The University of Arizona Alumni Plaza is located at the junction of university life. Interfacing the monumental central mall axis, the plaza is designed to receive and conduct the daily activity and events that occur on the hot and arid campus in the Sonoran desert. The desire for flexible spaces, sensitive water use, and memorable communal outdoor space drove the design process. On one side of the plaza groves of trees laced with the sound of moving water shade the area where students spill out of the student union for lunch. On the other side a large eliptical landform divides the circulation of bicycles, people, and utility vehicles as it serves as a gathering place to observe the activities on the mall. An influential component to the design was the careful study of existing mature palms and cacti, and their integration into the plaza design.