top of page

Reshaping a Campus with the Saint Joseph’s University Landscape Master Plan

As part of SJU’s Strategic Plan, Viridian worked with a team of architects and master planners to craft a landscape master plan that enriches student experience. Our plan improves accessibility, introduces a new focus on sustainability, and creates a sense of continuity—and community—across the rapidly expanding campus.

Unifying a Disconnected Campus

Focused on three central quads, the new landscape plan unifies the two “hearts” of the campus across a busy avenue while complementing the school’s distinctive stone architecture. We reviewed every planned building to find opportunities for improving public space, and met with campus leaders to determine how those new buildings would inspire new behaviors. The resulting plan creates a unified whole where there were previously disconnected parts, with intuitive tree-lined paths and greenspaces connecting to a new promenade.


Image courtesy Voith & Mactavish Architects.

SJU - Cardinal Quad.jpeg

Before & after plan of the Main Quad. Courtesy Voith & Mactavish Architects.

Improving Accessibility and Activity

To improve accessibility, we regraded parts of the western “Main Quad,” mitigating the 40-foot grade change without requiring inaccessible stairs or expensive retaining walls. We also designed verdant, generous new quads on sites formerly occupied by outdated buildings, underdeveloped lawns, and parking lots. After all, what’s a college without a good frisbee lawn? Large planting beds conceal service areas and reinforce each quad’s primary shape while defining smaller “break-out” spaces.

Planning for the Future

Our plan calls for using native, non-invasive plants that will strengthen the local ecosystem, require less maintenance, and give the school a unique identity. We also consulted civil engineers to find opportunities for green stormwater infrastructure to benefit the campus and surrounding community. The scale of these changes will make SJU significantly more environmentally and economically resilient, helping to secure the school’s legacy.


View looking north, showing a new tree-lined path lead to a new tunnel that connects the Main and Maguire Quads. Image courtesy Voith & Mactavish Architects.

bottom of page