© TEN Arquitectos
© TEN Arquitectos
© TEN Arquitectos

College Avenue Campus, Rutgers University

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Rutgers University's ambitious plan to expand and update its College Avenue Campus called for both a complex urban planning proposal and an assertive architectural gesture. The project entailed one million square feet of new built space-fully half of the existing area of the campus-most of which would be added within the current boundaries. In addition, it was important to suggest a long-term approach to the evolution of the site.

The planning strategy for the site is threefold. First, the scheme reorients the campus by locating the majority of the new construction in areas that lack a cohesive identity or historic reference. A major new axis, perpendicular to College Avenue, connects the various parts of the campus and terminates in a large park at the edge of the Raritan River. This pedestrian-only mall provides the site for a series of programmatic "episodes"; landscape elements, like trees that turn a brilliant red in the fall, present a specific street-level identity. The new park undulates toward the water as a generous, playful surface for the students. Second, the proposal changes the urban character of the campus by increasing its density and introducing medium-sized U-shaped and courtyard buildings that are evocative of customary academic typologies. Parking, which currently occupies a quarter of the campus, is consolidated, underground where possible. Third, the plan reorganizes the redundant and unnecessarily looping bus transportation system that links the different sectors of the campus.

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