University Planning and Architecture: The search for perfection, 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover

University Planning and Architecture

The search for perfection, 2nd Edition

By Jonathan Coulson, Paul Roberts, Isabelle Taylor


280 pages

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pub: 2015-02-11
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The environment of a university – what we term a campus – is a place with special resonance. They have long been the setting for some of history’s most exciting experiments in the design of the built environment. Christopher Wren at Cambridge, Le Corbusier at Harvard, and Norman Foster at the Free University Berlin: the calibre of practitioners who have shaped the physical realm of academia is superlative.

Pioneering architecture and innovative planning make for vivid assertions of academic excellence, while the physical estate of a university can shape the learning experiences and lasting outlook of its community of students, faculty and staff. However, the mounting list of pressures – economic, social, pedagogical, technological – currently facing higher education institutions is rendering it increasingly challenging to perpetuate the rich legacy of campus design. In this strained context, it is more important than ever that effective use is made of these environments and that future development is guided in a manner that will answer to posterity.

This book is the definitive compendium of the prestigious sphere of campus design, envisaged as a tool to help institutional leaders and designers to engage their campus’s full potential by revealing the narratives of the world’s most successful, time-honoured and memorable university estates. It charts the worldwide evolution of university design from the Middle Ages to the present day, uncovering the key episodes and themes that have conditioned the field, and through a series of case studies profiles universally-acclaimed campuses that, through their planning, architecture and landscaping, have made original, influential and striking contributions to the field. By understanding this history, present and future generations can distil important lessons for the future.

The second edition includes revised text, many new images, and new case studies of the Central University of Venezuela and Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad.


'Higher education is in flux. Programs have changed, some disciplines are entirely new. Technology, while ubiquitous, is equally in flux. The challenges for university planning architecture are formidable but exciting and those in the field need to be ten steps ahead of the curve. By providing valuable historical context and stellar case studies, this book provides an indispensable guide to designing the future of education.' - Allison Arieff, Contributing Columnist, The New York Times, USA

'University Planning and Architecture is a unique study of the best University campuses in the world; why they have developed as they have, where they have innovated and how they continue to evolve to meet the ever changing needs of what is rapidly becoming a gobal market place in education.' - Aidan S J Ridyard RIBA, Lecturer in Architecture and Principal at Burrell Foley Fischer Architects, London, UK

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Preface 1. University Planning and Architecture 1088-2014: An Evolving Chronology 2. Case Studies: University of Oxford University of Cambridge Uppsala University Trinity College Dublin Harvard University Yale University Princeton University University of Virginia University of California, Berkeley University of Pennsylvania University of Chicago Stanford University Columbia University Peking University University of Western Australia Rice University University of California, Los Angeles University of Cape Town Aarhus University Moscow State University Central University of Venezuela Utrecht University Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad University of East Anglia Free University Berlin Simon Fraser University Qatar University Temasek Polytechnic University of Technology Petronas 3. Conclusion: The Search for Perfection Appendix Notes Bibliography Picture Credits Index

About the Authors

Jonathan Coulson and Paul Roberts are Directors of Turnberry Consulting, a development strategy consultancy created to help landowners to develop real estate projects driven by quality and functionality. They have extensive experience working within the university sector, preparing and delivering development proposals and master-planning initiatives. Isabelle Taylor read history of art at the University of Cambridge and Courtauld Institute of Art. The three have also jointly authored University Trends: Contemporary Campus Design (2014), a survey of the trends currently shaping the fields of planning and architecture in higher education.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning
ARCHITECTURE / Buildings / Public, Commercial & Industrial
ARCHITECTURE / Professional Practice