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Hartland’s Transformation

DBSL (DesignBuildSALTLAKE) is a student program in the University of Utah’s College of Architecture + Planning that allows students to gain hands-on education in design and construction. This year, the students have been lucky enough to work with UNP at its Hartland Partnership Center to design and build a landscape project for the community using the center. The 2020 Summer semester was dedicated to designing an outdoor classroom and community space.

Brandon Thomas backfilling along the new gabion retaining walls.

If you have been to UNP Hartland recently, you may have noticed some construction happening on the north side of the building… that’s us! We have been working hard over the past few months to construct the design that we developed over the summer. From the beginning, the goal for the project was to work closely with the UNP Hartland community to transform the landscape to support an educational, sustainable, and community space. The diversity, community, and mission of UNP have continually inspired us. We hope to encompass the spirit of UNP Hartland and create a space that uplifts its ideals and diverse partnership offerings. We are proud to help support the needs of a deserving community and look forward to the experiences and growth the project can bring. We designed a landscape that we feel effectively supports gathering, educational experiences, and continued growth.

Tigran Aganikian caulking a joint at a sidewalk edge.

We, as students, have chosen to be involved in this experience to learn more effective community engagement, team collaboration, and the process of design and construction. We learned that, like any project, there was a lot of problem solving. There have been setbacks and a learning curve throughout the process, but we have worked optimistically and eagerly through each obstacle set before us. Most of us, as students, have little to no construction experience and we have learned that setbacks and mistakes are inevitable in every building project. We, as a team, have been able to work together to create, learn, and find success.

Student team constructing a gabion retaining wall with donated, recycled brick from HHI Corporation.

We want to thank the community, University Neighborhood Partners, and the University of Utah’s College of Architecture + Planning for allowing us to gain this experience and knowledge. We are excited about the completion of the project. We are grateful for the friendships and hands-on experiences we have gained working together on this exciting community project.

A rendering of the design for Hartland’s north side. Remaining work is currently being completed.








Writen by Sydney Carillo, Student, University of Utah College of Architecture + Planning
& the Design Build Salt Lake Team