Ideas for a new heating plant

Heating Plant
Dartmouth Heating Plant

The trend these days seems to be for colleges to drop coal (and probably oil, which is what powers Dartmouth’s plant) and go with natural gas, as at Cornell, or biomass, as at Middlebury.

From a planning standpoint alone, a new heating plant would be beneficial for Dartmouth. It would allow the Studio Art department to colonize the well-worn but supremely adaptable old heating plant. Assuming that a steam plant works as well at one end of the line as the other, Dartmouth could build an up-to-date replacement in what might be called the development zone north of the Life Sciences Center, an area that arguably should be developed densely and like a town, not like a campus.

Dartmouth is pragmatic enough that it might do a new heating plant as a metal shed. But because this is a gateway to campus, and for art’s sake, Dartmouth should have an interesting architect do it. No need to cite the great power plants through history, just look at this chiller plant at Chicago:

This is not to say that Hanover needs a building that looks like one by Murphy/Jahn, only that the utilitarian parts of campus could stand to be invested with some artistry.

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