AKA: Stanford University, Science and Engineering Quad Masterplan, Stanford, CA

Structure Type: built works - public buildings - schools - university buildings

Designers: Architects Collaborative (TAC) (firm); Arup, Ove, and Partners (firm); BOORA Architects (firm); Flack + Kurtz, Incorporated, Mechanical Engineers (firm); Forell / Elsesser Engineers, Incorporated (firm); Hargreaves Associates, Landscape Architects (firm); Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company (firm); McCue Boone Tomsick (MBT) Associates, Architects (firm); Olin Partnership (firm); Pei Cobb Freed and Partners (firm); David Charles Boone (architect); Henry Nichols Cobb (architect); James Ingo Freed (architect); Gerald Mallon McCue (architect); John O'Toole (architect); Ieoh Ming Pei (architect); Frank Tomsick (architect)

Dates: [unspecified]

Building History

Planning for the redevelopment of science and engineering buildings on the Stanford University Campus began in the mid-1980s, as was known as the "Near West Campus Redevelopment Project." Years of consideration went into the plan, resulting in the removal of a series of mostly post-war, low-rise laboratory buildings to the west of the campus's historic Main Quad. Multiple teams of planners applied themselves to the large-scale design of this 11.5 acre site over the decades, including The Architects Collaborative (during the 1980s), Pei Cobb Freed and Partners (1994-1999), and BOORA Architects. This renovation became necessary to add capacity to the area and to improve it aesthetically to match other areas on the campus.

The Pei Cobb Freed and Partners web site described the Stanford building program: “Four buildings, linked by freestanding connective elements around a landscaped courtyard are strategically placed between the main quadrangle of Stanford University and a dormitory precinct in a developing part of the campus. Providing advanced facilities for various disciplines—including electrical engineering, statistics and advanced materials research—each building is designed to meet the individual requirements of its occupants. Although distinct in their programs, they are unified by an integrative design strategy that plays off the nineteenth-century campus plan of Frederick Law Olmsted, which provided both grassy and paved areas for relaxation, study and socializing as well as axial connections.”

Building Notes

A small number of well-landscaped courtyards were lost in the redesign, some the work of the noted San Francisco landscape architect Thomas D. Church, (1902-1978). Many of the old engineering buildings, such as the Ginzton Labs, were modest and utilitarian, but it was shaped around a delightful courtyard garden, designed by Church.

PCAD id: 1699