Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Master Planning Materials

Campus Land Use

The WPI campus is extremely compact, and has developed over time with great respect for function and efficiency. The organization of the campus contributes to the overall sense of community at WPI. The closing of West Street and the addition of the campus center has created a clear axial organization within the campus, with the fountain marking the center of the campus. West Street acts as a transition element between the campus, the urban context of Highland Street to the south, and the suburban landscape of Institute Park to the north. The placement of the Campus Center emphasizes an east-west relationship between the Campus Center and the Gordon Library, two pillars of the WPI campus community.

Buildings are also grouped fairly consistently according to use, creating distinct zones within the campus: residential, athletic, academic, and administrative.

Residential Zone

Most of the residential buildings on campus are located along both sides of Institute Road, between Hackfeld and Schussler roads. Morgan, Daniels and Riley are important contributors to the core campus, forming most of the southern edge to the Main Quad.

Exceptions to this organization are Founders and Institute Halls, which are located further east at the intersection of Boynton Street and Institute Road. Fraternities and sororities, mixed in with other residential buildings along Dean Street, have their own sense of cohesiveness as part of a "Greek Row" while feeling more separate from the main campus.

The University also maintains a number of residential buildings south of Institute towards Highland Street. These properties, while perceived as part of the WPI campus by their neighbors, feel removed from the core campus by the WPI community.

Athletics/Recreation and Student Life Zone

Athletics are an important element to life on any campus. The Alumni Gym and Harrington Auditorium have great presence on the WPI campus, forming the northern edge of the quad. This location is optimal, as they have good proximity to the fields, Campus Center and residence halls along the Main Quad.

Academic Zone

WPI's main academic facilities are located within a two-minute walk of each other. While this is an unintentional consequence of a land-shy Institution, the associated intimacy of academic departments at WPI has become one of its most defining elements. Faculty and students can't help but to co-exist, enforcing the project based curriculum that is the signature of WPI.

Administrative Zone

While many administrative zones have been pushed out into the neighborhoods over time, Boynton Hall remains as the administrative hub of the campus. The Project Center is appropriately located at the center of the campus, adjacent to the fountain. However, this location calls for a building that is much more interactive than what exists today.

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Last modified: Jul 11, 2003, 14:37 EDT

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