Although the majority of students are enrolled in classes that meet on Main Campus, East Campus becomes an added resource to subjects such as biology and urban planning and allows students to have a hands on experience outside the classroom and still on CU property.
Redesigning East Campus served as the final project for fourth semester, the end of second year. I was allowed to make any changes I felt necessary, as long as the end product functioned as a university campus and was an extension to CU Boulder Main Campus, rather than an expansion.
East Campus 1, the first design, was an attempt to create different villages each with its own function and central space. The inspiration for this was CU Boulder Main Campus with its several quads for different areas. East campus seemed too vast and making smaller villages broke up the site. Existing buildings and roads were demolished.
After learning that demolishing all existing buildings would not only be expensive but extremely harmful to the natural habitat, the first change in East Campus 2 consisted of keeping all existing buildings. Next, I was introduced to the “Big Idea Concept” where I was told to find a problem and choose one solution, with which everything else would be designed around. I found East Campus to be inefficient in its circulation and to solve that, I decided on one large building for core programs with support buildings surrounding and straight, axis like paths connecting each space.
The most efficient use of space while focusing on walking distance was to place all programs into one building. East Campus 3 consists of one large, one story building. The big idea used in this design is efficiency and short distances without losing social interaction and integrating the natural habitat. The footprint connects as many existing buildings as possible, and the paths that connect them are not straight and taper at certain points. This creates congestion and in turn, forced social interaction. Boulder Creek and its smaller streams run through the building, creating nature within the built environment and saving them from demolition. The one additional road serves mainly as a service road for busses and other necessary services.