USC Archimedes Plaza
Los Angeles, CA
A Unique Fountain to Inspire Students
The University of Southern California’s historic Archimedes Plaza presents a calming atmosphere, with brick-laid walkways and aesthetic seating that caters to all students—both the studious and the sociable.
Here, in the Epstein Family Plaza, Outside the Lines (OTL) worked closely with general contractor Hamilton Construction and landscape architect Fong Hart Schneider & Partners to design and build a beautiful new fountain structure of concentric rectangles and humble water jets.
The project began with the task of replacing a worn abstract fountain situated in the plaza, which honors Archimedes, the ancient Greek mathematician who reportedly coined the term “Eureka!”
The abstract structure was relocated as an independent show piece in the same courtyard. In its place now stands a new, tranquil fountain that reflects the brutalist style of architecture seen in the area.
- Architectural Fountain
The creation of the inspiring project was not without its own “Eureka” moments, however. The existing fountain was located next to a large established Banyan tree. While beautiful, the tree’s debris would regularly fall into the fountain, causing the system to become nonoperational and in constant need of adjustment. OTL solved this challenge by developing customized mesh for the fountain’s filtration system to control the debris while allowing the fountain to continue operation.
In addition, OTL had to navigate many unknown utilities that ran through the open area—a typical challenge when working within campus projects of this size and scope.
By modeling the known utilities and taking extra care to complete careful exploratory excavations, the team was able to map and ultimately work around the various existing utilities.
The fountain at Epstein Family Plaza is located on the USC campus in Los Angeles, CA, at the center of the Viterbi School of Engineering quad between Vivian Hall and Olin Hall.