Some campus photos and notes

Steam Tunnel access grate on the Green, Google Street View

Steam Tunnel access under Green, Meacham photo

Steam Tunnel access grate on the Green, underside

The first stage of the steam tunnel’s construction, south of this grate, was a test meant to determine whether such a project would be economical in a ledge environment.


North bank of HBs at former entrance to Hop, view to west

Until recently, students entered the Hop at the end of the room. The entrance was closed off and a replacement of the same configuration built just to the north.

Hop interior at Minary entrance, Meacham photo

The new Hop entrance, view to northwest onto Zahm/Memorial Garden

(Have the memorial plaques attached to the Inn there been moved to Memorial Field? That would make sense. This is not their first location anyway.)

Triangle House, Meacham photo

Triangle House entrance (west) facade

Even more than the society houses on the south side of Webster Avenue, Triangle House has a well-used student entrance on one side, shown here, and a formal street entrance on the other.

LSC bike pavilion, Meacham photo

LSC bike pavilion

This elaborate bicycle shelter for the Life Sciences Center joins a couple other pavilions in the area.

Gilman plaque, Meacham photo

Plaque moved from Gilman to LSC

LSC name lettering, Meacham photo

The town changed the street address of the building to get it to match.

Report from the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter

Several posts here over the past few years have commented on the redevelopment of what’s called the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter in Oxford, comparing it to Hanover’s own hospital district north of Maynard.

Rafael Viñoly Architects devised a 2008 master plan for the area that appears in an aerial view before the makeover:

  • The Oxford University Press building is visible at the right, outside the quarter.

  • That church opposite the Press (St. Paul’s) was a coffee shop/bar called FREVD that served as an example here in the Rollins Chapel reuse post.

  • Just beyond the church is the future site of the building of the Blavatnik School of Government (founded 2010, Wikipedia). Circle-in-a-square buildings do have a special history here, but even a person with some fondness for spaceship buildings could find something to quibble with in this project by Herzog & de Meuron.

Oxford Blavatnik site Meacham photo

Blavatnik site, with St. Paul’s at left

Oxford Blavatnik site Meacham photo

View of construction site through hoarding

Oxford Blavatnik site Meacham photo

View of site from west: Templeton Green College, with Observatory

The broad approach taken by the university as developer is interesting: there was archeology beforehand (Neolithic ring ditches!) and during construction there was an artist in residence and a set of public art presentations.


[Update 07.20.2014: View through hoarding added. Thanks to Hugin for panoramic image software.]

NCAC now unlikely to come to pass

The Dartmouth reports again, this time with conviction, that the NCAC project as we know it is stalled. It seems as if it might have been effectively cancelled.

Bertaux + Iwerks Architects present an interesting might-have-been, a pre-NCAC design for a new central DMS building. The design would have given DMS a new signature structure and knitted together the existing campus by connecting Vail to Dana and the Life Sciences Center.

It is hard to tell whether this design would have been any more successful as a work of urbanism than the NCAC design, for all its faults. Then again, the NCAC had more space to play with, enjoying the removal of both Dana and Gilman.

DADA exhibit, other news

  • DADA (Dartmouth Alumni in Design and Architecture) is having its third alumni architecture exhibit June 6 through 16 in the Nearburg Arts Forum in the Black Family Visual Arts Center (via Sue).
  • The Big Green Alert Blog reports that the Town has approved the zoning amendments that will allow a new video scoreboard at Memorial Field (a topic about which alumni are fairly passionate, judging from the comments on a post at this blog). The Zoning Board was to have considered a request for a Special Exception to replace the existing scoreboard at Scully-Fahey Field in its hearing on May 30 (ZBA Agenda).
  • The Rauner Library Blog has a post about old postcards depicting the campus.
  • The Dartmouth published a series of three articles on architecture last month. First, “Despite lack of major, architecture offerings abound” suggests again how interesting a history of the somewhat hidden world of design education at Dartmouth would be; second, “Recent campus buildings depart from New England tradition” focuses on post-1984 work; and third, “College’s early buildings share traditional aesthetic” covers prewar buildings (thanks to Amanda for the quotes).
  • Dartmouth Now article (and Flickr set) on the Life Sciences Greenhouse atop the Life Sciences Center.
  • The Planner has photos of the new offices of Dartmouth Computing in Baker, the new deans’ offices (Student Academic Support Services) in Carson, in a space formerly occupied by the Computer Store (Planner’s Blog post), and the new location of the Computer Store in McNutt. This confusing shuffle was mentioned on this blog during April. Any word on the fate of the old Kiewit space outside the Tower Room?
  • The Planner also has photos of 113 Wilder, the Physics Department’s office and lounge suite.

The Academic Center is by Kyu Sung Woo Architects

The designers behind the planned North Campus Academic Center are the Cambridge, Mass. firm of KSWA. Firm founder Kyu Sung Woo (Wikipedia) designed the Olympic Village for the 1988 Olympics in Seoul (firm page).

The firm’s campus work includes a pair of dorms on Coffin Street at Bowdoin (firm page) and the Nerman Museum in Kansas (Architectural Record, Biemiller post at the Buildings & Grounds blog of The Chronicle).

The project page for the North Campus Academic Center at Dartmouth provides a slightly modified version of the May view of the building’s rear or quad facade as well as a view to the southwest showing the “front” facade on College Street.

What’s most notable is the siting: this building has some major planning implications. The building is not an east-west bar as its predecessor Gilman was. Instead, it appears to follow a northeast-southwest orientation, forming an angled tee shape (a favored form — see the Nerman plan). The dominant main block will follow the angle of College Street as it heads off toward Lyme. The southern end of the building, the stem of the tee, appears to adopt the orientation of the McLaughlin Cluster.

Thus, instead of forming a rectilinear wall along the bottom of the medical quad as Gilman did, the building opens like a trap door, allowing the quad to spill out to the McLaughlin Cluster.

Some new details about the building’s contents and surroundings:

Classrooms, meeting rooms, a graduate student lounge and social space, a cafe, and a large scale forum will be available to the Dartmouth community. The building will be set in a landscape featuring outdoor performances, art events, and a gathering space for major events such as the Medical School commencement.

The Life Sciences Center also was described as framing a space for commencements. Thus the commencement space mentioned above seems likely to be the existing medical quad rather than the sunken lawn visible in the first illustration.


[Update 08.11.2012: KSWA’s authorship of the Academic Center was mentioned as early as March 9 on a article titled “Design by Korean architect dazzles in Boston.”]

Future excitement: the expansion of the Hop

Dartmouth recently announced that it has “initiated a renovation and expansion project for the Hopkins Center and will be selecting an architect in the coming year.” Because the Hop is so large, loved, and important, this is sure to be an interesting project.

On the occasion of the Hopkins Center’s 50th anniversary, the alumni magazine has published a photo essay on the Hop of today and collected reminiscences.

Reading Jonah Lehrer’s New Yorker article mentioning the Pixar building and how Steve Jobs concentrated the restrooms in one place as a way of forcing interaction among employees reminds one of the Hinman Boxes and their placement in the Hopkins Center with the specific intention of exposing students to the arts.1Bohlin Cywinski Jackson designed the 2002 Pixar headquarters, the most important Apple Stores over the years, and Dartmouth’s Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center.

The Black family’s gift for the Visual Arts Center includes the funding of an artwork by Ellsworth Kelly that will be attached to the east facade of Spaulding Auditorium this year (The Dartmouth). See this Street View for the likely site.

The publicity around the Hood expansion and the arts center refers to “Dartmouth’s new Arts District.” It seems that neither “Hopland” nor “SoWhee” has taken hold.

There is the challenge of adding to a notable building by a big-name architect, Wallace Harrison. The various firms doing careful insertions in and around the Harrison-planned Lincoln Center, including Tod Williams Billie Tsien, would be worth considering (Lincoln Center page, Times Topics).

Two recent master plans have proposed that the college graft a variety of additions onto the sides of the Hop:

It will be interesting to see where the new additions will go and how they will look. Will the Hop’s studio range really be demolished and replaced, as the Rogers Marvel plan proposes? Will the blank wall on Lebanon Street really get a row of shops, as the Brook McIlroy plan proposes? Will a northern addition expand the Hop proper toward the Green, alongside the original and iconic Moore Theatre? Stay tuned.


[Update 07.07.2012: Link to DAM article added.]


Notes   [ + ]

1. Bohlin Cywinski Jackson designed the 2002 Pixar headquarters, the most important Apple Stores over the years, and Dartmouth’s Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center.

Street addresses on campus

Yale has been described as having more buildings with street addresses than any other school.1I thought this factoid was in Scully, et al., Yale in New Haven: Architecture and Urbanism (Yale, 2004), but I cannot find it there. See Cooper, Robertson & Partners, Yale University: A Framework for Campus Planning (pdf), 9 (“City streets connect the blocks, giving most buildings at Yale clear street addresses.”); id, 36 (“Nearly every University building has a city street address.”). That might have been the case 15 years ago, but in the age of E911 address requirements, there should not be a campus building anywhere in the country without a street number.

This is interesting: Dartmouth’s Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center, which basically is part of the old Med School campus along College Street, had its street number changed from 76 College Street to 78 College Street.2Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (January/February 2012) (pdf), 14.

[Update 11.04.2012: First sentence changed, citation to Yale plan added, and DAM citation placed in footnote.]

Notes   [ + ]

1. I thought this factoid was in Scully, et al., Yale in New Haven: Architecture and Urbanism (Yale, 2004), but I cannot find it there. See Cooper, Robertson & Partners, Yale University: A Framework for Campus Planning (pdf), 9 (“City streets connect the blocks, giving most buildings at Yale clear street addresses.”); id, 36 (“Nearly every University building has a city street address.”).
2. Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (January/February 2012) (pdf), 14.

The Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center

The college dedicated the Life Sciences Center on November 5 (The Dartmouth, Dartmouth Now, the Chronicle building blog). A new video shows a few of the large building’s interiors. The college Flickr feed has more.

Google’s Street View cyclist captured the LSC on a beautiful day about a year ago. Look at that copper! Dartmouth posted a video during construction explaining the building’s proposed LEED certification.

The center’s architects are Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. The firm designed the monumental Apple Stores, including the Fifth Avenue cube, which reopened November 4 after being reclad in larger panes of glass, as well as the Pixar Animation Studios headquarters. (Apple’s upcoming spaceship headquarters in Cupertino is by Norman Foster.)

[Update 03.31.2013: Broken links to headquarters and Foster replaced.]

LSC construction wrapping up: the Yard and its paths

The Dartmouth recently published articles on the progress of construction in general and ’53 Commons in particular. The word is that football recruits like the revived Commons.

The designers of the LSC, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, call the rectangular green space framed by the new building “the Yard.” The paved paths look as if they follow routes that have been there for generations, but one has to wonder how the architects knew to put them where they are. The Dartmouth has an article with details about the building, noting that the dedication will take place next month.

The Yard under construction during June

View of LSC

October 10 view of the LSC taken from the webcam

[Update 11.17.2012: Broken link to webcam removed.]

Building items

News notes on construction projects old and new:

  • An anonymous donation has named the fitness center recently installed in the old gymnasium space at the top of Alumni Gym for former Trustee Charles Zimmerman ’23 Tu ’24 (The Dartmouth, Bloomberg).
  • An article in the Valley News on Harris Trail at Hanover and the Class of 1966 Lodge.
  • Health Facilities Management has named the DHMC complex an “icon” and the subject of one of its case studies. The SBRA announcement notes the hospital’s adoption of the shopping mall form.
  • For an example of a remarkable and appropriate setting for a Beverly Pepper sculpture that shares some of the attributes of Thel, see the Weisslers’ amphitheater in New York (New York Times). See also the BLDGBLOG post on Buried Buildings.
  • A building-related issue of The Mirror has some details on the Life Sciences Center.
  • One hopes that the OPDC will get the chance to add a Class of 1953 Commons page to its list of projects.
  • Another Titcomb Cabin update.

[Update 07.06.2013: Sluggish link to SBRA announcement removed.]

The Life Sciences Center and its copper cladding

Dartmouth Now posted an update on campus construction back in June. The first photo (larger version on Flickr) shows the busy east end of the Life Sciences Center.

There is also a podcast covering the LSC and sustainability, and the webcam continues to show the state of the work.

Dartmouth Now, by the way, is from the Office of Public Affairs and appears to be the new and peppier face of the college on the Web, up since about January.

[Update 11.17.2012: Broken link to webcam removed.]

The Life Sciences Center and its antecedents

The Dartmouth ran an article on May 7th about perceptions of the cost of the Life Sciences Center and included a photo of the building in progress. The webcam has a current view.

A time-lapse film of the demolition of the intriguing and notable but appropriately-unloved Strasenburgh Hall is available.

The firm designing the Life Sciences Center, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, is responsible for the fifth-most photographed site in all of New York City: the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue (NPR).

[Update 01.13.2013: Broken link to Philly replaced with link to NPR.]
[Update 11.17.2012: Broken link to webcam removed.]

Campus and area architecture news roundup

The designs for Memorial Field’s West Stand or the replacement for Thayer Dining Hall have not been revealed, but a few smaller items of interest have come out over the past few months:

  • Construction of the ’78 Life Science Center began in early September, notes the OPDC, after the Occom Pond Neighborhood Association’s appeal of Hanover’s zoning permission was dismissed (press release). A webcam shows the site when it’s light out.
  • The reconstruction of Rolfe Field and the construction of the surrounding Biondi Park have been delayed by site conditions, quoted Jim Hunter of Clark Construction Company: “Dartmouth is just so old that you never know what you’re going to
    find underneath the ground.” When students were digging trenches in the area during World War I, they found an old house foundation.

  • Moore Ruble Yudell has a page up for the North Campus master plan.
  • A huge amount of effort has gone into building a sprawling housing development near the hospital at Gile Hill, and into making it not seem like affordable housing (site map). The project was designed by Gossens Bachman Architects of Montpelier, designers of the Rock of Ages Corporation Visitor Center and of a design for the Vermont Granite Museum.

[Update 03.31.2013: Broken link to Gile Hill plan and site map removed.]
[Update 01.05.2013: Broken link to master plan replaced.]

Strasenburgh’s past

The Class of 1978 Life Sciences Building is taking the place of Strasenburgh Hall, a cramped Medical School office building. Strasenburgh was built as a dormitory, and for that reason it was the only building on the School’s “original” (1950-1980) campus not designed by SBRA: the dormitory, like its Tuck School counterpart Buchanan Hall, was designed by the consulting architects of the College, Campbell Aldrich & Nulty.

Dartmouth Medicine magazine (Winter 2006) has an article by Jennifer Durgin on Strasenburgh’s past, and it includes an excellent aerial photo of the medical campus. Strasenburgh’s small scale and busy faceting made it one of the least unappealing buildings of the group.

Life Sciences Building named

The Life Sciences Building has a name: The Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center (press release; article in The Dartmouth). The only other Dartmouth building named for a class that comes to mind was named only last year, the Class of 1953 Dining Commons.

The class plans to raise $40 million of the roughly $95-million construction cost. The architecture firm, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, recently hired a few new designers in its Pittsburgh office to handle this project in particular.

The press release announcing the gift includes the first perspective renderings available, and they emphasize what appears to be an elliptical-plan glass stair tower. The long cross-bar will be the teaching portion of the building, and the shorter north-south wing will house the research spaces and administration.

[Updated 10.20.2007: “Building” changed to “Center” in first stentence.]