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Campus on the Hill
The University of Cincinnati forges a new model for campus planning.
By Frank Edgerton Martin

Set atop one of the city's famous hills, the University of Cincinnati (UC) is one of the nation's largest campus construction sites. First-time visitors may have no idea of the great transformation happening here as they arrive at the neo-Colonial McMicken Hall, UC's historic front door. But in walking through the building, they encounter a construction panorama at the scale of an entire urban district.

This hole in the ground is not just for parking ramps and blank-walled research buildings. Rather, in quantity and quality, future buildings and landscapes at UC's new Main Street core represent one of the most important campus transformations in American history. Many of the nation's leading architects are designing new facilities for student services, recreational sports, housing, and research. Notable projects already completed include the Arnoff Center for Design and Art, a subtle study in geometry by Peter Eisenman, and the copper-roofed Engineering Research Center by UC alumnus Michael Graves. These widely published projects symbolize an unusual institutional commitment to design. Less well-known is the story of UC's commitment to campus master planning and its role in guiding each building project.

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