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marshall student center

University of South Florida

The plaza at Phyllis P. Marshall Center is designed to serve the intense need for student activity at the University of South Florida. The feature of the plaza is a 200-foot-long fountain with three life-size bull sculptures that have become the most photographed place on campus.

The Phyllis P. Marshall Center at the University of South Florida is a 230,000 SF state of the art student union building. In 2007, the USF Student Body voted to fund an additional $1,000,000 enhancement for a plaza on the south side of the building.

Conner’s design includes an elliptical shaped amphitheater, movie lawn, and numerous outdoor seating areas. But it is the beloved, life-sized bulls sculpture and fountain that is most endearing to the students.  The bulls are placed between two walks leading to the front of the building.  Easily accessible to the pedestrian, the bulls are placed in a stream of water like they are running free, full of strength.  They symbolize the USF student spirit of strength and confidence.

Originally designed to use potable water, the fountain was converted to use condensation from the buildings air conditioning system.  This water saving feature allows the fountain to operate even when drought prevents the use of water for irrigation on campus.  In this way, it can provide a cool and refreshing place during the heat of the day.

location: Tampa, FL

awards: Award of Honor – Institutional Design, FC/ASLA

size: 230,000 sqft

project team: Gould Evans Architecture, Beck Construction

year completed: 2010