Stokes Hall at Boston College: Planning a New Home for Humanities: The Team Designed and Constructed a New Humanities Building That Creates a Sense of 'There' That Can Be Found Nowhere Else

By Owens, David M. | Planning for Higher Education, October-December 2013 | Go to article overview

Stokes Hall at Boston College: Planning a New Home for Humanities: The Team Designed and Constructed a New Humanities Building That Creates a Sense of 'There' That Can Be Found Nowhere Else


Owens, David M., Planning for Higher Education


PROJECT STATEMENT

IN 2008, DURING A TIME of national financial turmoil and uncertainty, Boston College (BC) began to realize its historic Middle Campus master plan, beginning with the development of Stokes Hall, a new humanities building (figure 1). Such confident support for the study of the humanities was especially significant during a time when many institutions would have questioned this investment and dismissed its importance. The decision to build underscored BC's commitment to its Jesuit mission: to give students the richest possible humanities-based education, one that serves as the foundation for the development of generous, thoughtful, and inquisitive community members. David Quigley, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, summarized the building's goals best. He stated: "Stokes Hall embodies Boston College's enduring commitment to the liberal arts, which is a cornerstone of Jesuit education and the heart of our identity. Humanities in particular form the core of our undergraduate requirements, which enables us to integrate the academic, social, and spiritual development of our students as they study here. This building is intentionally designed to support that liberal arts commitment and to foster student formation through enhanced student-faculty interaction."

Situated on the undulating terrain of Chestnut Hill, Boston College is divided between Lower, Middle, and Upper Campus plateaus. Stokes Hall is located on the Middle Campus, the university's original plateau identifiable by its Collegiate Gothic design and traditional campus quadrangles. This plateau supports the majority of the academic buildings. The Middle Campus also forms the aesthetic identity at the core of the school. The project team developed Stokes Hall in response to the long-term goals of the master plan specific to the Middle Campus plateau. The Lower Campus supports dining, dormitories, and administration buildings in a more modern architectural style, and the Upper Campus is home to underclassmen dormitories.

The university leadership, most notably the president, demonstrated a strong conviction in early planning discussions for Stokes Hall that matching or exceeding the quality of the surrounding campus context was paramount to the new facility's success (figure 2). The size of the site was limited, and land on the Middle Campus, as a general resource, is finite. Any decisions made for this site, including the building program, needed to be balanced between the building's capacity, its potential impact on any future development, and the overall image of the BC community.

Housing the humanities program or a new food service facility were the two uses originally considered for the site. While the program needs of the two uses differed widely, the general design parameters and planning goals remained the same: to fulfill the university's mission with great efficiency, express its identity with clarity, and provide the level of building performance and efficiency expected. The project was made possible through fund-raising and a generous gift by university trustee Patrick T. Stokes '64 and his wife Anna-Kristin "Aja" Stokes, P'91, '94, '97. All project teams worked extremely closely together and communicated with university leadership to successfully keep the project under the construction budget of $62 million.

Early planning and program explorations were extremely informative. A primary design driver was the school's commitment to a form of the Collegiate Gothic aesthetic unique to Boston College. However, this design goal needed to be met without sacrificing other building efficiencies. The team began work by first delving into the school's own story and history as a basis for understanding how this style would inform the planning process.

HISTORICAL CONTEXT

When Boston College relocated from Boston's South End to the village of Chestnut Hill in the early 1900s, Collegiate Gothic was just evolving as the style of choice on American campuses as a response to the architectural styles of Oxford and Cambridge in the United Kingdom. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Stokes Hall at Boston College: Planning a New Home for Humanities: The Team Designed and Constructed a New Humanities Building That Creates a Sense of 'There' That Can Be Found Nowhere Else
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.