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"Designing Campus of Tomorrow" celebrates architectural legacies, explores higher education's needs
25 Jan 2000

By Kathleen Maclay, Public Affairs

BERKELEY-- Increasing enrollment demands, seismic retrofitting and the need for competitive, cutting-edge facilities lend critical timeliness to the upcoming University of California, Berkeley, program, "Designing the Campus of Tomorrow."

A "long dry spell" of no new campus development at research universities is ending, said John Douglass of UC Berkeley's Center for Studies in Higher Education, an organizer of the Thursday, Feb. 10, symposium aimed at campus planners, architectural historians, administrators and design professionals.

The program will look at design contributions of the past and looming physical challenges of the future for institutions of higher learning.

Symposium participants will initiate their discussion by examining UC Berkeley, starting with its international master plan competition sponsored by benefactress Phoebe Hearst, and following through to construction-guided by the Hearst Architectural Plan - of the classical buildings that still define the core of the Berkeley campus.

"The Hearst Plan was an effective blueprint for the creation of a physical campus to match and showcase the university's other aspirations," said event co-organizer Steve Finacom of the Center for Studies in Higher Education. The other goals included building a strong faculty and administration, as well as a campus with an impressive physical presence and international reputation.

Stanford University Professor Paul V. Turner, an authority on the history of college and university planning and development, will address the symposium to place the Hearst Architectural Plan into context.

Next, participants will explore successes and failures of post-World War II college planning in California. New campus construction peaked in the late 1950s and early '60s with the development of three new UC campuses and eight new campuses within the California State University system. California's community colleges added more than 30 campuses during that period.

"The rapid physical expansion of UC and CSU, often on the cheap, and in an era of sometimes brutal generic designs devoid of any sense of region or place," said Douglass, "has left a legacy that stands in sharp contrast to the core of the Berkeley campus.

"Colleges and universities are more than teaching factories, but are important public spaces that in no small measure reflect the values of society."

Symposium discussion issues include what constitutes and what should constitute a university campus and an environment conducive to higher learning, as well as how early campus plans fit in with contemporary conditions and future plans.

The symposium will consider UC Berkeley's efforts to develop its "New Century Plan" to renew and modernize facilities for scholars and researchers at the 113-year-old campus. The plan is tentatively set for completion later this year and will guide UC Berkeley academic and physical planning.

Panelists will contrast and compare challenges at UC's oldest campus, Berkeley, with its newest, 10th campus just beginning design and construction in Merced. The Merced campus will be part of an 11,000-acre planned community in the San Joaquin Valley, where farmlands are yielding to pressures of a growing population, calls for affordable housing and development.

Gov. Gray Davis wants to open UC Merced to students by 2004, a year earlier than previously planned, in order to help accommodate what is dubbed a "Tidal Wave II" of students flowing into California colleges and universities.

Symposium participants include :

· UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Berdahl;

· UC Merced Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey;

· J. Handel Evans, president of California State University, Channel Islands;

· Chris Adams, a major planner for UC Merced;

· UCLA campus architect Charles W. Oakley;

· Stanford's associate vice provost and university architect, David J. Neuman;

· Harrison Fraker, dean of UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design;

· Donlyn Lyndon, former chair of UC Berkeley's School of Architecture;

· Stefanos Polyzoides of the University of Southern California Architecture School and a leader in the "new urbanism" architectural movement;

· And Robert Judson Clark of Princeton, guest curator of the Berkeley Art Museum's "Roma/Pacifica" exhibit.

The "Roma/Pacifica" exhibit, much of which has not been seen for 100 years, highlights each phase of UC Berkeley's development through original sketches, documents, photos and stunning large-scale drawings.

The program is organized by the Center for Studies in Higher Education. It is co-sponsored by UC Berkeley's New Century Plan, Berkeley Art Museum, Environmental Design Archives in UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design, the Institute of Governmental Studies, the Hearst Foundations and The Bancroft Library.

It will be held in the Gund Theater at the Berkeley Art Museum from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and is open to the public. Seating is limited.


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