The University Record, October 8, 1997
By Jane R. Elgass
President Lee C. Bollinger announced last week that Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown of Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates have been invited to help the University develop "a new overarching master plan" for the campus. Robert Beckley, dean emeritus of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning will chair a committee that will advise and support the project.
The Ann Arbor campus now comprises several campus areas, each with its own master plan÷Central Campus, Medical Campus, North Campus, South Campus, East Campus and the Briarwood health facilities.
"The last 10 years have witnessed an unprecedented period of construction on each of these campuses," Bollinger noted in a letter, adding that "new buildings and land acquisitions have combined to create a sense of physical expansion."
"We are, however, at risk of centrifugal sprawl, of diluting our essential coherence and sense of community. Much good work has been done on planning for the University campus, but I feel it no longer suffices to plan campus by campus. We need to conceive of our campus as a whole and consider its place in the larger Ann Arbor community. We need to look at things for the future÷for a hundred years from now÷to consider what our University campus might be like, what its character should be."
In practice for 33 years, Venturi's and Scott Brown's work "has had a transforming influence on contemporary architecture and planning," Bollinger noted. "They have broken new ground in all their endeavors. I am confident that they will bring excitement and a new sense of possibilities to our planning efforts."
Venturi and Scott Brown have broad experience in campus planning and in designing libraries, museums, science buildings, student centers and residential college buildings.
Campus projects include the award-winning restoration and renovation of Memorial Hall at Harvard University and the restoration of the Furness Library Building at Pennsylvania State University. In addition, they were the architects for a project involving the conversion of a dormitory into a residential college system at Princeton University.
Current university projects include Princeton's Campus Center and the Perelman Quadrangle Campus Center at Penn.