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January 13, 1965 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1965-01-13

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North Capske to, expansionS


(Continued from Page 1)
site-planning firm, Johnson, Johnson and Roy.
This report, completed in 1960, noted that the location and
relatively hilly topography of Ann Arbor made it both a state cross-
roads and a pleasant area-advantages which the University should
exploit. In particular, it pointed to the Huron River Valley, which
winds between Central and North Campus, as both "a circulation
device" and a place of "great natural beauty."
The planners suggested that the valley be seen as a "unifying
element" for the two campuses. But because of the valley, unify-
ing efforts should not be aimed at making the two campuses seem
to be one.
Topographical Features Dominate
"The dictates of basic physical land separation are very strong
in this situation," the planners explained. "In view of this, it seems
inadvisable to attempt to integrate these two land areas into one
physical entity by introducing some engineering device such as a
bridge, monorail, etc. Rather, it seems much wiser to accept the
very strength of the valley and allow it to unify two separated land
areas because of that strength, not in spite of that strength."
Johnson, Johnson and Roy refrained from dividing up North
Campus into any specific building sites. But it firmly declared it-
self on one kind of land use: recreational space.
"The use of this land is for people, any time of the week, stu-
dent or faculty, for walking from class to class, for an outdoor mu-
sic concert or simply passive recreation. This use is dynamic; it is
a common denominator; it can be a strong unifying phenomenon.
"The principal quality of this land is its lineal shape because it
plays on the edges of slopes, valleys and bands of existing trees.
Therefore, it can reach out from the Huron River Valley and grasp
in its fingers campuses of different natures."
Green Areas Tie Things Together
The use of open, green area is envisioned as .the major unify-
ing device for what could otherwise become a string of apparently
unrelated campuses, McKevitt said. On such walkways a pedestrian
can experience a feeling of continuity in going from one campus to
the next.
As startling as the shift to North Campus may be for a Uni-
versity which has spent its first century and a half centered on
one campus, this move may be only the beginning. For the North
Campus area presently being developed is only one of two marked
by Johnson, Johnson and Roy as possible North Campus develop-
ments. The other area, to the east, awaits the attention of some fu-
ture campus planner.
Maybe a few decades from now there will be an "East North
Campus Plan." Until then, the University's main objective for these
areas is to resist the temptation to build something on them-some-
thing a future planner would probably wish had never been built.
"There are times," McKevitt explained, "when the best plan concept
is to reserve the opportunity for future planning."

THE ENTRANCE TO NORTH CAMPUS from Central Campus, as Saarinen envisioned it, would be
this fine-arts complex. To the left is the Music School Bldg. as he saw it in the early 1950s; he later
designed it somewhat differently. To the right is an architecture and design college structure.

1, 1

ONE OF EERO SAARINEN'S 1951 North Campus plans shows development of the functional-
grouping idea. The buildings built and under construction adhere to the general groupings Saar-
inen proposed, but the exact locations have changed. At the time the natural resources school was
a candidate for a North Campus site, but when it moved into its present building on Central Cam-
pus plans for such' a move were shelved.

OF ALL OF SAARINEN'S PLANS, this sketch of the Phoenix Project area is closest to reality.
Most of the buildings already exist, and the area for which Saarinen planned a reflecting pool
remains flat, low and empty (see picture below).

THESE WILL BE TWO OF THE MOST important buildings
on North Campus-for different reasons. The Institute of
Science and Technology Bldg. (above), already complete,
stands out for its architecture, characterized by a unique win-
dow pattern. The student-faculty center (below) will be North
Campus' meeting and relaxation point.

Between North and Central Campus lies the Medical Center, and it too has been the object of a
planning study. This is how the planners envision Medical Center development (womnen's dorms on
the Hill are at lower left; the angular structure in the center is University Hospital). The plan calls
for keeping the center within. its present boundaries (1); the only facility outside these borders,
the publis health school (3) should be extended toward that area. Like the other campus plans, this
plan calls for functionally-grouped buildings (2)-a medical sciences area on the left and a patient-
care area on the right. In front of Mary Markley Hall (lower right) will be a green walkway (4),
part of a system which will connect the various campuses. And like the other campuses, the Medical
Center should have a main entrance (5) opening on the Huron River Valley.

A FOUNTAIN IN AN ENCLOSED COURT serves as North Campus focal point in this 1951 drawing
by Saarinen. The fine-arts complex is out of the picture to the left; the Phoenix Project is out
of the picture at lower right. Buildings proposed include a library at bottom, campus center at
left and engineering college buildings at right.


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