The Power Of Place

Recently we ran across this short article published by the University of Cincinnati regarding their overall master plan and architectural facilities. Starting in 1989 the university began a master plan with the assistance of Hargreaves Associates in an effort to build a more cohesive and intellectually stimulating environment for learning. In a break with conventional doctrine followed by most universities they did not choose to recreate the past through faux university Neo-Gothic architecture, but instead embraced a more modern design solution. The results of their efforts can be seen today in many trade magazines as well as main stream media. The list of completed and pending projects reads like a, “Who’s Who in Architecture?” over the past two decades. Architects of record include: David Childs, Michael Graves, Peter Eisenman, Henry Cobb, Frank Gehry, Charles Gwathmey, Buzz Yudell, Thom Mayne and most recently Bernard Tschumi. Arguably, this is the best single conglomerate of works in one area by star architects other than small town, Columbus, Indiana. But has the if you build it they will come effect really worked? To ask the university the answer would be and emphatic, “yes”. As the article describes their enrollment has risen to a point to where they now have a waiting list. Additionally, several of their curricula now rank in the top in the nation. This of course begs the question is it due to the planning and architecture or something else. We post for you a few photos and let you be the judge. Feel free to leave your comments as well.

flickr set from darajan used under creative commons license

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