Our Work

University of Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas

Confluence has been involved in campus design and facility planning efforts for several key additions and enhancements to the University of Kansas Campus:

Jayhawk Boulevard Historic Restoration: As part of a multidisciplinary design team, Confluence was retained to prepare a corridor concept plan for the restoration of Jayhawk Boulevard, the historic “spine” of the University of Kansas (KU) campus. As a part of reconstruction of this heavily traveled multi-modal boulevard, Confluence is restoring the boulevard landscape to embrace the original landscape intent as designed in the 1920’s. New sidewalks and curb ramps are included in the plans.

A number of buildings along Jayhawk Boulevard were recently placed on the Register of Historic Kansas Places and are awaiting consideration by the National Register of Historic Places. The plans for Jayhawk Boulevard take into account the broader historic campus landscape and extraordinary view sheds originally conceived by George Kessler and Henry Wright in 1904, all while accommodating the needs of the modern University. As part of the project, Confluence also proposed and conceptually designed an entry experience on the western end of the boulevard near the existing Chi Omega Fountain that formally announces your arrival to Jayhawk Boulevard. In addition to corridor design, Confluence has developed concepts for updating/upgrading the entry plaza to the Student Union.

Engineering Complex Master Plan: As part of a multidisciplinary design team, Confluence led the landscape architecture and site design for an expansion to the School of Engineering “quad” and surrounding campus environs at the University of Kansas (KU). The planning included phased implementation of engineering facilities for the M2SEC project (Phase One) and the LEEP2 project (Phase Two). An additional student research facility (high bay building) located on KU’s West Campus is also included in the Phase Two project.

The scope of the planning effort included building placement, site planning and design of collaborative exterior plazas and public spaces that encourage pedestrian activity and interaction. The existing site terrain provided  opportunities to introduce a terraced lawn near the Phase I entrance, which incorporates ample seating for outdoor gatherings and direct access to the central green space. The formal lawn area provides a central organizing element within the courtyard space, creating an inviting front door to both phases of this new facility while also serving the adjacent existing Spahr and Eaton Halls.

The entire facility is being designed to minimize its environmental impact. Contributing site features include an extensive rain garden, green roof and green wall research opportunities, use of native plant materials, and anticipated rainwater harvesting and reuse.

Learned Engineering Expansion Phase 2: As part of a multi-disciplinary team, Confluence led the landscape architecture and site design for the Learned Engineering Expansion Phase 2 (LEEP2). This $80 million, 140,000 square foot project is comprised of two buildings—one at the engineering “quad” on the main campus and the other on KU’s west campus.  Confluence provided site planning and landscape design for both locations.

The main campus facility will serve as the front door to the engineering complex and connect the innovative, new M2SEC building with existing Learned and Eaton Halls. Within the courtyard created by the engineering building, a formal lawn area provides a central organizing element between the buildings and serves as an inviting front door for the entire engineering complex.

The west campus “high bay” facility will provide 30,000 square feet of space for research, testing and development of large structural systems including concrete piers and steel girders.

One Daisy Hill Residence Hall: Confluence is part of a multi-disciplinary team retained to design two new freshman-focused residence halls to replace existing McCollum Hall. The five-story halls will house approximately 350 students each and will provide a mix of public and private areas to encourage group collaboration and study. Together with existing residence halls, these buildings will form the signature look of a residential quadrangle. Confluence was involved in building location and site design including parking, vehicular access and pedestrian circulation. In addition, Confluence is involved in the design of the quadrangle space and overall site landscape design.

Terraced lawn panels were introduced to address a 10’ grade change from north to south along the new quad while providing large expanses of lawn for activities. A 26’ wide paved “promenade” accommodates emergency access and move in/move out traffic.

West Campus Park-and-Ride: Confluence provided landscape architectural and site planning services for a new 1,500 car park-and-ride facility.  Design responsibilities included assisting in site layout configuration, vehicular and pedestrian circulation, entry monument identification and wayfinding signage, landscape planting and irrigation design, pedestrian shelter design, and site lighting. The use of limestone, cast stone and steel materials creates a visual link to the central campus while creating a unique west campus identity. Large shade trees and flowering shrubs create an aesthetic sense of arrival from the entry drive to the roundabout and into the east and west parking lots.

The new park-and-ride facility is designed to efficiently serve the needs of the central campus while supporting potential expansion of the University’s west campus.

Docking Family Gateway: Made possible by donations from the Docking Family, this new campus entry monument welcomes students and visitors to the historic Jayhawk Boulevard on the University of Kansas Campus.  With the assistance of a team of consultants, Confluence developed the concept for this new gateway and prepared all necessary construction documents for successful installation.  In order to blend with the historic architecture of the immediate surroundings, the design incorporates a mixture of brick and stone to create traditional details and form.  The introduction of a fountain enlivens this key campus entrance

Measurement, Materials, and Sustainable Environment Center (M2SEC): The building housing the Measurement, Materials, and Sustainable Environment Center (M2SEC) is designed to be a game-changing research facility funded by a $12.3M National Institute of Standards and Technology grant and additional support from friends of the KU School of Engineering. Devoted exclusively to research endeavors, the facility will house a variety of labs with four main themes – measurement, materials, sustainability, and environment. This facility is planned for phased construction implementation.

As part of a multi-disciplinary team, Confluence is leading the landscape architecture and site design for this new facility and the surrounding campus environs. Anticipated site features include the creation of collaborative exterior plazas and public spaces that encourage pedestrian activity and interaction. The existing site terrain provided opportunities to introduce a terraced lawn near the Phase I entrance, which incorporates ample seating for outdoor gatherings and direct access to the central green space. The formal lawn area provides a central organizing element within the courtyard space, creating an inviting front door to both phases of this new facility while also serving the adjacent Spahr and Eaton Halls.

The entire facility is being designed to minimize its environmental impact and is pursuing LEED Silver certification. Contributing site features include an extensive rain garden, green roof and green wall research opportunities, use of native plant materials, and anticipated rainwater harvesting and reuse.