At a Glance

Constructed arroyos and native vegetation conserve water usage and provide a sense of place in the highly pedestrian campus core.

Project Description

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), a dynamic institution serving more than 23,000 students, is located within the northern Chihuahuan Desert–the largest desert in North America. In the years leading up to its 100th anniversary in 2014, as UTEP was on its way to becoming a national research university, significant growth was projected. To accommodate this growth while improving the quality of campus life, UTEP sought to transform what was then a concrete-dominated campus into a sustainable, walkable landscape with green spaces and pedestrian walkways that would knit connections–between the campus and its buildings, people, and environment.

The centerpiece of UTEP’s Campus Transformation plan is Centennial Plaza, a large open area at the heart of the campus that will be bordered by shade trees and a wide walking path for strolling, socializing and relaxing. Biohabitats was a key member of the Centennial Plaza planning and design team led by Ten Eyck Landscape Architects.

Rainfall in El Paso is infrequent, but when it does occur, it is usually heavy and intense. Biohabitats developed low impact stormwater management improvements which mimic natural arroyos. Biohabitats crafted a design that infiltrates and conveys stormwater runoff for use in irrigation, allowing native Chihuahuan Desert vegetation to flourish on campus and creating a key amenity for the campus community.



Southwest Basin & Range

Physiographic Province

Basin and Range


Rio Grande

Expertise Areas

Infrastructure, Urban Ecology, Water


The University of Texas at El Paso


El Paso, Texas, United States


ASLA Professional Awards, Honor Award in General Design, 2023

Project Team
  • Lake | Flato Archtects
  • Ten Eyck Landscape Architects