University Business - December 2008 - (Page 58)

FA C I L I T I E S FOCUS Designed to Flow Unified design can steer campuses into the 21st century, once we figure out how to use it. By Julie Sturgeon D on ’ t wor ry i f you can’t express the difference between long-term planning and unified design on a campus. Even architects say they’re fuzzy on the difference. Long-term planning—as in the campus master plan—is a blueprint of campus growth that arranges room for new buildings. unified design encompasses more uncharted waters. for Steven Ansel, the principal in charge of design at S/L/A/M Collaborative in Glastonbury, Conn., it involves creating a palette of building designs—not to ensure everything looks identical but that individual buildings complement each other. He refers to it as contextual design. David Dimond, a principal at Chica- go-based Perkins+will, says unified design is about finding similar proportion/ scale between new and existing structures; identifying common colors, textures, and shapes (such as brick and stone elements); creating interior courtyards, atriums, and lobbies that link with exterior porches, pedestrian arcades, and green spaces; and unifying buildings and landscapes (such as through pathways and buildings with ample windows). this approach means that “campuses will resemble a string of cultured pearls as opposed to a necklace made of apples, pears, and kumquats,” Ansel says. other architects, including Michael B. wilkes, CEo of Architects Delawie wilkes rodrigues Barker in San Diego, say that this strategy prevents every building project from striving to be a landmark statement, which can drive up costs. Pulling off unified design can be as tricky as defining it. for Ansel, the real question is about how to reproduce existing architecture styles with integrity, as well as add the technology modern academic buildings need. “it doesn’t start with a casual appreciation but one where you really look hard at the old buildings—not to see why people think they are quaint and attractive but why they’re a good piece of architecture, what makes them tick,” he says. “if you can understand that in levels ranging from overall composition to the building materials and the details, you can generate a passion for it.” Case stuDy California State UniverSity, Channel iSlandS this newest member of the Cal State system, located in Ventura County northwest of Los Angeles, opened its doors in August 2002 on the grounds of a former medical residential facility. the staff inherited classic California mission-style architecture built in the 1930s. tall sycamore trees rim the property. unfortunately, the floor heights were wrong, the electrical systems ancient, and the classrooms too small for modern teaching. officials vowed to bring the facility up to snuff and add on without sacrificing the atmosphere. two renovations took place early on, and the first new building, for science, opened in 2003. Construction is now set to begin on a student union building, and two more academic buildings are in the planning stage. • Timeline: 2001-present and beyond (pending state budget) • Design elemenTs: thick, white plaster walls with small cuts in the windows, red tile sloped roofs, and porticos with columns that run the outside of the buildings. • long-Term Planning Tricks: officials realize teaching spaces may need new structures, with existing ones used for niche purposes. Luckily, true mission-style architecture is extremely sustainable; the window sizes and tile roofs keep the interiors cool. • ThoughTs on unifieD Design: “Blending old and new has been tough. i’m not saying it needs to look good or that they need to do a modern interpretation, but that it needs to fit in. A lot of architects think we’re kidding in the interview. i am not kidding.” —Deborah Wylie, associate vice president of operations, planning, and construction Red tile roofs and porticos, two common features, are seen on the Bell Tower (top), circa 1934 and one of the original campus structures, and Santa Cruz Village (2007). 58 | December 2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - December 2008

University Business - December 2008
Editor's Note
College Index
Company Index
Advisory Board
Behind the News
Sense of Place
Human Resources
2009 Annual Directory to Financial Services
Future Shock
Independent Outlook
Endowment Management
Look Before You Leap
50 Best Branding Ideas
Remedial Nation
What's New
Facilities Focus
End Note

University Business - December 2008