University Architect @FrankCunhaIII Leads Architectural Walking Tour of @MontclairStateU’s Campus for Architect Guests, @AIANJ AIA Newark Suburban #AIA #University #ArchitectPosted: May 18, 2019
On May 18th, AIA Newark Suburban held a campus walking tour of Montclair State University led by fellow member, Architect Frank Cunha III, AIA. The tour addressed the history of the campus and the way it has been designed and constructed to protect and promote the health, safety, and welfare of the occupants of the buildings and grounds.
Building on a distinguished history dating back to 1908, Montclair State University is a leading institution of higher education in New Jersey. Designated a Research Doctoral University by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, the University’s 11 colleges and schools serve more than 21,000 undergraduate and graduate students with more than 300 doctoral, master’s and baccalaureate programs. Situated on a beautiful, 252-acre suburban campus just 12 miles from New York City, Montclair State delivers the instructional and research resources of a large public university in a supportive, sophisticated and diverse academic environment. University Facilities currently manages 70 buildings and approximately 5 million gross square feet of space on our campus. More information available: https://www.montclair.edu/about-montclair
Frank Cunha III, AIA, University Architect, has been with the University Facilities team since 2007. Since graduating from the New Jersey Institute of Technology School of Architecture in 1998, he has obtained licenses to practice architecture in 9 states. Frank is currently completing his Masters in Business Administration at Montclair State University and expects to graduate in May 2019.
Frank is passionate about strategic planning, architectural design and constructing of complex projects in a challenging and ever-changing environment. He considers the environment, energy, and the health and wellness of the occupants during all phases of the project while addressing the programming needs to ensure the stakeholder’s program requirements are met and align with the organization’s mission, vision and values.
With the assistance of his design and construction teams, Frank has been responsible for many projects of various size and scope around campus. Some project highlights include: Student Recreation Center, Center for Environmental Life Sciences, Cali School of Music, School of Nursing, the Center for Computing and Information Science, Sinatra Hall, School of Business, Schmitt Hall and historic renovation and addition to College Hall, to name a few.
We would love to hear from you about what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!
New Project by @FC3Architect is Almost 100% Completed (Teaneck, NJ) #BeforeAndAfter #CustomResidential #HomePosted: May 10, 2019
One of the things we enjoy doing is: Helping People Make Their Dreams Come True!!! Here is another example of a successful transformation we helped imagine for the homeowners.
One of our projects is nearly completed. We more than doubled the size of the existing residence by creating a dynamic link that opens up the garden into the home with a connecting link. This “knuckle” becomes a link from the old home (which serves as the existing den and existing kitchen on the lower level) to the new home which includes a new dining area and family room. Upstairs, the addition boasts a master suite allowing us to increase the size of the existing bedrooms. Click here to read the original post about this project.
We would love to hear from you about what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!
To see more projects by FC3 Architecture + Design, please click here.
Ask the Architect: Why Does Indoor Air Quality Matter?#LEED #WELL #Health #Wellness #Safety #Architect #ilmaBlogPosted: May 7, 2019
Simply put, indoor air quality matters because human beings are spending more and more time indoors. It is becoming more important than ever to make sure that the buildings that we design, construct and occupy are suitable and safe for the occupants. The following article will draw on both research and experience in the design and construction of high performance buildings to help elaborate on this simple response.
Interesting Facts To Consider About Indoor Air Quality:
- Indoor air often contains 4X to 10X the amount of pollutants of outdoor air.
- Many studies have linked exposure to small particles (PM 2.5—defined as airborne particles smaller than 2.5 microns) with heart attacks, cardiac arrhythmias, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, worsened symptoms of asthma, and an increased risk of respiratory illness.
- The World Health Organization says that particulate matter contributes to about 800,000 premature deaths each year, making it the 13th leading cause of death worldwide.
The built environment around us plays a fundamental role in our overall well-being, particularly the indoor spaces that we inhabit to live, work, learn, play and pray, since most of us spend about 90% of our time indoors. The buildings that we as Architects design and construct have a distinctive capability to positively or negatively impact our health and wellbeing. The air that we breathe inside a building can have a greater consequence on our health. Unfortunately, many contaminants are not visible in the air, so we might not know that they are there. Inhaling air or poor quality can lead to a number of health conditions, including but not limited to: allergies, respiratory disorders, headaches, sore throat, lethargy and nausea.
Sick Building Syndrome
According to the EPA, sick building syndrome (SBS) is used to describe a situation in which the occupants of a building experience acute health- or comfort-related effects that seem to be linked directly to the time spent in the building. No specific illness or cause can be identified. The complainants may be localized in a particular room or zone or may be widespread throughout the building.
As more buildings are LEED certified, here are some things to consider about your next project:
To contribute to the comfort and well-being of building occupants by establishing minimum standards for indoor air quality (IAQ) after construction and during occupancy, USGBC LEED v4 requires that the project meet one of the following:
- Minimum indoor air quality performance: Option 1. ASHRAE Standard 62.1–2010 or Option 2. CEN Standards EN 15251–2007 and EN 13779–2007.
- Indoor air quality assessment: Path 1 Option 1. Flush-out, or Path 2. Option 1. During occupancy, or Path 2. Option 2. Air testing – Note: these cannot be combined.
Occupants are increasingly paying more attention to the conditions of their work environment as it relates to health and wellness. This is especially the case for researchers and their lab environments. We see surging growth in universities adopting lab design programs such as Smart Labs which places an emphasis in the indoor environment quality of the lab and through certification programs as:
We need to have a real-time measurement of the all contaminants of inside air and match that with real time control of the outside air coming into the environment. Ideally, we need to design and build facilities that:
- Bring in lots of outside air—but only exactly where and when we need it.
- Measures and controls more than just temperature and CO2.
- Displays the ventilation performance for the building’s occupants.
Health and Cognitive FunctionPerformance Enhancements
Cognitive functions encompass reasoning, memory, attention, and language and lead directly to the attainment of information and, thus, knowledge. United Technologies and The Harvard School of Public Health prepared a study that was designed to simulate indoor environmental quality conditions in green and conventional buildings and evaluate the impacts on an objective measure of human performance—cognitive function. The findings of the report concluded that the impact of the indoor air quality on the productivity of the occupants which revealed the following benefits:
- Lowering the levels of CO2 and VOCs resulted in their participants scoring 61% higher on cognitive function tests compared with those in conventional offices.
- There was a 101% improvement on their cognitive function tests when the ventilation levels were doubled above the standard ASHRAE prescribed levels.
- Information usage scores were 299% higher than conventional offices when the ventilation rates were doubled.
The conclusion of this study is very clear: verified ventilation performance will increase employee and student performance.
Sources & References:
We would love to hear from you about what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!
For More Questions and Answers please check out:
Architects @WJMArchitect And @FrankCunhaIII Respond to ILMA Fan’s Questions “ASK THE ARCHITECT”
- 90% of the population will have unlimited and free data storage.
- The first robotic pharmacist will arrive in the US.
- 1 trillion sensors will be connected to the internet.
- 10% of the world’s population will be wearing clothes connected to the internet.
- The first 3D printed car will be in production.
- The first implantable mobile phone will become commercially available.
- It is likely we will see more widespread adoption of implantable technologies emerge.
- The first government to replace its census with big-data technologies.
- 10% of reading glasses will be connected to the internet.
- 80% of people on earth will have a digital presence online.
- A government will collect taxes for the first time via blockchain. 10% of global gross domestic product will be stored using blockchain technology.
- 90% of the global population will have a supercomputer in their pocket.
- Access to the Internet will become a basic right.
- The first transplant of a 3D printed liver will occur.
- More than 50% of Internet traffic to homes will be from appliances and device.
- 5% of consumer products will be 3D printed.
- 30% of corporate audits will be performed by artificial intelligence.
- AI will increasingly replace a range of jobs performed by people today, including white collar jobs.
- Globally, more trips will be made using car sharing programs than privately owned cars. Driverless cars will account for 10% of all cars in the US.
- The first AI machine will join a corporate board of directors.
- The first city with more than 50,000 people and no traffic lights will come into existence.
- Deep Shift Technology Tipping Points and Societal Impact
- Technology tipping points we will reach by 2030
- Predictions for what life will be like in 2030
Architect’s Follow Up on the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris and Creating Safer Work Environments #UnderConstruction #Safety #Design #Architecture #LessonsLearned #SafetyFirst #Design #Build #Architect #ilmaBlogPosted: May 5, 2019
Follow Up on the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris and Creating Safer Work Environments
A few weeks ago on April 15th, 2019, a fire destroyed the roof and wooden spire of the Notre-Dame de Paris.
One of the most famous timber frame fires started just after midnight on the 2nd September 1666 in Pudding Lane. After burning for three days it destroyed nearly 90 percent of the inhabitants of London’s homes.
Possible Causes For Blaze
Although officials say that the investigation could last several weeks and nothing can be ruled out at this time, there is much suspicion that the blaze may have been started by a short-circuit near the spire.
The short circuit may have been possibly caused by electrified bells, or negligence by construction workers carrying out the ongoing renovations, a theory fueled by the discovery of cigarette butts.
Typical Sources of Ignition
Not related to the fire, but for a matter of reference, sources of ignition during construction may generally include: (1) Hot works – cutting, grinding, soldering, hot pitching; (2) Faulty electrical equipment – damaged sockets and equipment, service strikes, temporary supplies and halogen lighting; (3) Arson – works in high crime rate areas, protests and objections to the scheme, disgruntled employees or contractors; (4) Reactive chemicals; (5) Fire Loading; (6) Fire Spread – The Offsite Risks; (7) and Constrained sites. It will be interesting to see what the investigators are able to uncover in the following weeks.
According to the New York Times, the biggest renovation at the cathedral took place between 1844 and 1864 when the spire and the flying buttresses were rebuilt. The most recent overhaul, however, was meant to be understated. “The idea isn’t to replace every single stone. I don’t want to give this cathedral a face-lift,” said Philippe Villeneuve, the chief architect behind the project. The renovations, which are estimated to cost $150 million euro ($169 million) were still ongoing when the cathedral caught fire. Most likely something to do with the renovations of the cathedral led to its temporary demise.
The event, which occurred during holy week sparked an intense national debate on how the 856-year-old cathedral should be rebuilt. The French public will get a say on how the fire-ravaged Notre Dame cathedral will be rebuilt, officials say.
FYI: In a separate blog post, ILMA plans to do a write up on the current designs that are being suggested by Architects and designers around the world.
Construction Workers – Risk Management
As a matter of course, this heartbreaking occurrence give us pause to consider the threats that can occur during construction. Some risks to workers that need to be managed during construction and renovations include the following: (1) Working at Height; (2) Slips, Trips and Falls; (3) Moving Objects; (4) Noise; (5) Manual Handling; (6) Vibrations; (7) Collapses; (8) Asbestos; (9) Electricity; (9) Respiratory diseases. (Sources: Top 10 construction health and safety risks) and OSHA’s Top Four Construction Hazards); From the perspective of keeping the building safe during renovations and/or construction and saving lives, the following should be considered:
Building Safety – Risk Management
- Installation of sprinkler systems and fire detection systems early on in construction
- Availability of standpipes
- Commissioning the sprinkler system
- Access to fire extinguishers
- Make sure your fire detection and warning systems work
- Maintaining means of egress; Building compartmentation and protected fire routes in as the building is constructed
- Protect emergency escape routes
- Secure the site against arson
- Protect temporary buildings and accommodation
- Store equipment safely
- Design out hot works
- Keep the site tidy
- Keep project site and equipment safe
- No smoking
- Increase security for the site – CCTV, Full height hoarding, signage
- Engagement of local fire departments – to assess water pressure and accessibility
- Proper fire risk assessment that considers fire loading and fire separation distances
Learning From the Tragedy of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris
As timber is becoming increasingly more popular in high rises it is important to consider the past when managing the risks of projects utilizing wood framing. Although there are many studies and test on modern day timber/wood designs, it is still important to consider the risks that are present on any jobsite. Spending the money to do construction the right way will help reduce the inherent risks with construction – both to safeguard people as well as the buildings that we cherish.
For more information on my take on what happened at Notre Dame, please consider checking out the original articles: Personal Reflection on the Tragedy of April 15, 2019 at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and What Makes Notre Dame Cathedral So Important as a Work of Architecture?.
- 16 Steps To Fire Safety On Timber Frame Construction Sites
- Reducing Risk in Timber Frame Construction
- Tall Timber Construction Code Is Still Thinking Small
- Notre-Dame Fire Investigators Focus on Short-Circuit and Cigarettes
- New photos show heartbreaking damage inside Notre Dame cathedral
- Before the Notre-Dame Cathedral caught fire, it was undergoing renovations
Bring Your Children to Work Day at @MontclairStateU #ArchWeek19 #CitizenArchitect #BlueprintForBetter #ilmaBlog #Architecture #UniversityArchitectPosted: April 25, 2019
On April 25th, Frank Cunha III & Michael Chiappa participated in a Bring Your Children to Work Day at MSU where we were able to teach the children about architecture, planning, design and construction. We showed them the old ways, the current ways and the future ways that architects envision projects and help build the world around us.
About Bring Your Children to Work Day
National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is recognized on the fourth Thursday in April each year. This annual event is an educational program in the United States and Canada where parents take their children to work with them for one day.
The following is the slideshow we presented to the children:
About the Event
This year some of the parents decided to focus on STEM and what it means to be an Architect….a profession that is both creative and artistic, yet methodical and scientific. We explored what it means to be an Architect and other STEM fields and how anyone, regardless of gender, race, religion or ethnicity can aspire to do great things. Architecture is just one of many pathways where we can lead through change and technology. We looked at old blue prints, 3-D modeling, 3-D printing, building materials, using our original 1908 building (College Hall) for context in describing the process and all of the wonderful people that it takes to conceive of a project — We looked at interior design and site design as part of the overall architectural design of a campus. We emphasized, that although not all the children will decide to become architects, it is important to understand what architects do and how to understand how we think and how/what we do. We all need to learn from each other and work as a team to get things done. It was exciting to see the children work with the campus hand on when we had them work on an interactive puzzle of the campus. One of the students said: ” The campus is like a small city.” It was really fulfilling to see that she understood that the university is like a small city. It felt great to make an impact and promote architecture to young children.
Coincidentally, Architecture Week is held every April as part of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) nationwide celebration of our built environment, so that made the day even more special to me.
New Campus Center at Springfield Technical Community College #UniversityArchitect #Rehabilitation #Community #College #Architecture #Transformation #ilmaBlogPosted: April 23, 2019
All Photos: Chuck Choi
Combining historic preservation, adaptive reuse, and contemporary architecture, Springfield Technical Community College’s new Campus Center repurposes a 764-foot-long by 55-foot-wide warehouse building originally constructed between 1846 and 1864.
A major aspect of the Springfield, Massachusetts, University’s Campus Center is The Ira H. Rubenzahl Student Learning Commons. The Campus Center and Student Learning Commons consolidate academic services and student life activities under one roof. Corten steel canopies along the building’s facade distinguish new entrances into each hub.
Click Here to read the rest of the story.
China’s Electric Buses Save More Diesel Than All Electric Cars Combined #EarthDay2019 #GreenCities #SmartCities #Urban #Cities #Architect #ilmaBlogPosted: April 22, 2019
Tesla and other electric cars are great for the environment. However, they pale in comparison to electric buses. According to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), electric buses will save an astounding 270,000 barrels of diesel demand in 2019—every single day. The vast majority of electric buses are found in China, where many mega-cities are closing in on 100 percent electric-powered public transport.
What Will Higher Education Look Like 5, 10 or 20 Years From Now? Some Ways Colleges Can Reinvent Themselves #iLMA #eMBA #Innovation #Technology #Planning #Design #HigherEducation #HigherEd2030 #University #ArchitectPosted: April 16, 2019
Change is a natural and expected part of running a successful organization. Whether big or small, strategic pivots need to be carefully planned and well-timed. But, how do you know when your organization is ready to evolve to its next phase? Anyone that listens, watches, or reads the news knows about the rising cost of higher education and the increasing debt that education is putting on students and alumni and their families.
At a time when education is most important to keep up with increasing technological changes, institutions need to pivot or face imminent doom in an ever increasing competitive environment. Competition can come from startups or external factors in the higher education market therefore it is increasingly necessary for institutions of higher learning to take a different approach to their business operations.
This post will focus on:
- Current Trends
- Demographic Shifts
- Future of Higher Education (and impacts on University Facilities & Management)
- Changing Assumptions
- Implications for the Physical Campus
- Changing Trajectory
- More Trends in Higher Education (Towards 2030)
- Driving Technologies
- External Forces
- Online education[i] has become an increasingly accepted option, especially when “stackable” into degrees.
- Competency-based education lowers costs and reduces completion time for students.
- Income Share Agreements[ii] help students reduce the risk associated with student loans.
- Online Program Manager organizations benefit both universities and nontraditional, working-adult students.
- Enterprise training companies are filling the skills gap by working directly with employers.
- Pathway programs facilitate increasing transnational education[iii], which serves as an additional revenue stream for universities.
According to data from the National Clearinghouse and the Department of Education[iv]:
- The Average Age of a College/University Student Hovers Around Twenty-Seven (Though That Is Decreasing as The Economy Heats Up)
- 38% of Students Who Enrolled In 2011 Transferred Credits Between Different Institutions At Least Once Within Six Years.
- 38% of Students Are Enrolled Part-Time.
- 64% of Students Are Working Either Full-Time or Part-Time.
- 28% of Students Have Children of Their Own or Care For Dependent Family Members.
- 32% of Students Are from Low-Income Families.
- The Secondary Education Experience Has an Increasingly High Variation, Resulting In Students Whose Preparation For College-Level Work Varies Greatly.
Future of Higher Education (and impacts on University Facilities & Management)
The future of higher education depends on innovation.
University leaders who would risk dual transformation are required to exercise full commitment to multiple, potentially conflicting visions of the future. They undoubtedly confront skepticism, resistance, and inertia, which may sway them from pursuing overdue reforms.[v]
Change is upon us.
“All universities are very much struggling to answer the question of: What does [digitization[vi]] mean, and as technology rapidly changes, how can we leverage it?” . . . . Colleges afraid of asking that question do so at their own peril.”[vii]James Soto Antony, the director of the higher-education program at Harvard’s graduate school of education.
Until recently the need for a physical campus was based on several assumptions:
- Physical Class Time Was Required
- Meaningful Exchanges Occurred Face to Face
- The Value of an Institution Was Tied to a Specific Geography
- Books Were on Paper
- An Undergraduate Degree Required Eight Semesters
- Research Required Specialized Locations
- Interactions Among Students and Faculty Were Synchronous
Implications for the Physical Campus
- Learning – Course by course, pedagogy is being rethought to exploit the flexibility and placelessness of digital formats while maximizing the value of class time.
- Libraries – Libraries are finding the need to provide more usable space for students and faculty. Whether engaged in study, research or course projects, the campus community continues to migrate back to the library.
- Offices – While the rest of North America has moved to mobile devices and shared workspaces, academic organizations tend to be locked into the private, fixed office arrangement of an earlier era – little changed from a time without web browsers and cell phones.
- Digital Visible – From an institutional perspective, many of the implications of digital transformation are difficult to see, lost in a thicket of business issues presenting themselves with increasing urgency.
University presidents and provosts are always faced with the choice of staying the course or modifying the trajectory of their institutions. Due to failing business models, rapidly evolving digital competition and declining public support, the stakes are rising. All should be asking how they should think about the campus built for the 21st century.[viii] J. Michael Haggans[ix] makes the following recommendations:
- Build no net additional square feet
- Upgrade the best; get rid of the rest
- Manage space and time; rethink capacity
- Right-size the whole
- Take sustainable action
- Make campus matter
More Trends in Higher Education (Towards 2030)
- The Rise of The Mega-University[x]
- ; Public Private Partnerships (P3’s) Procurement Procedures Will Become More Prevalent
- More Colleges Will Adopt Test-Optional Admissions
- Social Mobility Will Matter More in College Rankings
- Urban Colleges Will Expand[xi] — But Carefully
- Financial Crunches Will Force More Colleges to Merge
- The Traditional Textbook Will Be Hard to Find; Free and Open Textbooks
- More Unbundling and Micro-Credentials
- Continued Focus on Accelerating Mobile Apps
- Re-Imagining Physical Campus Space in Response to New Teaching Delivery Methods
- Transforming the Campus into A Strategic Asset with Technology
- Education Facilities Become Environmental Innovators
- Ethics and Inclusion: Designing for The AI Future We Want to Live In
- Visibility (Transparency) And Connectedness
- Sustainability from Multiple Perspectives
- Better Customer Experiences with The Digital Supply Chain
- Individualized Learning Design, Personalized Adaptive Learning
- Stackable Learning Accreditation
- Increased Personalization: More Competency-Based Education They’ll Allow Students to Master A Skill or Competency at Their Own Pace.
- Adaptation to Workplace Needs They’ll Adapt Coursework to Meet Employer Needs for Workforce Expertise
- Greater Affordability and Accessibility They’ll Position Educational Programs to Support Greater Availability.
- More Hybrid Degrees[xii]
- More Certificates and Badges, For Example: Micro-Certificates, Offer Shorter, More Compact Programs to Provide Needed Knowledge and Skills Fast[xiii]
- Increased Sustainable Facilities – Environmental Issues Will Become Even More Important Due to Regulations and Social Awareness; Reduced Energy Costs, Water Conservation, Less Waste
- Health & Wellness – Physical, Spiritual and Metal Wellbeing
- Diversity and Inclusion Will Increase
- Rise of The Micro-Campus[xiv] And Shared Campuses[xv]
- E-Advising to Help Students Graduate
- Evidence-Based Pedagogy
- The Decline of The Lone-Eagle Teaching Approach (More Collaboration)
- Optimized Class Time (70% Online, 30% Face to Face)
- Easier Educational Transitions
- Fewer Large Lecture Classes
- Increased Competency-Based and Prior-Learning Credits (Credit for Moocs or From “Real World” Experience)[xvi]
- Data-Driven Instruction
- Aggressive Pursuit of New Revenue
- Online and Low-Residency Degrees at Flagships
- Deliberate Innovation, Lifetime Education[xvii]
- The Architecture of The Residential Campus Will Evolve to Support the Future.
- Spaces Will Be Upgraded to Try to Keep Up with Changes That Would Build In Heavy Online Usage.
- Spaces Will Be Transformed and Likely Resemble Large Centralized, Integrated Laboratory Type Spaces.
- Living-Learning Spaces in Combination Will Grow, But On Some Campuses, Perhaps Not In The Traditional Way That We Have Thought About Living-Learning To Date.
- Emerging Technologies – Such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, And Artificial Intelligence – Will Eventually Shape What the Physical Campus Of The Future Will Look Like, But Not Replace It.[xviii]
- Mobile Digital Transformation[xix]
- Smart Buildings and Smart Cities[xx]
- Internet of Things
- Artificial Intelligence (AI), Including Natural Language Processing
- Automation (Maintenance and Transportation Vehicles, Instructors, What Else?)
- Virtual Experience Labs, Including: Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality Learning, And Robotic Telepresence
- More Technology Instruction and Curricula Will Feature Digital Tools and Media Even More Prominently
- New Frontiers For E-Learning, For Example, Blurred Modalities (Expect Online and Traditional Face-To-Face Learning to Merge)[xxi]
- Blending the Traditional; The Internet Will Play Bigger Role in Learning
- Big Data: Colleges Will Hone Data Use to Improve Outcomes
- [xxii]: Corporate Learning Is A Freshly Lucrative Market
- Students and Families Will Focus More on College Return On Investment, Affordability And Student Loan Debt
- Greater Accountability; Schools will be more accountable to students and graduates
- Labor Market Shifts and the Rise of Automation
- Economic Shifts and Moves Toward Emerging Markets
- Growing Disconnect Between Employer Demands and College Experience
- The Growth in Urbanization and A Shift Toward Cities
- Restricted Immigration Policies and Student Mobility
- Lack of Supply but Growth in Demand
- The Rise in Non-Traditional Students
- Dwindling Budgets for Institutions[xxiv]
- Complex Thinking Required Will Seek to Be Vehicles of Societal Transformation, Preparing Students to Solve Complex Global Issues
[i] Online education is a flexible instructional delivery system that encompasses any kind of learning that takes place via the Internet. The quantity of distance learning and online degrees in most disciplines is large and increasing rapidly.
[ii] An Income Share Agreement (or ISA) is a financial structure in which an individual or organization provides something of value (often a fixed amount of money) to a recipient who, in exchange, agrees to pay back a percentage of their income for a fixed number of years.
[iii] Transnational education (TNE) is education delivered in a country other than the country in which the awarding institution is based, i.e., students based in country Y studying for a degree from a university in country Z.
[iv] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://er.educause.edu/articles/2019/3/changing-demographics-and-digital-transformation
[v]Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://ssir.org/articles/entry/design_thinking_for_higher_education
[vi] Digitization is the process of changing from analog to digital form.
[vii] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://qz.com/1070119/the-future-of-the-university-is-in-the-air-and-in-the-cloud
[viii] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: http://c21u.gatech.edu/blog/future-campus-digital-world
[ix] Michael Haggans is a Visiting Scholar in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota and Visiting Professor in the Center for 21st Century Universities at Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a licensed architect with a Masters of Architecture from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has led architectural practices serving campuses in the US and Canada, and was University Architect for the University of Missouri System and University of Arizona.
[x] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://www.chronicle.com/interactives/Trend19-MegaU-Main
[xi] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://www.lincolninst.edu/sites/default/files/pubfiles/1285_wiewel_final.pdf
[xii] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://www.fastcompany.com/3046299/this-is-the-future-of-college
[xiii] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://www.govtech.com/education/higher-ed/Why-Micro-Credentials-Universities.html
[xv] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://evolllution.com/revenue-streams/global_learning/a-new-global-model-the-micro-campus
[xvi] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Future-Is-Now-15/140479
[xvii] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://evolllution.com/revenue-streams/market_opportunities/looking-to-2040-anticipating-the-future-of-higher-education
[xviii] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://www.eypae.com/publication/2017/future-college-campus
[xix] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/02/digital-transformation-quest-rethink-campus-operations
[xxi] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2018/04/college-online-degree-blended-learning/557642
[xxii] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://qz.com/1191619/amazon-is-becoming-its-own-university
[xxiii] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://www.fastcompany.com/3029109/5-bold-predictions-for-the-future-of-higher-education
[xxiv] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://www.acenet.edu/the-presidency/columns-and-features/Pages/state-funding-a-race-to-the-bottom.aspx
Personal Reflection on the Tragedy of April 15, 2019 at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France #Paris #Fire #NotreDame #Reflection #Architecture #CarpeDiemPosted: April 15, 2019
Reflection on the Tragedy of April 15, 2019
This week is Holy Week, when millions of Western Christians mark the death and resurrection of Jesus. Under normal circumstances, Notre Dame cathedral in Paris would have been preparing to display its holy relics to the faithful on Good Friday.
But as fire engulfed the sacred site on April 15, 2019, Catholics across the world reacted in horror and disbelief, particularly when the cathedral’s iconic spire toppled amid the flames.
For generations, Notre Dame Cathedral has been a place of pilgrimage and prayer, and, even as religion in France has declined for decades, it remained the beating heart of French Catholicism, open every day for Mass.
When something that is tragic like the Notre Dame Cathedral fire occurs, it is important to take time to reflect on what happened. First, I look at this tragedy as a Christian, then as the grandson of European immigrants, and finally as an Architect. I reflect on these recent events using three distinct but entwined lenses:
- As a Christian, I reflect on what it means to be Christian. Although imperfect, we are all put on Earth to accomplish great things. Some have more than others, but we all have our crosses to bear. As Easter approaches, for many Christians around the world who celebrate this holiest of days it is a time of reflection and hope of things to come. As Jesus said, you are not of this world (we belong to Him). When these events happen it also makes us aware of our fleeting earthly lives.
- As a grandson of Europeans, I feel a strong camaraderie with my neighbors in France. As technology helps the world shrink we are becoming global citizens. But as someone who has spent many summers and taken many trips to Europe (probably more than 30 trips over my four decades), I feel a strong connection to what happens in Europe. I have the same feeling in my stomach that I had when 9-11 happened in New York City. We take for granted that these beautiful structures will always be here with us. These events remind us that we must cross off trips that are on our bucket lists sooner rather than later.
- As an Architect, my primary objective is to safeguard the public. Sure, I love great design and inspiring spaces as much as the next designer. However, being an Architect means that we must put safety above all else. When these events occur, I cannot help but think how vulnerable we are. As Architects we are always trying to evoke safety and security into our projects – Many times decisions are made with money more than risk aversion. A 100% safeguard world is not possible, but I challenge my fellow Architects to consider ways that we can educate and confront our clients to ensure that all our buildings are safe. We are all human with earthly perspectives and we are all bound to mistakes as we manage economics with safety. Take for example, the Seton Hall student housing fires that changed safety for campus of higher educations around the country. Can this tragedy bring some good? Perhaps as leaders in our industry we can shape the safety and preservation of our landmarks and new building projects to ensure the safety of the occupants.
Churches, castles and forts are the primary reason I chose this profession. Whenever we lose a structure of significance it is like losing a loved one. Like life itself, our art and architecture must be cherished because it is all temporary after all. Carpe Diem.
What Makes Notre Dame Cathedral So Important as a Work of Architecture? #NotreDame #Architecture #Design #HistoryPosted: April 15, 2019
Notre Dame Cathedral is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité located in Paris, France. The cathedral is considered to be one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture. The innovative use of the rib vault and flying buttress, the enormous and colorful rose windows, gothic arched windows and doorways, and the naturalism and abundance of its sculptural decoration all set it apart from earlier Romanesque architecture.
Notre Dame Cathedral is considered to be of the most well-known church buildings in the world. Construction started in 1163 and finished in 1345. It is devoted to Virgin Mary and it is one of the most popular monuments in Paris. The cathedral underwent many changes and restorations throughout time.
The location of this cathedral has a long history of religious cult. The Celts celebrated rituals there before the Romans erected a temple devoted to Jupiter. It was also the place were the first Christian church, Saint Étienne, was built. It was founded by Childeberto I in 528 AD. In 1160 the church was deemed and in 1163 the construction of the cathedral started. Opinions differ as to whether Sully or Pope Alexander III laid the foundation stones of the cathedral. Several architects took part in the construction, so differences in style are clearly seen.
There are around 13 million people who visit the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral every year, which means this is an average of 30,000 people every day, growing to around 50,000 pilgrims and visitors who enter the cathedral on peak days.
Construction began in 1163 after Pope Alexander III laid the cornerstone for the new cathedral. By the time of Bishop Maurice de Sully’s death in 1196, the apse, choir and the new High Altar were all finished, while the nave itself was nearing completion. In 1200, work began on the western facade, including the west rose window and the towers, all of which were completed around 1250, along with a new north rose window. Also during the 1250s, the transepts were remodeled in the latest style of Rayonnant Gothic architecture by architects Jean de Chelles and Pierre de Montreuil, and the clerestory windows were enlarged. The last remaining elements were gradually completed during the following century.
The Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris was built on a site which in Roman Lutetia is believed to have been occupied by a pagan temple, and then by a Romanesque church, the Basilica of Saint Étienne, built between the 4th century and 7th century.
Notre-Dame Cathedral suffered damage and deterioration through the centuries, and after the French Revolution it was rescued from possible destruction by Napoleon, who crowned himself emperor of the French in the cathedral in 1804. Notre-Dame underwent major restorations by the French architect E.-E. Viollet-le-Duc in the mid-19th century. The cathedral is the setting for Victor Hugo’s historical novel Notre-Dame de Paris (1831).
Gothic Cathedral Builders
With the aid of only elementary drawings and templates, master stone masons meticulously directed the construction of the great medieval cathedrals of Europe. The practices of intuitive calculation, largely based on simple mathematical ratios and structural precedent, were closely guarded and passed between successive generations of masons. Specific site conditions and the insatiable demand by church authorities for higher and lighter buildings provided the impetus for continual development.
Symbolically, spires have two functions. Traditionally, one has been to proclaim a martial power of religion. A spire, with its reminiscence of the spear point, gives the impression of strength. The second is to reach up toward the skies. The celestial and hopeful gesture of the spire is one reason for its association with religious buildings.
Holy Christian Relics
The Relics of Sainte-Chapelle are relics of Jesus Christ acquired by the French monarchy in the Middle Ages and now conserved by the Archdiocese of Paris. They were originally housed at Sainte-Chapelle in Paris and are now in the cathedral treasury of Notre Dame de Paris. Relics believed to be a piece of the cross on which Jesus was crucified, as well as the Crown of Thorns he wore, have been kept at the cathedral for centuries. The braided circle held together by golden thread has about 70 or so thorns attached. The relics were obtained from the Byzantine Empire in 1238 and brought to Paris by King Louis IX.
The framing of Notre-Dame de Paris is certainly one of the oldest structures in Paris with that of Saint-Pierre de Montmartre (1147).
It is poetically and endearingly called the Forest because of the large number of wood beams that had to be used to set it up. Each beam coming from a different tree. It is a framework of oaks. Its measurements are very impressive: More than 328 feet (100 meters) long, 43 feet (13 meters) wide in the nave, 130 feet (40 meters) in the transept and 33 feet (10 meters) high.
In the choir, there existed a first frame with woods felled around 1160-1170 (it is estimated that some could have 300 to 400 years, which brings us to the 8th or 9th centuries !!!). This first frame has disappeared, but woods were reused in the second frame installation in 1220.
In the nave, the carpentry is set up between 1220 and 1240. The work of the nave began between 1175 and 1182, after the consecration of the choir. The work stops after the fourth bay leaving the nave unfinished while the elevation of the facade is begun in 1208. The work of the nave will be resumed in 1218 to counter the façade.
On this frame rests a lead roof consisting of 1326 tables 0.20 inches (5 mm) thick weighing 210 tons . In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, roofs were covered with flat tile churches because of the abundant clay deposits. Paris, being far from such deposits, was preferred to lead. In 1196, Bishop Maurice de Sully bequeathed 5,000 pounds for the purchase of lead.
Although the carvings of the choir and the nave went through the centuries, those of the transepts and the spire were redone in the middle of the 19th century during the great restoration campaign of the cathedral under the direction of The Duke . Made according to the principles then in force, they differ from the framework of the choir and the nave, in particular as regards the dimensions of the beams which are much more imposing than those of the Middle Ages and more distant.
Notre Dame’s iconic facade evokes a harmony of design based on nature and represents a level of detailed craftsmanship that no longer subsists in contemporaneous architecture. From Georges-Eugène Haussmann’s immense plaza the visitor is captivated by a stunning view of the facade’s three elaborately-decorated portals.
The left-side portal of the Virgin depicts the life of the Virgin Mary, as well as a coronation scene and an astrological calendar. The central portal depicts the Last Judgement in a kind of vertical triptych. The first and second panels show the resurrection of the dead, the judgment, Christ, and apostles.The pièce de résistance is the reigning Christ which crowns the scene.
The portal of Saint-Anne on the right features Notre Dame’s oldest and finest surviving statuary (12th century) and depicts the Virgin Mary sitting on a throne, the Christ child in her arms. Above the portals is the gallery of kings, a series of 28 statues of the kings of Israel.
The magnificent exterior of Notre Dame’s West rose window depicts the biblical figures of Adam and Eve on the outer rim. It measures an impressive 33 feet (10 meters) in diameter, which was the largest rose window constructed in its day.
The final level of the facade before reaching the towers is the “Grande Galerie” which connects the two towers at their bases. Fierce demons and birds decorate the grand gallery but are not easily visible from the ground.
The Cathedral Towers
Notre Dame’s ornate towers became a legend thanks to 19th-century novelist Victor Hugo, who invented a hunchback named Quasimodo and had him inhabit the South tower in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”.
The towers are 223 feet (68 meters) tall offering remarkable views of the Ile de la Cité, the Seine River and the entire city itself. After climbing 400 stairs you are rewarded with gargoyles of grimacing demons and menacing carrion birds. The South tower houses Notre Dame’s infamous 13-ton bell.
You can also admire the detail of Notre Dame’s magnificent spire, destroyed during the revolution and restored by Viollet-le-Duc.
The Magnificent Interior
Medieval architects represented their idea of human earthliness in relation to heaven through structures that were at once grandiose and ethereal–and Notre Dame’s interior achieves exactly this. The cathedral’s long halls, vaulted ceilings, and soft light filtered through intricate stained glass help us understand the medieval perspective of humanity and divinity. There is no access to the cathedral’s upper levels, obliging visitors to remain earthbound, gazing upward. The experience is breathtaking, especially on a first visit.
The cathedral’s three stained-glass rose windows are the interior’s outstanding feature. Two are found in the transept: the North rose window dates to the 13th century and is widely considered to be the most stunning. It depicts Old Testament figures surrounding the Virgin Mary. The South rose window, meanwhile, depicts the Christ surrounded by saints and angels. More modern stained glass, dating to as late as 1965, is also visible around the cathedral.
Notre Dame’s organs were restored in the 1990’s and are among the largest in France.
The choir includes a 14th-century screen which portrays the biblical Last Supper. A statue of the Virgin and Christ child, as well as funeral monuments to religious figures, are also found here.
Near the rear, Notre Dame’s treasury includes precious objects, such as crosses and crowns, made of gold and other materials.
Countless processions and historical moments took place inside the cathedral, including the crowning of Henry VI, Mary Stuart, and Emperor Napoleon I.
Augmented Reality Enables Children to Learn in the Real World #ilmaBlog #Education #VR #Technology #Classroom #MyUniversityArchitect #ArchitectPosted: April 14, 2019
MBDs (Mobile broadband devices, or smartphones) allow students to access and collect additional information and clues. Students use EcoMOBILE activities developed with an augmented reality application, to navigate between “hotspots,” view information, answer questions, and observe virtual media overlaid on the physical pond.
Students can capture pictures, video, or voice recordings and take these back to the classroom to help make sense of school lessons. Through augmented reality we provide students with visualizations that would not otherwise be apparent in the natural environment (for example, virtual x-ray vision so that they can “see” a virtual carbon atom as it moves through the processes of photosynthesis and respiration).
These augmented reality experiences allow students to conceptualize and discuss processes and complex relationships that are otherwise difficult to describe or visualize.
AIA/ALA’s 2019 Library Building Awards Includes 2 Higher Education Projects #HigherEd #University#Architect #Design #Libraries #CampusPlanning #University #Architect #ilmaBlogPosted: April 5, 2019
Every year, the AIA is proud to partner with the American Library Association / Library Leadership and Management Association to honor the best in library architecture and design.
The AIA/ALA Library Building Award is the only award that recognizes entire library structures and all aspects of their design.
This year’s award includes two college/university libraries:
Barnard College – The Milstein Center
Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)
Owner: Barnard College
Location: New York
Colorado College Tutt Library Expansion and Transformation
Owner: Colorado College
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Background on Public Private Partnerships (P3’s):
Many institutions of higher education are facing mounting pressure on their mission to deliver high-quality, affordable education to students and perform world-class research. Reductions in public funding support and concerns about overall affordability present substantial near-term and longer-term budget challenges for many institutions.
Public institutions are predominantly affected, having been constrained by suspensions or reductions in state funding. State appropriations across the US grew by just 0.5% annually between 2005 and 2015. State funding has still not recovered to 2008 levels, the last year in which state funding decisions would not have been affected by the Great Recession.
(Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) — state appropriations revenue divided by total fall enrollment, 2005–15)
Public-private partnership models are continuing to proliferate as cash-strapped colleges and universities seek to replace or update aging and outdated infrastructure amid tight finances.
(Source: Proliferating Partnerships)
What is the P3 Delivery Model?
A public-private partnership, or P3, is long-term agreement between a public entity and a private industry team that is tasked with designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining a public facility. The past decade has seen a steady increase in the use of P3 structures, both inside and outside higher education. In 2016, something of a watershed year for P3, multiple high-profile projects came online in response to a variety of public needs, including a $1-billion-plus water infrastructure project servicing San Antonio, and a $300-million-plus renovation of the Denver International Airport’s Great Hall.
“Public” is a non-profit institutional or governmental entity that engages a “private” for-profit entity to pay for a particular project.
The “private” partner provides funding (and often expertise) to deliver (and often operate) the project used by the “public” entity to meet its purposes.
In return for its capital, the “private” entity gets a revenue flow from the asset it has paid for.
The emergence of the P3 option is happening where it matters most: projects that would be otherwise unattainable under the traditional public-improvement delivery models. For instance, 10 years ago, only a handful of higher education P3 projects were up and running; today, we are approaching three dozen such projects.
The biggest challenge is, of course, the financing component, but P3 teams bring much more to the table than money — they give public entities access to expertise and innovation that can add significant value to projects at each phase of development.
Motivations for P3 transactions vary widely, but include:
- Supplementing traditional debt instruments. These include private capital, using off balance sheet or alternative mechanisms.
- Transfer of risk. Historically, universities have born all or most of the risk of facilities-related projects themselves. A P3 is a way to either transfer or at least share the risk.
- Speed and efficiency. A P3 allows for a faster development process, and time to completion is generally shorter and on schedule. The sole focus of the private entity is to complete the project on budget and on time. University infrastructure tends to have competing priorities across all-campus facility needs.
- Outsourcing provision of non-core assets. Outsourcing allows institutions to focus investment of internal resources and capabilities on those functions that are closer to the academic needs of its students.
- Experience. Private partners often have much more experience and skills in a particular development area (e.g., facility architecture and infrastructure, student housing needs) and are able to better accommodate the needs of students, faculty, administrators, etc.
- Planning and budgeting. Private partners offer experience and know-how in long-term maintenance planning and whole life cycle budgeting.
The four types of P3s:
- Operating contract/management agreement. Short- to medium-term contract with private firm for operating services
- Ground lease/facility lease. Long-term lease with private developer who commits to construct, operate and maintain the project
- Availability payment concession. Long-term concession with private developer to construct, operate, maintain and finance the project in exchange for annual payments subject to abatement for nonperformance
- Demand-risk concession. Long-term concession with private developer to construct, operate, maintain and finance the project in exchange for rights to collect revenues related to the project
Pro’s and Con’s of P3’s:
Since their emergence in student housing several years ago, P3s have become important strategies for higher education institutions because of the many benefits they offer, including:
- Lower developer costs
- Developer expertise
- Operational expertise
- Access to capital
- Preservation of debt capacity
- More favorable balance sheets and credit statements
- Risk mitigation
- Faster procurement and project delivery (It can typically take a university about 5 years to get a project built. With a P3, that process can be reduced to just 2 years. Additionally, P3s can save approximately 25% in costs compared to typical projects.)
Beyond the above, the indirect advantages of P3s in student housing are numerous, such as they:
- Provide better housing for students
- Expand campus capacity
- Create high-quality facilities
- Expand the tax base for both a city and county
- Provide an economic boost to surrounding areas, which likely lead to private growth and other improvements
It is important to note that, while there are many benefits of P3s for higher education institutions, these agreements also have disadvantages that need to be considered, including:
- High cost of capital
- Reduced control for the university
- Complexity of deals
- Multi-party roles and responsibilities
- Limitation on future university development
A LOOK AHEAD
Where Are We Heading?
- More political involvement and pressure to consider P3
- Pre-development Risks – Many projects failing to close
- Issues with Construction Pricing & Labor Shortages
- An increasing number of developers are getting in the on-campus business; however, developers are being more strategic on which projects/procurements to respond to
- Exploration of other sources of funds like tax credits, USDA, and opportunity zones
- Shared governance continues to grow
- Larger, more complex P3 projects including long term concessions, availability payment models, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- Bundling of Procurements (food, housing (including faculty), academic buildings, hotel, energy, facility maintenance, etc.)
- State of the P3 Higher Education Industry by Brailsford & Dunlavey http://programmanagers.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/P3-State-of-the-Industry-Final_Small.pdf
- Should your University enter into a Public/Private Partnership – the Pro’s and Con’s https://edualliancegroup.blog/2017/06/26/should-your-university-enter-into-a-publicprivate-partnership-the-pros-and-cons
- No Free Lunch: The Pros and Cons of Public-Private Partnerships for Infrastructure Financing https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2017/02/09/no-free-lunch-the-pros-and-cons-of-public-private-partnerships-for-infrastructure-financing
THE SPIRIT OF CAMPUS DESIGN: A reflection on the words of Werner Sensbach #Campus #Planning #Design #University #ArchitectPosted: January 25, 2019
In 1991, Werner Sensbach, who served for over 25 years as Director of Facilities Planning and Administration at the University of Virginia, wrote a paper titled “Restoring the Values of Campus Architecture”. The paragraphs that follow were excerpted from that article. They seem particularly appropriate to Montclair State University as it looks at its present campus facilities and forward to the planning of future facilities on a piece of land of spectacular beauty.
Nearly two thousand years ago, the Roman architect Vitruvius wrote that architecture should provide firmness, commodity, and delight. It is the definition of “delight” that still troubles us today. This is especially so on college campuses. Many who try to give voice to what it is that brings delight in a building or an arrangement of buildings may mention the design, the placement on the site, the choice of building materials, the ornamentation, or the landscaping. But mostly it’s just a feeling, or a sense that things are arranged just right, or a sensation of pleasure that comes over us. So academics, like nearly everyone else, often are unsure when planning for new campus construction about what is likely to be delightful. Even though the United States has 3,400 colleges, while most other advanced nations only have a few dozen, we simply have not developed in the United States a sensibility, a vocabulary, a body of principles, an aesthetic for campus architecture.
That each campus should be an “academic village” was one of Thomas Jefferson’s finest architectural insights. Higher learning is an intensely personal enterprise, with young scholars working closely with other scholars, and students sharing and arguing about ideas, religious beliefs, unusual facts, and feelings. A human scale is imperative, a scale that enhances collegiality, friendships, collaborations on research.
I believe the style of the campus buildings is important, but style is not as important as the village-like atmosphere of all the buildings and their contained spaces. University leaders must insist that architects they hire design on a warm, human scale. Scale, not style, is the essential element in good campus design. Of course, if an inviting, charming campus enclosure can be combined with excellent, stylish buildings so much the better.
The third imperative for campus planners, the special aesthetic of campus architecture, or the element of delight, is the hardest to define. It is the residue that is left after you have walked through a college campus, a sense that you have been in a special place and some of its enchantment has rubbed off on you. It is what visitors feel as they enjoy the treasures along the Washington Mall, or others feel after leaving Carnegie Hall, Longwood Gardens in southeastern Pennsylvania, Chartres Cathedral, the Piazza San Marco in Venice, or the Grand Canyon.
On a college campus the delight is generated by private garden spaces in which to converse, by chapel bells at noon or on each hour, by gleaming white columns and grand stairways, by hushed library interiors, by shiny gymnasiums and emerald playing fields, by poster-filled dormitory suites, by a harmony of windows and roofs, and by flowering trees and diagonal paths across a huge lawn. The poet Schiller once said that a really good poem is like a soft click of a well-made box when it is being closed. A great campus infuses with that kind of satisfaction.
In my view, American’s colleges and universities—and especially their physical planners—need three things to become better architectural patrons. One is a renewed sense of the special purpose of campus architecture. A second is an unswerving devotion to human scale. The third is a sense of the uncommon and particular aesthetic—the delight—that a college or university campus demands.
A surprisingly large sector of the American public has conceded a special purpose to higher education. College campuses have provided a special place for those engaged in the earnest pursuit of basic or useful knowledge, for young people devoted to self-improvement, and for making the country smarter, wiser, more artful, and more able to deal with competitor nations.
Therefore, college and university campuses have a distinct and separate purpose, as distinct as the town hall and as separate as a dairy farm. For most students the four to seven years spent in academic pursuits on a university campus are not only an important period of maturing from adolescence to adulthood but also years of heightened sensory and creative ability, years when the powers of reasoning, feeling, ethical delineations, and aesthetic appreciation reach a degree of sharpness as never before. During college years, young minds absorb impressions that often last for a lifetime: unforgettable lectures, noisy athletic contests, quiet hours in a laboratory or library, jovial dormitory banter, black-robed commencements, encounters with persons of radically different views, the rustle of leaves, transfigured nights. The American college campus serves superbly as an example of Aristotle’s idea of a good urban community as a place “where people live a common life for a noble end.”
No architect should be permitted to build for academe unless he or she fully appreciates that his or her building is an educational tool of sorts. New buildings should add to the academic ambiance and enrich the intellectual exchanges and solitary inquiries. They should never be a mere personal statement by the architect or a clever display of technical ingenuity or artistic fashion.
Campus facilities planners need to be sure that the architects they choose are able to incorporate surprise, touches of whimsy, elegance, rapture, and wonder into their constructions. This special campus aesthetic is definitely not a frill. It is what graduates remember decades after they have left the college, and what often prompts them to contribute money to perpetuate the delight. It is what captures high school juniors and their parents in their summer pilgrimages to numerous college campuses to select those two or three institutions to which they will apply.
I think the best way to preserve the particular values of the American college campus is through a three-pronged effort:
The first is to recognize that the village-like university campus is a unique American architectural creation. No other nation has adopted the “academic village” as an architectural and landscaping form, though the ancient Oxbridge colleges came close. Academic leaders should become more knowledgeable about the distinctiveness of their campus communities and more proud of and assertive about maintaining the values of this inventive form.
Second, universities should have a broadly representative and expert blue-ribbon committee to watch over all new construction, not leave it to the vice president for administration, a facilities planner, or a trustee committee. The campus environment should be guarded and enhanced as carefully as the quality of the faculty.
Third, each college and university should draw up a set of design guidelines to help it become a patron who can list what is essential in its campus architecture. These guidelines will differ from campus to campus, but nearly all institutions should include concern for the three fundamentals: academic purpose, human scale, and a special campus aesthetic. Architects can de- sign more effectively and sympathetically if they understand the expectations of the college.
Although these words were written in 1991, they remain true today as Montclair State University continues to grow its enrollment, academic programs, research programs…and the facilities that serve them.
Source: “Restoring the Values of Campus Architecture” by Werner Sensbach (who served for over 25 years as Director of Facilities Planning and Administration at the University of Virginia)
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