The University of Houston is approaching its 100th anniversary, and efforts are being made to ensure the next 100 years only come with further progress. One of the largest ventures the university is undertaking is an architectural redesign to ensure future students have every opportunity for success. The 2015-2020 master plan redesign will ensure the university stays modern, effective, and beautiful for future students, staff, and researchers.
“We are literally laying the groundwork for the year 2027, which is not too far over the horizon, but is such an important benchmark for the life of our institution that we are planning now for that long-term target,” said Patrick Peters, a professor in the College of Architecture, and former studio instructor of MIII’s own Scott McCarthy.
The UH College of Architecture’s in-house design studio designLAB collected near-term desires from each of the university’s departments, colleges, and programs to formulate Phase 1 of the master plan. This plan will be annually updated so the renovations made to the university accurately reflect optimal functionality as UH and our world continue to grow and change. At this point, Phase 1 includes a variety of needs ranging from parking and residential life, to infrastructure projects.
“The planning process allows us to weave into the future the values that we embrace from our past, while responding to the complexities and necessary growth and maturation of the university,” said College of Architecture Dean Patricia Oliver.
The University of Houston is becoming increasingly global, and the master plan seeks to foster this change toward becoming a destination campus. Architectural efforts to encourage this include signature pedestrian corridors linking housing, classrooms, research assets and student life amenities. Collaborative engagement will be fostered by the creation of outdoor gathering spaces between research clusters and academic units. Two other strategies listed in the master plan are integrating capital building projects with defined outdoor gathering spaces and connecting maintenance projects to physical enhancement opportunities.
According to Emily Messa, associate vice chancellor/associate vice president for Administration, “By taking a strategic approach, we can witness the goals [of the University of Houston] become a reality.”