Hesburgh Library Plaza

University of Notre Dame, Indiana

The Lakota Group was engaged by the University of Notre Dame to develop a new entry plaza in front of the Hesburgh Library. The south elevation of the Library terminates one of Notre Dame’s primary quads with the famous “Touchdown Jesus” mural that faces the football stadium. The existing space consisted of deteriorated paving devoid of landscaping or seating. The design provides multiple collaboration spaces with a series of seatwall planters, groups of benches, and a mixture of moveable bistro-style tables and chairs. The six rectangular planters feature a simple mixt of formal hedges and tightly-space Pear trees that provide vertical massing, spring, and fall color and a soft texture to counterbalance the low wings of the building and complement the verticality of the mural. Materials include monolithic polished granite planter walls and natural clay pavers that enrich the space and provide a timeless and durable aesthetic. The final result is a space that has been transformed from a wind-swept plaza to an inviting and appealing gathering spot for students, faculty, and visitors in the heart of campus.