Pedestrian circulation on the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay campus is unique. Its deﬁning characteristic is the presence of the concourse system, which connects the core academic buildings and the Cofrin Library to each other through a series of underground passageways and above-ground corridors. The concourse is exposed in places to reveal doorways, windowed hallways, and courtyards. In other places, the lack of visual cues to the outside makes it difficult to navigate for the unfamiliar user.
Use of an underground concourse system to connect buildings is historically rooted in the fundamental principles of this campus, but presents a unique challenge to planning pedestrian spaces and connectivity to the outside environment.
The campus continues its commitment, both ﬁnancially and physically, to the concourse system. The most recent building project on campus, Mary Ann Cofrin Hall (MAC Hall), successfully connects the University Union with the Cofrin Library through a lower-level corridor. MAC Hall contains a model courtyard space that combines elements of visual, audio, and sensory interest in a multi-seasonal climate. When the weather does not invite students outdoors to interact with the natural surroundings, they often congregate along the window space overlooking the courtyard, drawn to the light and the diversion from walls and doors. Components of a courtyard, terrace, or garden should be integral to any UW-Green Bay building connected by the concourse in the future.
- Include courtyards in the design of any new building on campus
- Make courtyards visually accessible from the interior of the surrounding building corridors
- Include spaces for passive, solitary activities (i.e. reading, studying) as well as social, interactive activities
- Create solar access to the courtyard, a primary component of successful outdoor spaces in northern climates
- Incorporate calming elements into all courtyards; a water feature, apparent use of colors and textures, etc
- Provide safe lighting at night that blends with the surrounding building
- Make courtyard accessible directly from the building and from ground level between buildings or wings of a building
- Provide seating areas, both formal and informal, movable and ﬁxed
- Incorporate courtyards into existing buildings and concourse connections as renovations, repairs, and additions occur
- Include landscape design of courtyard spaces as an integral part of any new building project
- Include landscape design of courtyard spaces as an integral part of any renovation, repair, or addition to existing academic buildings
- Solicit private funding sources for courtyards, if necessary