Firm honored for Hopkins campus master plan

July 14, 2006|By GADI DECHTER | GADI DECHTER,SUN REPORTER

A Baltimore architectural firm was honored this week for its master plan of the Homewood campus of the Johns Hopkins University, more than five years after the plan was developed.

Ayers Saint Gross received the annual Excellence in Planning for an Established Campus prize, which is awarded jointly by the Society for College and University Planning and the American Institute of Architects. The award acknowledges not only a plan's design but also the success of its implementation.

Since Hopkins adopted the master plan in early 2001, the fast pace of construction on the Charles Village campus has closely followed Ayers Saint Gross' development road map, said Luanne Greene, who directs the firm's campus planning.

More than five new buildings have been erected on the campus, and a 250,000-square-foot dormitory and bookstore is nearing completion nearby on St. Paul Street. A third on-campus quadrangle is now under construction, according to Larry Kilduff, Hopkins' executive director of facilities management.

In addition to mapping future building sites, a goal of the plan was "to restore the core campus so it was commensurate with the prestige of the institution," said Greene. To that end, the planners recommended eliminating vehicle access to much of the campus and transforming asphalt roads into pedestrian-friendly paths.

The Hopkins campus has been guided by master planning since 1904, when Baltimore architects Parker and Thomas created the first plan for the new Homewood campus in North Baltimore, according to a university Web site.

Founded in 1915, Ayers Saint Gross established a campus planning practice in the late 1980s when it decided to specialize in higher-education, said President Jim Wheeler. Since then, the firm has developed master plans for more than 30 colleges and universities, including the University of North Carolina, the University of Virginia and the University of Maryland, Baltimore. It is working on master plans for the Maryland Institute College of Art and the University of Baltimore.

gadi.dechter@baltsun.com

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