CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH (2003–2004)
Case Western Reserve University was formed in 1967 by a merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University; though the academic programs have since grafted together seamlessly, the physical campus remains dramatically divided into two parts that have opposite organizational grains and are separated by a 6-lane federal highway.
The 2004 Case Site and Landscape Master Plan sought to create a sense of cohesiveness between an inherited set of urban conditions and a jumbled growth pattern over several decades. Its vision for Case follows from a larger understanding of the spatial and experiential structure of the campus and the role that the landscape plays in both symbolic associations and the daily life of a place. In this spirit, the plan not only engages issues of planting, furnishing, and shaping the landscape; it addresses land acquisition, roads, building sites, and even architecture as each pertains to the creation of campus space.
As an urban campus that has grown incrementally, Case has an inherent quirkiness in its scalar and stylistic mix of architecture, open spaces, and its overlaps with the surrounding city. This quirkiness is the foundation of the designed network of campus landscapes, and as such, the foundation of Case’s identity.