Request for Proposals to Provide Campus Planning Services
Proposals Due: April 15, 2005
March 15, 2005
Campus Overview: Chartered in 1746, Princeton University is the fourth-oldest college in the United States. From its original campus, comprised of Nassau Hall and the Presidents house, Princeton has grown into a relatively low-density 400-acre campus with over 160 buildings. The main campus of Princeton is generally that area in the borough and township of Princeton that is north of Lake Carnegie and south of Nassau Street. This area includes the historic campus, best characterized by its neo-Gothic architecture and intimate courtyards, and the more recently constructed northeast, west, southeast and south campus neighborhoods. Princeton has established distinct architectural and academic-use zones and has confined most of its contemporary buildings to the south and southeast campus neighborhoods. In addition to its main campus, Princetons land holdings extend to the West Windsor Township, south of Lake Carnegie and north of Route 1, where the University owns an additional 400 acres. One of the smallest of the nations leading research universities, Princeton provides both undergraduate and graduate instruction in the liberal arts, sciences and engineering. There are approximately 4,700 undergraduate and 2,000 graduate students enrolled at the university. Virtually all undergraduates and about two-thirds of the graduate students live on campus. Princeton employs approximately 5,500 faculty and staff. Planning Principles: Over the period 1996 to 2006, 1.6 million square feet of new facilities have been or will be added to Princetons campus, yielding a total physical plant of more than 9.5 million square feet. It is anticipated that Princeton will require an additional million square feet over the ten years spanning 2007 2017. Where will these new facilities go and how will the qualities that make Princetons campus unique be preserved and enhanced? Under the leadership of President Shirley Tilghman, these questions were engaged in an intensive series of internal discussions over the past two years, involving senior administrators, faculty, architects who have been involved in previous and ongoing University building projects, and other key stakeholders. A surprising conclusion emerged from these discussions. Whereas traditionally the University had assumed that future growth would be accommodated in a second, mirror-image campus located across Lake Carnegie in the West Windsor area, it was decided that the bulk of these lands should be preserved as open space. The decision to promote appropriate density on Princetons core campus in lieu of continued diffusion heightens the urgency of identifying the unique qualities of the main campus, and of developing a strategy to preserve and enhance them. The following guiding principles took shape from these discussions:
Maintain a pedestrian-oriented campus from the undergraduate heart of the campus, the Frist Campus Center, nearly all areas of the core campus can be reached within a ten-minute walk, and many important academic facilities and student amenities are located within a five-minute walk.
Preserve the park-like character of the campus Princetons unparalleled array of open
spaces, gardens, and intimate courtyards create the revelation of the unexpected, in the words of the Universitys master architect of the 19th century, Ralph Adams Cram. To not only preserve this openness but find ways to accentuate pre-existing, shifting vistas as pedestrians traverse the campus is a core principle in planning for additional density at Princeton.
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Maintain campus neighborhoods while promoting a sense of community Future
growth should build upon Princetons existing academic, residential, and administrative program clusters and architectural zones, providing each with a distinct identity while forging connections with the University community as a whole.
Develop in an environmentally responsible manner Building upon Princetons solid
track record in environmental sustainability, new development should be sensitive both to geography and to energy and resource consumption.
Sustain strong community relations Key areas of town gown concern include
developing responsible parking policies for the campus, continuing to build housing for students, faculty, and staff, and working with the community on traffic and public transportation options.
Other factors that should inform the work of the campus planning team include the growth of the undergraduate population by 500 students in the academic year beginning in 2007, made possible by a sixth residential college now under construction; the growth of graduate school enrollment, faculty, and staff by approximately 1% annually; and the decision that the development of campus lands outside the core campus will largely occur on the periphery, including Alexander Street, Western Way, the Armory area, and off-campus housing sites. In addition, Princeton has established a landscape master plan for its historic campus, developed a design approach to street furniture and the treatment of campus roads and paths, and has made other investments that it wishes the campus planning team to build upon. Planned Development Projects and Development Zones: In connection with articulating the planning principles discussed above, Princeton has begun to develop plans for new facilities that will address specific needs for growth and enhance the development of targeted campus neighborhoods or zones. The University will retain architectural firms to design each facilities project and to consider the character of the surrounding area. The work of the campus planning team will, in some cases, proceed in tandem with the design of these projects and will be extremely important to the University in making decisions about parking, transportation, pedestrian access and circulation, infrastructure support, signage, landscaping, and other issues that affect the campus as a whole. Five main projects have been identified:
Alexander Street/University Place: Princeton intends to redevelop the area centered upon the McCarter Theater and the area located adjacent to the New Jersey Transit dinky station on Alexander Street. This may include exploring options for developing academic space focused on the arts, residential, office and retail facilities on land the University owns adjacent to the rail station. Infrastructure will be needed to support this zone without burdening the existing traffic and circulation patterns. The campus planner will support this effort by evaluating the properties Princeton owns along Alexander Street for potential demolition or reuse, analyzing the potential density that could be supported, and identifying how parking will be accommodated in this new district.
Chemistry/Physics Science Area: A new chemistry building will be constructed on the
current site of the Armory, with possible future capacity for related academic departments.
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In addition, the current chemistry building, Frick Laboratory, will be renovated for use by adjacent academic activities. A pedestrian bridge across Washington Road is being designed to support this project, and will provide important new links between the two natural science zones on both sides of Washington Road as well as improved connections for student athletes between Caldwell Field House and the Class of 1952 Stadium. Princeton is currently interviewing design architects for the new chemistry building. The campus planners role will be to develop parking solutions for users of the expanded chemistry facilities and new locations for the parking that will be displaced by construction of these facilities. The campus planner will also evaluate improvements for pedestrian and vehicular movement as well as wayfinding in the surrounding area.
E-3 Zone: The E-3 Zone, which refers to a zoning district within the borough of
Princeton, is in the northeastern corner of the main campus and comprises almost all of the Universitys facilities for the applied sciences, a large portion for the social sciences, and some for natural science. Princeton is examining the option of constructing new engineering facilities in this zone, totaling approximately 130-140,000 gross square feet. While Princeton has already launched a campus design and zoning study of the E-3 zone, the campus planners role will be to confirm the viability of possible site locations for new facilities and determine a rational parking plan for users of all facilities in this zone.
Ivy Lane/Western Way: This area forms the potential interface between the main
campuss natural sciences and applied sciences zones and lies just to the north of Princeton Stadium and the ballfields. The University has long-term plans for the expansion of academic facilities in this area, which may involve creating a natural link between the natural and applied sciences. The campus planner will help determine what interim uses might be developed here, following the completion of Frank Gehrys Peter B. Lewis Science Library at the corner of Ivy Lane and Washington Road in 2007. Necessary district circulation and infrastructure improvements should be anticipated.
Housing: As stated above, Princeton is largely a residential campus. Undergraduate
students are required to live on campus and a significant portion of the graduate student population lives on campus as well. In fact, faculty and some staff are encouraged to live in close proximity to the campus. As Princeton University continues to grow and the high cost of housing in Princeton township and the surrounding area remains a factor, it will be necessary for the University to understand how best to use its current housing sites and what options might be available to meet future needs. The campus planner will support this effort by looking at potential campus-wide impacts as the housing plan is developed.
Overview of Proposed Scope of Work and Critical Issues: The proposed campus plan is intended to identify and establish a long-term vision for the Princeton campus, offering quantifiable solutions to the physical challenges that the University will face during its next decade of growth. The planning process must specifically address the five projects outlined in this RFP while taking into consideration the five guiding principles developed by Princeton and the needs of the campus as a whole. The successful plan will guide the Universitys physical and programmatic growth needs within the context of the campuss unique architectural heritage and rational layout. Specific areas to be included in the campus planning teams scope of work include:
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Zoning and land use review analysis Parking and transportation studies Circulation studies Utilities and infrastructure planning Landscape and site design Analysis of the campuss physical interface with Princeton Township, Princeton Borough
and West Windsor Township Sustainable design and life-cycle analysis Resource conservation and water quality planning Campus graphics and wayfinding design Analysis of program needs and identification of new development sites Project support as needed for five development zones, including programming, building
conditions analysis, cost estimating assistance, etc. The campus-wide studies outlined above will enable Princeton and its campus planning team to address the following kinds of issues that confront the University, and to develop options for potential solutions:
How should Princeton address the inherent tension between the desire to maintain a walkable campus, add significant new facilities, and preserve the unique park-like sense of openness that gives the University its distinct identity?
How should cars and parking facilities be dealt with in the context of this vision? Most of
the core campus remaining feasible development sites are parking lots. As these sites are consumed, where should new parking facilities be located and how should they be accessed?
Currently, Princeton has tended to move many of its administrative functions to the
periphery of its campus. Given Princetons needs for continued growth, how should the University locate these functions in a coherent way that best meets the needs of the Princeton community?
What does it mean to be the center of the campus? Is the Frist Campus Center truly the
University center, or are there different centers for different academic communities? What kinds of uses should be in the center and which should be moved to the periphery?
What is the next feasible step for Princeton in the area of environmental sustainability, given
that the University already operates a central power plant with full co-generation ability, and has already implemented many of the obvious green building measures? How can the University do a better job of communicating its environmental policies to the University community and external stakeholders, and making its actions in this area more transparent?
Princetons proposed Alexander Street/University Place cultural district represents the
Universitys first attempt to create a mixed-use, town/gown neighborhood. How will this new development affect the Universitys core principle of strengthening relations with the local community? Are there other ways to make the campus more permeable to the community?
The lead campus planning firm should identify appropriate subconsultants who have the capability to perform the desired campus-wide technical and analytic studies, as well as engage the types of issues outlined above. Princeton will also make available as needed the expertise and prior work of
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engineering, technical, and sustainable design consultants who have worked with the University in the past. Project Management: The campus plan project will be managed by the University Architect, in consultation with the University Planner and the Vice President for Facilities. Princeton intends to work intensively with the campus planning team and to dedicate a significant amount of senior staff time to the project. It is anticipated that the campus planning team will meet approximately every two weeks with the Vice President for Administration, and approximately once a month with a small, hands-on Steering Committee comprised of the President, Provost, and other top administrators. Others who will be involved in the campus planning effort include certain faculty members with related professional experience and academic interests...