The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is one of the most unique campuses in the United States. Originally envisioned by world renowned architect, Paul Rudolph, the campus is based on the idea of an agora of learning with residential neighborhoods around it. While initially conceived as a commuter campus with a ring road and large parking lots, over the last fifty years the University has evolved into a residential campus. Housing was built at the periphery of the ring road creating a disconnect between living and learning. In addition, the older housing no longer served the needs of today’s students and needs to be replaced.
The master plan proposes new first and second year communities with a mix of academic and student life spaces situated close in to the core resulting in a more connected community. The intent is to transform the campus into an active 24/7 community with improvements to the academic core, residence life, student activities, athletics, recreation, arts, and culture. First time visitors will experience the best the campus has to offer with a new entrance passing through the unique Southcoast landscape and arriving at a new admissions and visitor center with an exhibit discussing the history and design of the campus. The greater community will be more welcome on campus with improvements to athletics, improved access to the art gallery, and a new conference center. Open spaces will be improved to accommodate festivals, fairs, commencement, and casual gatherings. The existing Paul Rudolph buildings will be renovated and updated making them more transparent and usable while respecting the original design intent.
Once complete, the campus will become the academic village originally envisioned by Paul Rudolph so many years ago: a connected community.
This project was completed in association with designLab Architects, Carol R. Johnson Landscape Architects, and Ayers Saint Gross.
Click here to read coverage of the unveiling in South Coast Today.