Fontaine Plaza is the signature gateway to Austin Community College’s Highland Campus, a development exemplifying the potential of adaptive reuse. The campus has transformed and reinvigorated the former 1970s era Highland Mall and surrounding expanse of parking into an innovative learning center and vibrant mixed-use development. Strategically located at the end of a green spine running through the campus, the plaza welcomes students, visitors, and residents into a series of comfortable, pedestrian-oriented outdoor rooms in a space once dominated by vehicular traffic. A model for sustainable development, the design preserves all existing trees, highlights native Texas planting, and achieves an 85% reduction in impervious cover.
In honor of the ACC Riverbat mascot, an installation of light poles in the school’s striking purple color abstracts the movement of bats in flight. Part branding, part wayfinding, part public art, the piece is a dynamic installation that highlights the forward-thinking campus day and night.