Ideas for North Campus: Theater, retail, more residence halls,
parking structures and a pub
North Campus has some nice features, including its vast green spaces,
the music school pond and interesting sculptures, says Douglas Kelbaugh.
But when describing the campus as a whole, he uses words like empty
and lifeless, at least when the area is compared to Central
Theres a lot of work left to be done on the North
Campus if we want to put it on equal footing with the Central Campus,
or even close, the dean of the Taubman College of Architecture
and Urban Planning said Oct. 7 while presenting conceptual plans
for the redevelopment of the campus.
Kelbaugh, working with a group of about a dozen students, came
up with two plans using input from North Campus deans and other
stakeholders. He was quick to point out that the plans are not definitive,
but that they offer a set of illustrative ideas for expanding and
redesigning the campus.
|One conceptual idea for redevelopment of North
Campus. (Provided by the Taubman College of Architecture and
The two similar proposals include the Arthur Miller Theater on
a site across the street from Pierpont Commons, new residence halls,
parking structures to reduce the need for surface lots, a Music
School extension, an art and architecture annex, and possibly the
building of a convention center.
One concept is in more traditional and formal architectural style,
while the other is more informal and modern, Kelbaugh said. But,
he said, neither is particularly extreme or avant-garde.
The more traditional design proposes moving the School of Information
to North Campus. The proposal also shows a new computer science
building, which already is being designed, on the north side of
campus; an extension of Pierpont Commons to the west of the existing
building; housing, research or a hotel on Fuller Road; and exhibition/gallery/student
union space on the north side of campus. It also shows places for
a potential academic building, dance studios and market housing.
The plans for the more modern design include a residential college
on the north side of campus, a library annex, housing on Fuller
Road, an extension of the architecture building, and a site for
housing, a hotel, research labs or offices on Fuller. Like the other
proposal, it includes a meditation hall for people of all religions.
The designs address the need for more spaces on a pedestrian scale
and a finer-grained network of streets, Kelbaugh said. Another change
would be more public destinations and amenities on campus.
We need places to have a date and to have a drink,
His suggestion that the campus needs a pub along the Huron River
drew applause from the packed auditorium at the Art and Architecture
Building. The idea that the administration offices now housed in
the Fleming building move to North Campus, on the other hand, inspired
Ideally, the changes to North Campus would be made in some form
in the next 1020 years or so, Kelbaugh said.
Money would have to come from the University and outside sources,
he said. This is meant to whet the appetite of donors, as
much as anything.
Drawings and models are on display 9 a.m.5 p.m. MondayFriday
in room 2106 of the Art and Architecture Building, through Oct.