between the physical and digital environments.

The Louis Pasteur Boulevard project regenerates a large and underused area, surrounded by infrastructure. This area transforms into the main space of the university campus by combining new spatial and landscape features with highly articulated programmes that improve its climatic comfort and connectivity.

The design proposal aims to achieve the dual goal of enabling everyday university life activities — teaching, studying, meeting, or reading—to take place in public spaces, while providing a new green infrastructure for the city.

Four ways of rethinking a campus

Using four different strategies, the boulevard includes the different aspects of the campus through a single design:

  • Connected Campus: This strategy creates a complete urban layout, through connecting different facilities and opening the university to its immediate surroundings, as well as the whole city, focusing primarily on public transportation and pedestrian areas.
  • Green Campus: Creates an ecological route that, through a global strategy of sustainable management, recovers space and enhances the potential of existing green spaces such as the Olivar—Olive Grove—or the Botanical Garden.
  • Interactive Campus: Allows users to visualize real-time information, interact with the different elements of the public space and adapt them according to their needs, including the configuration of the bioclimatic conditioning systems to achieve optimal environmental conditions.
  • Open Campus: Makes a wide variety of educational meeting spaces and devices available for university students and all citizens, bringing academic activity into the public space, making it more accessible and dynamic.

Digital interactivity and bioclimatic comfort

One of the key aspects of this project is its commitment to using technology as a way of improving the interaction between people and the environment.

It will be the first public space that users can control through an application. In parallel with the construction of the project, the official UMA app will be extended with open source modules that will allow access to an augmented environment of interactivity and information. 

This opens up a whole new world of connections between the digital layer and the physical space. Beyond the typical optimization and automation processes that are common in a ‘smart cities’ approach, this project utilizes a network of sensors and actuators, that allows individuals to experience a new level of interactivity: controlling bioclimatic conditioning systems, changing lighting settings, sending audiovisual content to screens and sound systems, know the atmospheric conditions of the spaces in each area of the park or events programmed, sharing comments or photos associated with specific spaces, unlocking lockers to access extra equipment and even checking out books from an outdoor extension of the university library.

Technology also plays a key role in the environmental conditions of this project. To improve the comfort of the main outdoor spaces, they have been equipped with bioclimatic conditioning systems such evaporative cooling or geothermal air circulation. All these devices have a low level of energy consumption and are powered by solar panels integrated into the newly built structures. These systems, together with the passive bioclimatic strategies widely implemented in the design, will foster a continuous use of the space throughout the year.

Open academic spaces connected by a natural landscape

The first construction phase, which covers an area of 7 Ha (17 ac), is articulated around three main systems: the “Hubs” or activity nodes, the large green area, and the boulevard, a green corridor that connects both.

This project is also designed to manage the circulation of water in a more sustainable and efficient way, by slowing its runoff, creating a network of infiltration areas, and planting species with low water consumption.

The Boulevard is a green corridor that connects programmatic elements such as the technological “Hubs”, open classrooms or spaces for social encounter, and the existing neglected natural spaces that are transformed into urban biodiversity reserves. 

The main path is protected from traffic by artificial topographies covered with vegetation, creating new landscapes that bring character to the emptiness of the suburban environment. These new landscapes create enclosed and protected spaces that make bioclimatic conditioning achievable.

The Climatic and Digital Hub is the main space, located next to the Metro station and designed for large-capacity events. It is equipped with a technological canopy, housing an interactive screen, a digital water curtain, climate conditioning systems, and energy production systems that provide power for the entire park.

The Open Classrooms are spaces surrounded and protected by vegetation, equipped with interactive technologies that enable academic and social events. Their main goal is to transfer the university experience into the public space.

The Open Library at the Olive Grove is designed as a natural environment, equipped in certain points with light infrastructure and urban furniture elements that transform the grove into a space for creativity, leisure, learning, reading, exchanging information, or resting.

The area along the Stream is cleaned and re naturalized, by introducing new vegetation that limits soil erosion, installing water collection systems and infiltration areas, enhancing biodiversity, and managing resources more efficiently.

Combining this strategic approach and site-specific interventions, the new Campus of Teatinos adopts a vision where public space and landscape can support playful and educational experiences, making interdisciplinary knowledge accessible not only to students, but to all citizens.

A connected, open, interactive and green campus.
An intelligent natural space, with positive energy balance and bioclimatic comfort.
A public space where collaboration, creativity and learning define the urban scene.

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