Master Plan for the Loughborough University of Technology: An Endless Campus?

Article published in ZARCH. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Architecture and Urbanism (ISSN 2341-0531), 14 (1), pp. 100-113.

ABSTRACT

The Master Plan for the Loughborough University of Technology is a 143-page document that gathers the work undertaken by the institution to become a university, thus benefiting from the educational policies derived from the 1963 Robbins report in Britain. Arup Associates authored in 1966 a proposal whose main characteristic is its ascription to an infinite grid strategy and a systematized project. The different diagrams and growth schemes represent the geometric synthesis of some compositional and constructive rules: three grids overlap to produce a germ drawing to which a growth pattern is added for its territorial extension. For the sake of flexibility and adaptability, the project tries to avoid architectural obsolescence through the achievement of a “universal space unit”. Hence, a “discipline” is established whose definition turns out to be a succession of limitations. Through the reconstruction of the design process for the Loughborough University, the multiple meanings of the limit concept are portrayed in parallel to its idea of ​​a continuous and endless campus. A strict internal order, an intentionally open reading of the territory and a constructive standardization produce a kind of visual exhaustion of the whole that could be understood as a limit of spatial nature.

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