South Quadrangle Project Announced
Parking lot will be transformed into welcoming entrance to
By Greg Rienzi
The Homewood campus is about to get a new front door.
The university's Buildings and Grounds Committee last week
approved the schematic design for the South Quadrangle
Development project, an ambitious three-part endeavor that
calls for a Johns Hopkins University Visitor Center, a
computational sciences building and a 600-space underground
A new building, seen in the
foreground in this rendering, will be the first stop for
visitors to the Homewood campus. It faces toward Wyman Park
PHOTO BY SHEPLEY BULFINCH
RICHARDSON AND ABBOTT
When completed, the project will define the main
entrance to the campus from the south. Currently on the
site — the portion of campus south of Garland Hall
— is a visitor/staff parking lot and what was once
known as Garland Field.
The university master plan, drafted in 2000, calls for
three more buildings to be added to this portion of campus
at a later date.
Larry Kilduff, executive director of the
Facilities Management, said that this will be a "truly
transformational" project for the Homewood campus.
"What makes this project especially significant and
unique is its position on the campus and the fact that it
is creating a new south entrance," he said. "This whole
project began with the idea that we needed a visitor
center. The cars there now are really an eyesore at what is
really the entrance to campus."
The 26,000-square-foot Visitor Center will house the
Admissions Office, which is currently located in Garland
Hall; an alumni board room; and an area that provides
visitors information on Johns Hopkins history, current
research and the Homewood undergraduate experience. There
is currently no central location to welcome, assist or
inform campus visitors.
Travers Nelson, program manager in Facilities
Management, said, "The intention is that the university's
Web site will provide directions to this location as the
main entrance to campus. At the moment, there being no
central reception place, we might have visitors to this
campus that we never know about," he said. "We expect that
having built this facility, we will learn more about who
our visitors are and maybe have more visitors as well."
In the master plan, the South Quad
schematic design shows the Visitor Center at 6 o'clock.
Other structures are, clockwise from bottom left: a future
building, Clark Hall (with a future building behind it),
Garland Hall, the new computational sciences building (with
Barton behind it) and a third future building.
PHOTO BY SHEPLEY BULFINCH
RICHARDSON AND ABBOTT
The Visitor Center will likely borrow architectural
elements from other campus buildings and feature a red
brick facade, Nelson said. It will be flanked by a
colonnade that will ultimately connect to two future
buildings in the southwest and southeast portions of the
quad, additions called for in the updated site master plan.
"Our thinking is that the Visitor Center will be a
traditional building," he said. "Because it is going to be
the welcoming point, we want it to represent the essential
character of the campus. Whatever we do, it will be quite
consistent with and interpretive of the Georgian tradition
of the campus."
The computational sciences building will be located
directly opposite Clark Hall. The 74,000-square-foot
facility will provide space for interdisciplinary,
computationally intensive science and engineering programs.
It will contain primarily research space, along with a
125-seat colloquium room and several seminar rooms. Two
tenants already identified are in computational life
sciences and the robotics research group in the Whiting
School of Engineering.
"This is very much an interdisciplinary building,"
Nelson said. "The expectation is it will be useful for
collaborative research, including faculty from the School
of Medicine and potentially the School of Arts and Sciences
in addition to Engineering."
The three-level underground parking structure,
positioned under the quad, will replace the existing lot
south of Garland Hall and will add approximately 150 spaces
to the permanent-parking capacity of the area. A set of
stairs and elevators from the new garage will lead up to
the Visitor Center's colonnade. The entrance to the parking
structure will be off Wyman Park Drive, near the southwest
The university has hired the firm of Shepley Bulfinch
Richardson and Abbott as the architects for the entire
project. The Boston-based firm, one of the nation's oldest,
has previously designed academic buildings for Columbia,
Dartmouth and Yale, among many others.
The South Quad — formed by the Visitor Center,
Garland and Clark halls, the computational sciences
facility and three future buildings — will be
landscaped in keeping with other Homewood open space
improvements. The quad will be lined with trees and feature
a long expanse of "recreational turf" that can withstand
heavy foot traffic and student activities.
Upon schematic design approval, the project entered
the design development phase, which is expected to conclude
in early April 2005. Site construction is scheduled to
begin in June 2005 with a completion and occupancy date in
Nelson said that the early portion of construction
will include several months of soil excavation in
preparation for the construction of the underground parking
He said that the soil dug up will be put to good use.
"We have contacted parks and recreation offices in the city
and county to find out if someone has a football field or
something like that in their plans but don't have the dirt
for it," he said. "We'll find a good home for our dirt."
During the construction phase, parking alternatives
will include the new San Martin Center's parking structure
and the lots at Johns Hopkins at Eastern, which are
serviced by JHU shuttles.
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