McKenzie Hall Courtyard

University of Oregon


LandCurrent was tasked with renewing the courtyard of McKenzie Hall at the University of Oregon. The courtyard blends the natural vegetation of the Pacific Northwest,  Japanese design principles and functional requirements. Two  Japanese concepts were used the concept of “ma”- emptiness and "wabi-sabi"- the balance of perfect and imperfect, new and old, pristine and worn with age.  Ma was achieved by removing existing elements from the existing garden,  until only the most minimal of framework remained. Left over were a small island of plantings, and a solitary basalt column. Wabi-sabi was found in the brutalist concrete architecture of McKenzie Hall, and existing basalt column and a the existing courtyard wall. All of these have developed a distinct patina over time which has been sought out and juxtaposed with new precisely crafted elements and surfaces.