Submitted by Stephen Luecking

Client: University of Illinoisql

Location: Urbana, IL, United States

Completion date: 1991

Artwork budget: $1,200,000

Project Team


University of Illinois


Stephen Luecking


The University of Illinois asked that I create a centerpiece for their new North Science Campus to be anchored by the Beckman Institute. Design charge required that the material be permanent — bronze and granite and in forms that would not become dated.


The project was a plaza with sculptures and fountains at the end of an allee that cut through the center of the new campus and also aligned with the north-south axis of the University. To this end I designed Upwells as a meridian sundial with the spire as the gnomon and the domed fountains as solstice and equinox markers. The design developed in tandem with the allee and the new campus' land design. Upwells forms the focus of this campus.


I worked with the firm Land Design Collaborative comprised of former professors from the university's architecture school. The design process thoroughly integrated land design and sculpture throughout the entire process. My experience as a construction engineer made collaboration run smoothly.

Additional Information

This project won two design awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects.