2.
Campus Design in Perspective

This chapter summarizes the benchmarks in campus design. The examples are described in chronological sequence, partly because it is convenient to link the design highlights to the growth of higher education in the United States, and partly because this method shows that, from a historical point of view, accommodating more students in an appropriate architectural setting at a time when educational concepts are changing is a recurrent American pattern of opportunity and obligation.

Crises in design are not new to the American campus. Periodic surges in college and university construction have followed all waves of migration and increase in population. This generalization holds true for the Colonial era as well as for the cycle of population maturation that began just after World War II. Population increase and population distribution are but part of the motivating circumstances. More impelling than numbers has been the diversity of higher education concepts which democracy has yielded. As a challenge and a response, cause and effect, the modes of education and their physical forms have reflected the impulses of our society. A full discussion of the interrelationships of society, higher education and architecture is beyond the scope of this book. But a synoptic accounting, however generalized, is useful to illuminate circumstances and conditions from the past which are not dissimilar from those met in today's practice.

There is a serviceable truism that society prescribes what architecture may express. A glance backward substantiates even sub-tenants to this credo. As will be noted, whenever ideological convictions were strongly entrenched in the educational curriculum, architectural continuity was consistently related to the institution's past preferences for architectural style or campus form. Whereever new educational concepts broke away from the main stream they were sure to be clothed in something new. Whenever institutions continued to hold on to the task of being the leading edge of thought, their buildings and campuses were as advanced or as retrogressive as their time.


ANTECEDENTS AND PRECEDENTS

Universities in Western civilization have their origins in the medieval system of guilds of masters and scholars. The North European expression served as the model for the Colonial colleges, in a line that can be traced to Cambridge and Oxford and back to the University of Paris.

Historians of American higher education organize their material into four general time categories: the Colonial college to the Revolutionary War, the expansion of the College, the growth of the University after the Civil War (which roughly parallels industrialism and the introduction of the scientific method), and the broadening of the base of higher education, which is the cycle we are said to be in now. Interspersed in this general pattern are such important movements as the technological institute, the municipal college and the junior college.

The founding of colleges in the United States has been explained as a desire by the colonists for a literate clergy and a body of orthodox lay professionals, plus the determination of the early settlers to preserve the Old World intellectual and cultural traditions. At first they sought to emulate the university models of Cambridge and Oxford, but the vastness of the land, long travel distances and general poverty made it impossible to establish a central university and a munificent architectural setting. In place of a single instition, nine colonial colleges were chartered between 1636 and 1780.

The colleges varied in size and strength, but shared a similar educational curriculum: the liberal arts with a central core of classical languages and literatures. Important changes and modifications made their appearance towards the end of the eighteenth century, including the introduction of mathematics, the natural sciences, and modern languages. Though they were considered by some as offering more of a promise than a performance, the Colonial colleges were important because they were evidence of the fact that the European heritage of higher learning, going back for more than two thousand years,

-13-

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Campus Planning
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Table of Contents v
  • I. Prospectus 1
  • 1 - Outlook 3
  • 2 - Campus Design in Perspective 13
  • 3 - Campus Planning 43
  • Ii. the Campus and Its Parts 55
  • Footnotes 65
  • 3 - Libraries and Museums 85
  • 4 - Research 95
  • 5 - Centers of Extracurricular LIfe 101
  • 6 - Institutional Services 113
  • 7 - Housing 119
  • Footnotes 145
  • 8 - Sports, Recreation and Physical Education 147
  • 9 - Circulation and Parking 159
  • 10 - Utilities 166
  • Section III: Campus Plans 169
  • 1 - Expanding the Campus 171
  • 2 - Organizing for Planning 173
  • 3 - Survey and Analysis of Existing Conditions 183
  • 4 - Programming the Development Plan 199
  • Footnotes 208
  • 5 - Design in Planning 209
  • 6 - A Selection of Development Plans 239
  • 7 - Urban Renewal and Campus Expansion 275
  • 8 - New Campuses 287
  • Acknowledgments: 308
  • Index 308
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