Image by Michael Kopp
“My university campus!” is one of the most common responses you’ll get if you ask someone what they liked most about college. It’s not just about the aesthetics – good university architecture will help students, professors, and support staff feel safe, included, and excited.
From the gorgeous and practical millwork in the libraries to the inviting green lawns, every aspect of university design will play a part in the student and teacher experience.
Campus design has always required a student-centric approach – and today, more firms are focusing on it. Modern campus design isn’t just about implementing flashy new tech or grand designs for their own sake.
It’s about creating spaces that put students at ease and provide them an environment where they can more easily succeed. Thoughtful university architecture that supports student needs will create lasting impressions on the student community and attract prospective students – and professors – as well.
When you design a university, you create a kind of blueprint to support both the present and the future. There will be certain aspects to prioritize or give attention to. Let’s dive into them.
1. Creative Incubation Spaces
Dedicated spaces need to exist where students can have discussions, experiment with ideas, fail, and start over if necessary. These “incubation” spaces also help to forge valuable connections, both within academia and broader society after students graduate.
Your university architecture needs corners that promote flexible learning and the entrepreneurial spirit. Think mobile writable screens, collab areas, and so on.
2. Campus Life Convenience
Designing a campus isn’t just about creating blocks of cookie-cutter buildings. University construction needs to cater to the housing needs of both students and professors.
That is, they need to be able to accommodate a hectic, budget-friendly lifestyle, with all necessary amenities. Consider “extras” such as walls for video projections, convenient moveable furniture, modular casework, and so on.
3. Take Advantage of Biophilia
Biophilic design has a therapeutic effect on people. Stressed students especially can benefit from it.
Consider incorporating biophilia in your university architecture. The student (and teacher) community will appreciate lush green gardens, potted plants, and even nature-inspired wallpaper.
If you want inspiration, look no further than the Espace Bienvenüe at Cité Descartes’ campus in Paris, France. It contains landscaped gardens that offer stunning panoramic views and bring fresh air to the complex. Employing the right landscaping architect can work wonders for attracting and retaining students.
4. Accessibility and Inclusive Design
Do you care about the students and staff on your future campus?
All of them?
Your university campus needs to ensure it follows inclusive design guidelines. This is possibly the single most important aspect of the design. (Various software can aid you with implementing this, but one of the most robust ones would be SolidWorks 3D Modeling).
All campus areas, whether institutional or recreational, along with all pedestrian routes, must follow these guidelines. For instance, some important things you can add are:
Separate public toilets for people with disabilities.
Handrails, curb cuts, and contrasting edge demarcations on all paved walkways.
Hallways wide enough for wheelchairs to comfortably pass through.
The details one might consider “small” can actually make a huge difference. For example, the University of Texas at Arlington replaced knobs with levers on all their door handles.
5. Urban Planning Strategies
University campuses are often self-contained, and can resemble miniature towns.
The planning should align with uncertain streams of funded and fluctuating facility investments. It should be flexible and consider potential future developments.
6. Automated Library Retrieval
By using an automated library retrieval system, you can reduce the space required to store books, or convert those spaces for other applications.
To meet the demands of modern multimedia systems and electrical data, you will also need an appropriate telecommunications and electrical system.
7. Consider the Climate
Everything from landscaping to finishes to materials will be affected by the climate and location of the campus.
For instance, if the climate is dry and warm, you might be inclined to design a campus that encourages outdoor learning and activities. This can lend an active spirit to the university, especially if you intend sports to be a big part of the community.
Sustainable design should be considered less an option and more a necessity in our rapidly warming world. Your designs, for example, should consider sustainable materials, water management (including water harvesting and irrigation), and minimizing the use of vehicles where possible.
It is important to think of campus design as an opportunity – not just to aid students and teachers, but to enhance the rest of the competitive market. Design and innovation will continue to be crucial aspects of university construction, and we can’t wait to see what the future will bring.
One important aspect of educational facility design is the woodworking. BluEntCAD offers SolidWorks modeling services and millwork shop drawing services to casework companies, woodworking companies, custom furniture manufacturers, millwork manufacturing companies, signage manufacturers, interior designers, prefabricated home designer, and decks & fencing manufacturers.
Are you ready to develop an educational facility that will help students feel included, motivated, and safe from day one? Contact us now!