The BBB West End Master Plan (super image from BBB site; see also the Campus Services project page, written by BBB) turns out to be more than a schematic design. The meandering suburban business-park road is going to be built:
Another change will be the removal of Engineering Drive, which runs from West Wheelock Street to the Cummings lot. A new roadway, called West Access Road, will be constructed to provide access to the parking garage and Thayer loading facility as well as limited access to the West End Circle. A now-closed portion of Old Tuck Drive, which originates just above the swim docks and the Ledyard parking lot, will be reopened and will connect the roadway to Tuck Mall, pending town approval.
The project page for the Thayer/CS building provides more detail: “Engineering Drive will close, and a new access road will be constructed specifically to provide access to the parking garage and Thayer loading docks. Old Tuck Drive will be restored and reopened to support one-way traffic heading from west to east.”
Maybe the site conditions (steep slopes, existing buildings) require the endearingly-named West Access Road to look the way it does. After all, Tuck Drive is a curving, naturalistic auto road. Yet one hopes that the new road will respect urban principles by reinforcing campus spaces.
One also hopes that the West Access Road will be reconnected to Tuck Mall once construction of the building is completed: that would seem to be the reason for the two-level pedestrian bridge that will join the building to the McLean ESC.
From the Dartmouth News article: “Construction is expected to start early next year on a three-level underground parking and loading facility, which will sit below the four-floor education portion of the building.” In the map that accompanies the article, the entrance to that
subterranean lair underground garage appears just off the southwest corner of the new building. Last fall, the project page included a view of the building’s south facade from which is taken this detail showing the intriguing, grottolike entrance:
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.
OPDC has a project page for the new Thayer School building with an image from this point of view (Google Street View).
The building will occupy the Thayer parking lot and connect to MacLean by a two-level glass bridge. Wilson Architects is designing the building (MacLean is by Koetter, Kim).
Google Street View
The new building is on the left. Image from Behind the Green newsletter.
The Thayer School of Engineering is planning to expand its faculty, students, and program. They are working closely with our Planning, Design & Construction Office to design a building that will accommodate this growth. The project is being developed in partnership with the Computer Science department and will therefore accommodate the relocation of that department, promoting interaction and collaboration between Thayer and CS, and with Tuck as well. The proposed new building is located south of the Maclean Engineering Sciences Center on the west end of the Dartmouth campus.
That from the Campus Services newsletter.
The building takes its cues from the successful MacLean ESC next door. It looks as if it will line up directly with the portico of Tuck Hall.
The building also carries on the Thayer tradition of erecting additions rather than freestanding buildings. This is contrary to the two most recent master plans for this area. The road seems to be rerouted at least; will the connection to the River Cluster be eliminated completely?
And who will take over Sudikoff once CS leaves?
The newsletter also has a small rendering of the upcoming Indoor Practice Facility.
Thayer School news from the Valley News:
In 2017, administrators hope to break ground on a new building for the Thayer School of Engineering, located near the Tuck School of Business at the western end of campus.
Joseph Helble, dean of the Thayer School, said the expansion would help to accommodate rising numbers of students and faculty, as well as increased need for lab and office space.
“Our undergraduate enrollments have grown tremendously, roughly doubling over the past 5 years, so we are in need of more classroom space, including ‘project labs’ where students work on open-ended, hands-on design projects, usually in teams,” he said in an email Sunday.
The new building would be built in place of the parking lot south of the Thayer complex, according to Hogarty, who said the cost of the project had not been fixed but was planned to come entirely through donations.
The Dartmouth reports that Wilson Architects is “exploring potential designs and locations” for a new Thayer School building:
The parking lot is the most obvious site, Helble said, though it would create a need for another parking facility elsewhere.
The firm will present its report in January. Wilson Architects, of Boston, has worked on a design for the renovation of Fairchild Hall.
A post at Dartmouth Engineer notes that a 3,000-square foot office addition has expanded the fourth floor of MacLean (2004-2007) and links to a photo.
In this before image, the main block of the building is only three levels high:
The design of the addition, like that of the building, is by Koetter | Kim & Associates (see NH Forum (November 2011) (pdf)).
The Koetter | Kim & Associates website includes an intriguing sketch, of which this is an excerpt:
Ca. 2004 Thayer School master plan by Koetter Kim
Note the expansion of Thayer School all the way down Thayer Drive to West Wheelock Street, giving a “public” face to engineering (or business, for that matter) for the first time. Bold! Although the scale of the buildings in the image might not be the most appropriate, this would be a better use of the vacant land than what exists.
Source: Koetter | Kim & Associates > Projects > Projects List > MacLean Engineering Sciences Center > fourth image.
As the irregular grassy plot in front of the River Cluster becomes better defined and and is transformed into a front door to the Tuck School (through the school’s Whittemore Hall), the space needs a name.
Landscape architects Saucier & Flynn have mentioned “Whittemore Green” in town planning meetings (pdf).
[Update 11.17.2012: Broken link to 11 July 2006 minutes removed.]
The Office of Planning, Design & Construction continues to generously post photos of construction projects, including final views of the exterior of the MacLean Engineering Sciences Center at the Thayer School.
The MacLean Engineering Sciences Center was clad in brick during the fall and now presents a recognizable form. See construction photos.
Lebanon landscape architects Saucier + Flynn, analysts of Dartmouth’s landscape history and designers of the landscape for Whittemore Hall, are designing the environs of the new MacLean Engineering Sciences Building at the Thayer School.
The Thayer School has posted aerial views of its new MacLean Engineering Sciences Center under construction.
The Valley News reports on the largest construction boom in recent memory, with $180 million in College and Town projects underway.
The framing for Thayer’s new building was topped off on March 30.
More images of the MacLean Engineering Sciences Center are on line. This building is big. An interesting little entry courtyard with gateposts that was not noticeable in earlier views shows up in a new view and is an almost exact analogue of the larger windswept space on the other side of the Thayer School, where it joins Murdough. This one looks to be more effective.
This month’s Dartmouth Life has an overview of the nine largest projects underway, with images of several of them. Two that have received little press lately but seem to get the go-ahead here are the Visual Arts Center on Lebanon Street (Machado and Silvetti) and the Tuck School dormitory/classroom complex that sounds bigger than when first announced:
The facility will consist of three connected buildings: the east and west residential buildings, and the central classroom and learning bulding.
That facility will be connected to the existing Tuck complex and designed by the firm that designed Tuck’s most recent addition of Whittemore Hall [more], Goody Clancy.
[Update 11.10.2012: Broken link to news article replaced, broken links to Goody Clancy pages fixed.]