Written by Beyer Blinder Belle
The Dartmouth campus is organized around the Green, a historically significant open space and central gathering place for the campus community. As the campus grew, its development radiated outwards from the Green at the center along three “branches” – green connections that extend towards the north, southeast, and west. This physical armature, which evolved over time, now provides an organizing principle for ongoing campus planning.
Home to the Tuck School of Business and Thayer School of Engineering, the West End comprises a large portion of one of these three branches, encompassing a fifty-acre area with multiple buildings and spaces that define a distinct campus neighborhood. The West End Master Plan draws on the unique characteristics of the area, particularly its mix of interdisciplinary graduate and undergraduate programs, and its spectacular landscape of glacial ravines and river views. The Master Plan celebrates these qualities while preparing this significant area of campus for the future. At the same time, it forges stronger physical and programmatic connections between the West End and the surrounding campus.
New development is planned for the West End. A new building for the Thayer School of Engineering will integrate a relocated Department of Computer Science and connect to the existing Thayer complex. A second building is planned for the newly created Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society, enabling cross-disciplinary research and teaching on an issue of global significance. A concurrent campus plan for Tuck has identified a series of projects that will, over time, strengthen clusters of activity in knowledge-building and research, engagement, and living and learning.
With numerous anticipated projects in a constrained area, an integrated plan ensures that each new building supports a strategic and sustainable vision for the entire West End, while retaining capacity for future growth. To develop the West End Master Plan, a multi-disciplinary planning team has studied the complex development, landscape, and infrastructure issues of the West End, and created a fully integrated design to redevelop this campus district. The planning process has been based on extensive engagement and collaboration with the campus community and stakeholders, providing invaluable input that has influenced the resulting design.
The West End Master Plan will enable critical academic expansion and create a strong and lasting identity. The planning principles of the Master Plan reflect the outcomes of the stakeholder engagement process:
- Define a clear and strong identity for the West End in relation to the larger Dartmouth campus.
- Develop the West End as a model of high-performance building design, holistic water management, and environmental innovation.
- Create a magnetic destination that fosters interaction across the campus community.
- Extend the walkability and openness of the campus through the West End.
- Increase physical and visual connections between the West End, the central campus, and the river to promote a strong sense of place rooted in the natural setting.