Since its establishment in the eighteenth century, the Princeton University campus has expanded outward toward the south, initially occupying a high, relatively level ridgeline and then eventually expanding into the downward sloping woodland leading toward Lake Carnegie. Through work on the Princeton University Master Plan, MVVA has been involved in several landscape projects, in many cases associated with new campus architecture, that will establish the new southern periphery of the campus while also reinforcing the ecological health and campus experience of the southern woodland. These projects include: the Arts and Transit District, Butler College, the Ellipse, the Neuroscience & Psychology Building, the Streicker Pedestrian Bridge, the Frick Chemistry Laboratory, and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment.
The Arts and Transit District landscape, designed in collaboration with Steven Holl Architects and Beyer Blinder Belle, includes a new plaza. The project will create an integrated experience out of the range of architectural sizes and styles that will coexist at this location. The Arts Plaza will be a major new entry onto campus, providing a point of orientation for pedestrians coming from the new Dinky Station as well as the highly active Alexander Street edge.
Designed in collaboration with Harry Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed, the MVVA landscape for Butler College integrates the new undergraduate dormitory complex of two- to four-story buildings within Princeton’s circulation and landscape network, and in conjunction with the landscape initiatives laid out in MVVA’s Princeton University Landscape Master Plan. The new layout for Butler College enhances connectivity with the existing campus by strengthening and connecting walkways and vistas while also creating a new courtyard that includes curved bluestone site walls that follow the slope of the pathway, subtly playing off of the horizontal lines of the building masonry.
The Streicker Pedestrian Bridge, designed in collaboration with HNTB Engineering, is a critical link in the cross-campus landscape and circulation improvement initiatives to the east. The bridge design is sensitivelyintegrated into the existing woodland, carefully weaving through the maturetrees and providing an opportunity for supplemental restorative plantings in the adjacent woodland.
Through a subtle interaction between grading, path layout, and planting, the design for the Frick Chemistry Laboratory landscape creates a conduit for pedestrian circulation in the Natural Sciences neighborhood. The relatively mature woodland trees and the new woodland expansion plantings foreground the building, the second largest on the Princeton campus, and mitigate the impact of its size. Experientially, the landscape provides a lushly vegetated setting for new pedestrian paths and for the new 265,000 square foot state-of-the-art building, designed by Hopkins Architects. Reflecting efforts to improve the sustainable operations of thecampus, stormwater collected from the site is routed to one of three separate rain gardens, substantially reducing peak stormwater volumes that currentlydischarge into a badly eroded stream corridor running alongside Washington Road.
Along Olden Street, at the eastern edge of the campus, MVVA has worked in conjunction with Tod Williams and Billie Tsien of Williams Tsien Architects in the design of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment (ACEE), which will begin construction in 2012 and be completed by 2015. Strategically integrated into a dense area of the campus, the landscape and the architecture of the new center are tightly interwoven, creating a series of small courtyard and garden spaces that overlap and mingle with the building's architecture to create building volumes more sensitive to the campus fabric and the neighboring buildings.
Princeton University Campus Plan