Discovery Park District Master Plan
A large land area west of campus presents a major opportunity for Purdue University, the city of West Lafayette, and the greater Lafayette region to create a unique district that supports the university’s mission, expands the area’s knowledge-based economy, and enhances the quality of life in West Lafayette. The goals of the master plan include leveraging proximity to the university, encouraging creative interactions, and accommodating a wide range of activities. After leading multiple design charettes and open forms, the project team explored countless design alternatives and arrived at a final framework that balances the influences of site constraints, development goals, stakeholder aspirations, resource efficiency, market conditions, and best planning and design practices.
Landscape Architecture and Sustainability
The design team was presented with the challenge of creating a district as dynamic and multifunctional as the client’s vision on an expansive site. After analyzing the ecological assets and land use adjacencies, the design team chose a variety of open space typologies and urban forms to make a transition from the rural land to the campus landscape to the east of the site. The plan is broken into six neighborhoods to cater to a diverse group of users, and to create a stronger sense of placemaking throughout the district. The street network and open space network knits the neighborhoods together through a consistent landscape vernacular. Designers used soil types, tree health, and watershed analysis to place development in the least ecologically valuable land. Solar potential was continuously studied throughout the design process to ensure the viability of renewable energy. Land conservation for recreation, provisioning, and agricultural research became major drivers for density.