University of Oregon Campus Plan

University of Oregon Planning Office - CAMPUS PLAN

Policy 11: Patterns

This is very interesting document that describes how the University of Oregon approaches growth and change in its campus. The section on "patterns" contains several guidelines that they seek to apply to their projects. These include:

Building Complex
The human scale vanishes in enormous buildings. People who use them stop identifying the staff who work there as personalities, and the staff feel like small cogs in a greater machine.
THEREFORE: To maintain human scale in campus buildings, make them small, perhaps no larger than 100,000 gross square feet (with some notable exceptions such as libraries and recreation facilities) and not more than three or four stories high. If more space is needed, the buildings should be conceived as a collection connected by arcades or bridges defining and embracing outdoor spaces.

Good Neighbor
It’s easy to be so focused on making campus projects as wonderful as possible for their users that we ignore their impacts on our neighbors.
THEREFORE: Consider each project’s impacts on neighbors and community. For example, what will the building look like from outside the campus boundaries? What parking impacts may spill over into other areas?

Four-story Limit
An important aspect of the campus’s beauty is access to sunlight, views of the sky, and human scale.
THEREFORE: Keep the majority of buildings four stories high or less. It is possible that a few buildings may exceed this limit, but strong consideration must be given to the resultant shadows and skyline to ensure the beauty of the campus and the importance of the individual.

Open University
When a university campus is separated from the town by a hard boundary, students and townspeople tend to be isolated from each other; in a subtle way the university takes on the character of a glorified high school.
THEREFORE: Ensure that the campus edges are soft and the gateways marking the boundary between university and town are welcoming and inviting to townspeople rather than shunning. For students, make easy connections to the town so they are encouraged to visit the town often.

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