Issue Date: Nov 7, 2005
Update: Five finalists selected for design competition
Vision for College Avenue campus
Architectural firms selected for interviews
Rutgers has invited many of the world's best-known and most innovative architects to compete for the opportunity to carry out President Richard L. McCormick's vision to enhance the university's oldest and most historic campus.
A total of 15 architectural and design teams have responded to the university's Request for Qualifications to participate in a design competition to develop an innovative concept for the College Avenue campus. The deadline to submit qualifications to the university was Oct. 27.
The winning team, which will include architects, landscape designers and urban planners, will be given the opportunity to create the landscape for the greening of the College Avenue campus and to design a new, signature academic building.
President McCormick stressed that the College Avenue campus initiative will respect the campus' historic character. He also said the university will actively seek public input throughout the competitive process.
"This design competition is an exciting and effective way to bring together many of the best minds in architecture and design to transform the College Avenue campus into one of the finest campuses in the nation," McCormick said. "Working with these experts, and with everyone who is interested in the future of Rutgers University, we will create an inspiring academic environment that will attract top faculty and students; encourage the highest standards of scholarship, research and service; strengthen the university's ties with our most historic host community; and create a major source of pride for the people of New Jersey."
The university will announce five finalists in December. Each team will receive a $50,000 stipend, funded through the Rutgers University Foundation, to prepare conceptual designs for the College Avenue campus.
The competition will be judged by a panel that will include members of the Rutgers community, as well as architecture, landscape design and urban planning professionals.
In February, McCormick released "A New Vision for the College Avenue Campus" in partnership with New Brunswick Mayor James Cahill.
At the core of this multiyear project is the conversion of College Avenue, a city-owned street, into a more welcoming, pedestrian-friendly public space. This conversion would encourage informal interactions among faculty, students, alumni and staff, as well as with neighboring residents.
Other proposals for the College Avenue campus include:
• development of a major transportation hub, including the construction of a pedestrian bridge over George Street
• replacement or renovation of the River Dorms as well as creation of a new dining facility
• creation of a one-stop student service hub in Brower Commons.
Last spring, alumni and campus advisory committees were formed to facilitate ongoing discussions and to solicit input from students, faculty, staff, alumni and residents from surrounding neighborhoods.
Martin J. Yudkovitz, a 1976 Rutgers College graduate and chair of the initiative's alumni advisory committee, said that committee members are excited by the international interest in the College Avenue campus initiative. "The responses that Rutgers has received from many of the world's finest architectural firms clearly show the wisdom of selecting the best team through a publicly judged competitive process. We look forward to being dazzled," he said.
The College Avenue campus design competition is the latest milestone in the university's efforts to upgrade each of its campuses with 2 million square feet of new and renovated academic, residential and service space that is planned, in progress or recently completed.
These efforts, which will enhance student life and educational opportunities throughout the university for decades to come, are consistent with recommendations from the university's Task Force on Undergraduate Education for the New Brunswick/Piscataway campus. Recommendations from the task force's working group on campus planning and facilities include the creation of "a learning environment that is welcoming, organized and student-oriented" on each campus across New Brunswick/Piscataway.
The College Avenue campus initiative also conforms to the goals of the university's
2003 physical master plan. For more information about the initiative, visit the Web site collegeavenuecampus.rutgers.edu.
This article was published in the Nov 7, 2005 edition of the Rutgers Focus and is available online at http://urwebsrv.rutgers.edu/focus/article/link/1668/