I have recently had the good fortune to become a member of TeamBeni: the group of talented individuals leading the charge to design the new campus for Beni American University with its permanent site inAdija, Apa, Benue State,Nigeria! Lead by the university founder, Gossy Ukanwoke, we are striving to create a series of memorable spaces that will stimulate creativity and foster learning and connections through a rich student life. Definitely a daunting task, but an exciting one for me to undertake.
My role is to help develop the landscape realm through a series of conceptual sketches. I also was asked to help rough out the master plan with the newly acquired land.
The first rough out created axis and linkages as well as introducing a significant amount of tree cover and a variety of people spaces. With a bit of exploration into probable square footage requirements, a more concrete version was developed.
With a framework established, it was time to scale jump and dig into the nitty gritty of the design. We decided to begin with the arrival and entry sequence including the first quadrangle of the campus. We knew we needed water, a sculpture, an amphitheater like space but what was the form? My first concept sketch was rather disappointing in all truth but one needs to start somewhere!
However, round 2 produced a much more exciting concept that features concentric circles which unify and enliven the entry plazas and drive, but also establish the amphitheater seating and stage are, while a ripple effect into the circles is produced by a trellis acting as both stage backdrop, entry vista point, and quadrangle end. The circles are sometimes paving only, sometimes seat walls, and other times, striations of planting. I am truly looking forward to hard lining this sketch and turning it into an axon.And after a few more tweaks, voila! Here are the last round of presentation sketches created! I very much am looking forward to the next steps of this project and seeing the dream become a reality!