Open call for participation
Students and staff members on campus as well as Guelph residents are invited to participate in a live production of the INFRACAMPUS Zine. During four evening sessions, participants will discuss, select and assemble content linked to various campus conditions based on material gathered from the Fall 2011 Workshops and Spring 2012 Studio.
INFRACAMPUS is an interdisciplinary project initiated by SYN- that explores the social realities and spatial politics of the University of Guelph campus, and proposes the campus as a potential site for experimentation. How can we engage the campus as a place for fostering new kinds of actions, social configurations and interrelations in common spaces which questions their existing uses and perceptions?
With this Zine, INFRACAMPUS enters its last phase with the dissemination of research and microactions produced during the workshops and studio to the broader community at University of Guelph.
A project by SYN- Atelier d’exploration urbaine (Montréal) with Jean-Maxime Dufresne & Jean-François Prost
About SYN- : http://www.ateliersyn.wordpress.com
Four evening production sessions
January 10th, 14th, 15h, and 16th, 2013, 6-9 PM
January 18th, 2013, 6 PM
For more information or to reserve your space at a session (space is limited), please email email@example.com
You’re also welcome to submit new material (image, short text, concept, drawing, etc.) for a condition you would like to explore before January 7th, 2013 at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, please view related documents at :
How to see you there.
I wonder if Guelph University has a Tree Canopy Cover figure. This variable would be an important measure of campus sustainability in the near future.
A simple element that would improve the look of campus is to put more (or more obvious) waste containers for people’s cigarettes. I’d rather see a small waste bin along side building than hundreds of cigarette butts. For example, today while walking past the UC, the brick walkway looked like it was grouted with cigarette butts. But I think the most ridiculous example is right outside the library entrance. The sign, “Absolutely no smoking in this area” written in bold red font just ain’t doin’ it! Nor is the sad little picnic to the right of the entrance, with the the “no smoking sign.” Winter brings with it, the guarantee that stepping out of the library is partnered with a big breath of second-hand smoke. Funny how our university is so apt in it’s pursuit of environmental friendliness, but we ironically have a problem with littering.
I think MacNaughton deserves some TLC, just how the UC is getting a face lift I think macNaughton could use a face-lift as well.
I’d personally like to see the implementation of green roofing on campus. There are plenty of benefits from green roofing that would help cool buildings and reduce runoff, as well as providing vegetative food.
Hi Sam..I respectfully disagree with your the idea that the U of T School of Pharmacy Building suits our campus. It’s basically a curved glass box on stilts– not very humane or harmonious in my opinion. Also, asIi mentioned in a previous post, building tall structures around campus has it’s own negative effects while the density we need can be met with properly placed and shaped mid-rise buildings.
I don’t think he meant exactly the same type of style.
we should probably continue with the style of the science complex and the path building.
I think he was referring more to making buildings a bit taller, in order to save space and land.
For example a section of mackinnon building is pretty tall, but I don’t think the space is utilized that well because it is a bit narrow.
Just my opinion.
P.S I did a bit more image searching on that building, while the exterior may not fit our campus style check out how cool and unique the interior is, could give ideas for some unique buildings in Guelph s future.
Thanks, Mat. It’s always nice to see some images to clarify proposed ideas. I think many people are in agreement about increased campus densities and heights, but determining what that actually means will be more difficult. Further, some parts of campus could probably be more dense/higher than others.
I’m glad you made the point about parking structures. While the academic mission of the university is paramount, the campus also needs space-intensive uses such as open spaces, athletic fields and parking. With the continued development of campus lands for university and non-university uses, there will reach a point where tough decisions around land uses and priorities. Parking is essential to the campus function, in the same way that you need garbage and recycling cans. However, parking does not contribute to the quality of a campus in the same way that Johnston Green or Zavitz Hall do, and surface parking uses up a lot of valuable campus space. Finding ways to reduce the footprint of parking on campus will free up land for other valuable uses, which may mean an eventual move to parking structures. Take a look at the Underhill Parking Garage at Berkeley. It’s a four storey parking garage built into the terrain and has athletic fields on top. From some angles, you wouldn’t even know its a garage. Parking structures can also be screened with new buildings so you don’t even see them, or they can be located below-grade (though at considerable cost).
Both questions you raise about building height and density and parking are really important ones to resolve for the master plan, so let me know what you think!
It would be interesting to hear from others on whether this is the architectural language we are speaking here at the U of G.
Well I’m all for preserving history and we have done that pretty well at Guelph.
But I think new buildings should focus on being unique while complementing existing buildings so that the University would appeal to many potential students, while also have better utilization of space. I like the idea of having buildings a bit taller, lack of space can become an issue fast especially with our growing student population, having higher buildings will also be good for the environment since we use up less land. I think multifunction buildings would also be a good idea like a research building with allocated study space. I looked up the Underhill Parking Garage at Berkeley and it looks very appealing and unique, you can’t even tell its a Parking garage! nice compliment to the campus.
I appreciate your response to my concerns about future parking issues. I don’t see how the university enhancing support for other forms of transportation will help students traveling from other cities. Do you have any ideas or examples that you can provide of how this can help long distance travelers? I don’t see the University of Guelph lacking space for parking to require underground or above ground structures. I think the commuter experience can be improved by lining walkways from the parking lots with evergreen trees to block the winter winds and make the walk from parking lots to buildings more thermally comfortable. Walking far distances is not that bad when the weather isn’t extreemly uncomfortable. – As a side note, the whole campus is treribly windy and could use a lot of redesign to protect walkways and enterances from the winter wind.- Parking stuctures are expensive and will raise the cost of parking on campus. Supporting other forms of transportation will not be able to help students like myself and too little can be done by one institution to improve public transportatoin. Building a parking structure in Guelph seems like a waste of money because this is not a large urban center where realestate prices make that fesable. Instead of building a structure for cars, why not spend that money on building taller buildings and leave ground space for cars to park? The taller the buildings are, the more efficient the campus system will operate. Building low building (Landscape Architecture is 2 stories for instance), is the equivalent to building suburbs in a community context. Walkability goes way down because the buildings are too spread out. If we think about this new master plan as improving conditions for the university community, think about the most people using the campus during the cold months of the year and what their experience is walking form building to building, and the parking lot or bus stop and how uncomfortable that currently is. If the building were larger and had more amenities that would reduce the time people spend walking in the blistering cold. There are many efficiencies created by intensification of the campus core. I hope my opinions can help you make these challenging decisions and think about the experience of the people using the campus and what is important to us.
I completely agree with the statement above but I think raitby house in Brannon plaza is something that should be addressed first if we are talking about campus walkablility and intensification
the current campus cannot support the current student population, and we are growing every year.
We need taller and more denser buildings so we can have a more walk-able and efficient campus
I also think building connections would be a good idea.
Increasing density and connectivity while developing a walkable campus is possible without building over 6 stories. Plunking down tall building seems like the easy way out, but strategically placing mid-rise structures to reinforce the public spaces and pedestrian realm is a much better way to go for the U of G in my opinion.
it’s a more of a long term solution.
If we build short wide buildings, in the future we are eventually going to run out of land. We could have utilized the space above ground. It’s not like the current campus is filled with short buildings anyways, just look at mackinon and macnaughton.
I’m all for change, consistency is boring.
Re: “Good point, Kelly. I will bring this up at the next steering committee meeting.
In the meantime, sign up to receive updates on this website, like us on Facebook and tell your friends!”
What is the Facebook page called? I can’t find it…
Thx — K
Oops, there’s no way to ‘like’ us directly on Facebook – we don’t have a Facebook page. However, you can post this site to your Facebook page and your UofG friends can like it.
As many UoG students are not originally from Guelph, many people drive to campus. I understand the sustainability goal, but reducing parking by 25% seems to me a problem. Not all cities have adequate local transit to and from Go stations. Getting to Guelph by bus from Brampton takes me over two hours, whereas driving is half that time. Personally, I’ve taken the bus but it’s not sustainable for my life to spend over 4 hours on the bus. At this point I think it’s necessary for people to park their cars on campus because public transit isn’t always a viable option. Shouldn’t the new Master plan accomedate commuting students too and not only those with the resources to live in Guelph?
Justin, Shuhiba and Matt,
I appreciate your comments with respect to parking. The loss of campus parking will continue to be a concern for many, especially as the university’s commuter population grows.
The University has seen much success with its travel demand program, which has shifted a large portion of the campus population to other forms of transportation, including walking, bicycling, transit use and carpooling. This not only saves the university money, but it frees up campus lands for uses other than parking.
In previous campus plans, surface parking lots close in to the campus core were identified as future development sites. This campus plan will likely do the same. The big question is how to address the loss of surface parking lots. The university could build parking structures to maintain or increase supply, enhance support for other forms of transportation, or a combination of the two. How the university ultimately addresses the parking issue will be an important consideration in the master plan. What do you think is the right answer?
At other Universities I have seen parking-decks built when they ran out of space.
A small example:http://mediumutm.ca/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/newsbuilding.jpg
Can we please implement water bottle filling stations, it will save on waste and should not be to difficult in upgrading.
Thank you for your reply, Ben. It would be good if biodiversity and on-campus learning appeared somewhere as an objective or two for the future plantings. Right now, species selection appears to be random or based on convenience. It would be better if there were overall objectives that could play out across the campus, over time.
With the new science complex,engineering building , Alexander building.
The old MacNaughton building looks somewhat out of place, maybe some of the better life plant money should go to renovating MacNaughton or the library.
I think the exterior of both the buildings you have listed is fine.
The interior could use some work.
I agree with Kevin, I don’t think that the exterior is out of place at all. It is part of the University history and showcases the progress that was made after the change from an agricultural college to a University in 1964. It is an iconic symbol of the 60′s architectural style. I think since the redesign is being asked for by many students it should preserve the exterior while updating the interior similar to what happened with Macdonald Stewart Hall and the Macdonald institute. The plant money that needs to begin being allocated is essential to reducing the heat island effect and create sustainability on our campus. This is an issue which always seems to take a backseat, which is ludicrous considering the programs and research done at our university. I would love to see the redesign of the street out front of crop science as proposed in the 2002 campus master plan. Would anyone know why this was not actually put in place? This area of campus is begging for a redesign as the roadway is not needed to be that large for fire route, and is nothing but mud outside of Rozanski.
I teach a plant identification course that requires a weekly walking tour of trees and shrubs on campus. Over the past few years, before each class, I’ve had to quickly check that the plants to be visited that day are still in existence. Many trees and shrubs have disappeared from the campus grounds lately, largely due to construction but also due to disease and other conditions. It would be wonderful to proactively consider, when renewing the campus landscape, a mix of tree and shrub species that can offer teaching and learning opportunities for faculty and students.
We will definitely be providing direction for landscape renewal, though I’m not sure if we’ll get into details of plant species, etc. One of our workshop stakeholders suggested that areas of the campus could be naturalized in the same way that MTO has supported naturalization along provincial highway corridors.
Interestingly, previous campus plans identified a coordinated tree planting strategy that applied to the inner and outer campus ring roads. However, the ring road concept and associated tree plantings were never fully realized.
I’m a student that commutes to campus everyday and unless I have an 8:30 class parking is very difficult to find. I’ve noticed that this year especially there is a lack of adequate parking space. I don’t mind the far walk to class however since I commute from ~30 minutes away, by the time I manage to find a parking space and walk to where I need to go (centrally on campus of course) it adds to the lengthy commute. I have saved a lot of money living at home by commuting however parking at Guelph is a source of daily annoyance.
it seems this issue is going to be ignored if you take a look at the powerpoint posted as they plan to reduce the number of parking stalls in the future
I see you’ve already commented on the lack of study space, I wanted to leave my concerns about this as well. Personally I was a little disapointed to see the new athletic renovations to campus before this. I’m glad that it’s on your radar, just wanted to drive the point home.
The athletic renovations were planned in 2007 as part of an athletics and recreation master plan. Do you have any specific concerns about how these projects have unfolded?
I think Nick feels that they are putting too much emphasis on getting the athletics plan done first, instead of providing students with study space or upgrading the library which should be higher up on the priority list.
I think this is a huge issue of personal motives of people in power within the University. This relates back to what Karen is saying about plant biodiversity. Our University has lost its roots which is what makes University of Guelph great. This is a University which is a leader in landscape architecture, planning, ecology and horticulture has lost these important ideals by focusing on athletics rather then sustainability, and environmental awareness. Another aspect which has been an issue for years is the lack of residence rooms, one reason I originally chose to attend this university was guaranteed residence but the past years they have been putting students in common areas due to a lack of rooms available. Our campus is being stressed by the number of students enrolled each year resulting in the need for more study spaces, and further demand on all areas of services. The university is starting to lose it’s “sense of place” and needs to start to incorporating its past and its specialty programs in its future design and masterplan rather then having the whole campus engineered.
^Matt I agree with some of what you have written.
There is definitely a lack of study space with the University now having over 22,000 students
I believe they are addressing the residence issues by looking at building a new one or using a preexisting building in the City. A goal of a University should be to provide students with the best services and infrastructure possible but this should apply to the majority of students first. Even if it is true that ~70% of students use the athletic building, the lack of study space should be addressed first. Other Universities have addressed the issue of lack of study space by building a second library or by building multi-purpose buildings…I.e a health science research building with space allocated for group/individual study.
Thanks everyone for your comments! We hope to some project updates and documents up soon for your review.
I do not think enough people know about this site.
Maybe post a poster in the library?
Good point, Kelly. I will bring this up at the next steering committee meeting.
In the meantime, sign up to receive updates on this website, like us on Facebook and tell your friends!
I agree why has this not been posted to the university home page yet?
It would be great to see some project updates and documents to comment on!
Coming very soon, Wilfred!
There is a walk across Johnson’s Green that becomes very muddy in the winter and hard to pass along. This is a major path for pedestrian students getting to campus. The “green” is an important aesthetic part of the campus and often used for recreation. I just wonder if there is a way to make this pathway nicer to travel along in wet weather and also maintain the tradition of the “Green”. Some food for thought!
Landscape improvements will be a large part of the master plan. Balancing the historic character of existing landscapes with the campus community’s need for recreational space, walking trails and other uses will be an ongoing debate.
Yes, I’ve often thought the same thing about that pathway. It is obvious a formalized pathway is needed when you look at how well worn and how wide dirt path is! The dirt path does have character, I suppose, but your point about it being wet and hard to pass is a good one.
Yes, the path has character and history. As soon as we put in a sidewalk, will we split up the green in sections and possibly create a safety hazard for all the Frisbee and touch football players out there? A two-track mudbowl sucks,though, I agree. Maybe Grounds can give it a ‘once-over’ after the semester is over?
I would like to seek more quite study space on campus. It doesn’ t have to be in the library but any where on campus. Maybe Guelph should think about havinguyen a second library.
As I mentioned to Jake, this issue is on our radar. We were encouraged by the quiet protest last fall regarding the shortage of study space. It’s great to see the student body rallying behind issues that you feel are important.
Gordon street is really busy, 100′s of students jaywalk across the street to reach from one end of the campus to another.
I think there should be a plan to somehow make the street more pedesterian friendly and integrate it into the campus better, or like how other universities have built connections from one building to another over street using bridges or tunnels.
In terms of buildings, I think it would be great if we could start building vertical instead of horizontal in order to save space.
some examples University of Toronto school of Pharmacy building: http://wvs.topleftpixel.com/photos/2008/08/dan-pharmacy_building_tall_01.jpg
And also look into building LEED certified to be more environementally friendly, such as the library on UTM campus which incorporates sensors and dimmers to control lighting, elements to shade the building from the summer sun, and many recycled materials: http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottnorsworthy/4071127476/in/photostream/
And lastly, I think the lack of study space should be adressed.
You bring up a number of important points. Gordon Street is definitely a barrier that must be addressed. This planning process will investigate opportunities to knit together both sides of Gordon. Your comments about building vertical and about being more environmentally friendly are closely related. The planning process gives the university an opportunity to determine how important sustainability should be for the campus. In my opinion, an important element of a sustainable campus is a compact and walkable campus, which requires higher densities.
- In the new plan, please include study space allocation.
There is often times where I wander around the entire library not being able to find any spots.
-library expansion? new research/teaching/study building?
The shortage of both quiet and group study space is definitely on our radar.
Thanks for your comment.
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