Planning the western part of campus

In September the college released a framework plan for potential construction around the professional schools (news release, story in The D). The plan, by Beyer Blinder Belle, elaborates on that firm's earlier master plan for the campus.

The plan shows several future buildings. One is the upcoming Thayer School/Computer Science building, on the site of the Thayer parking lot (new images released). Another is the Irving Institute building in front of the Murdough Center (some details released). The designer of the Irving Institute is KPMB Architects, a Canadian firm: the school's press release notes that each of the firm's three partners is a member or officer of the Order of Canada. The plan also shows the demolition of the final two River Cluster dormitories, although the school has not selected a site for the replacement beds yet.

It is good to hear that the planning involves the "consideration of the aesthetics of future buildings and improvements to signage." The future buildings depicted in the plan image do seem to perpetuate the oddly suburban bias noted in the original BBB master plan, however.

Lisa Hogarty, at the time the Vice President of Campus Planning (The D), said that "This plan creates a route from the Green to the river and adds new community green space." The new route to the River is shown in the illustration and includes a ped-bike bridge over the cemetery. The "new community green space" is presumably an improvement of the existing "Whittemore Green" behind Thayer School. Some work has been done here, but it still feels a bit like leftover space, the grassy area in the middle of the asphalt turnaround.

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