The University of Virginia plans a daring new arts precinct.
By Frank Edgerton Martin
"I would have the University of Virginia [be] the 'Garden University
of America,' as it was evidently Jefferson's intention that it should
be." Warren Manning, 1909
The Carr's Hill Arts Precinct master plan at the University of
Virginia is a remarkable solution for a campus arts quarter on a
site so steep that it seems more like a goat path than a future
The University of Virginia (UVA) has influenced the design of almost
every American college of the past 200 years. Thomas Jefferson's
ideal of the "academical village" where students and faculty live
together in a fertile campus garden centered on a quadrangular lawn
remains a model for colleges and universities from Florida to Nebraska
to California. Yet how can one create such common ground on a narrow
slope with a 30-foot drop?
Carr's Hill is not so much a planning zone as a design volume.
If it were a ski slope, it would be rated a "Black Diamond" for
its extreme steepness. Yet it is here that UVA's arts program calls
for a new building for studio arts, a parking garage, a new fine
arts library, and a new art museum, with additions and renovations
to the School of Architecture and the Department of Drama.
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