For students, the Upper Quarry Amphitheater’s site design creates a welcoming and memorable experience of their time at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). Entering from the Redwood Plaza, a stacked stone wall, parallel to the main path and created from the hewn stone, sets the tone that the user is in the former quarry. Tree preservation at the perimeter of the site allows the users to enjoy the venue beneath a mature canopy, a hallmark of the UCSC campus.
The landscape design and stormwater compliance measures address the functional needs of the site, highlighting the natural working of the surface drainage system. Driven by sustainable principles, the campus has developed a landscape palette which showcases plant species functioning best on the campus. Requiring less water and lower maintenance, this palette is uniquely identifiable with the UCSC Campus and will be employed at the Amphitheater.
The project is a true restoration and retrofit that required all of the teams’ skills to creatively and efficiently meet the numerous small challenges the site and the current codes provide. The terrain is challenging, the tree canopy heavy, the hazards plentiful, but like team players, the Siegfried team adapted to the evolving project conditions to reveal a beautiful, successful project to be enjoyed for years to come.