The Age of the Personal Bathroom Pod

We commend to your attention Cohen Quadrangle of Exeter College Oxford which has boldly adopted a system of personal bathroom “pods” which are pre-constructed off site to provide each resident with his or her own personal bathroom.

This long overdue innovation will save countless hours of time waiting for sinks, toilets, and shower stalls that have long been the bane of most residence halls. No longer will students find themselves in contention over who can use the facilities or face embarrassment from stray odors or wardrobe malfunctions.

This bold civilizing innovation will be a core element of any housing systems we adopt for our new institution.

This critical convenience be a major incentive in recruiting top students.

For an extended treatment of this topic, see The Modular Building Institute‘s monograph Saving Time With Modular Bathroom Pods.

Collegiate Gothic

When we think of University Architecture several styles spring most readily to mind. Of these Collegiate Gothic offers the most powerful evocation of the University’s Medieval roots. This style emphasizes verticality with pointed arches and ribbed vaults, narrow windows, and in some cases gentle nods to the flying buttresses that enabled European Cathedrals to span broad spaces without succumbing to the outward forces transmitted through the arch onto their exterior walls.

The style is executed to best effect in narrowing the focus of the mind to things academic and timeless when used to construct fully enclosed quadrangles, perhaps with a cloister ringing their interior.

Princeton (6035183309) Princeton University’s Holder Hall with the tower of Rockefeller College

Campus: An American Planning Tradition

As we think about a physical form for our future university there is no better text to start with than the revised paperback edition of Campus: An American Planning Tradition (ISBN: 978-0-262-70032-0).​1​

It provides a comprehensive survey of American Campus design from colonial days to the start of the ’90’s and contains many striking anecdotes along with a fascinating overview of shifting patterns of thought about the roles of culture and curriculum.

  1. 1.
    Venable Turner P. Campus: An American Planning Tradition. Mit Press; 1990.