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Universidad Del Istmo Master Plan

Universidad Del Istmo (UNIS)
Fraijanes, Guatemala
49 hectares
Planning and Urban Design
Completed July 2011
Boston Society of Architects, Honor Award for Planning
Society for College and University Planning, Merit Award for Excellence in Planning for a New Campus

The new campus of Universidad del Istmo is located in the rapidly growing community of Santa Isabel near Guatemala City, Guatemala. The 49-hectare site is situated on a beautiful hillside and valley. The university aims to enroll approximately 6,200 students in successive stages of implementation over twenty years. The educational objectives and mission of the university include a strong focus on the individual and the community within the learning environment. The form of the new campus is a response to the university’s social goals and commitment towards contemporary learning relationships. Taking into account the ecological forces and systems that influence the site, together with a careful positioning and orientation of new buildings to promote natural ventilation and daylighting, the campus is a model of sustainable strategies.

On the ridge overlooking the valley, Sasaki established the heart of campus featuring key civic components. A network of academic clusters is arranged along a linear landscape spine and linked by shaded walkways. The valley is designed to become a connected resource for the surrounding community and plays a critical role in the stormwater management of the entire site. The new campus accommodates the school of communication, the law school, and academic and administrative spaces for a variety of disciplines. Additional facilities include a rectory, a library, a chapel, a 300-person auditorium, a student center hub, an indoor gymnasium, outdoor recreation areas, a 100-bed teaching hospital, and housing for undergraduate students.

For more information contact Dennis Pieprz.

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