Finding E. A. Sutherland in Virginia

Posted by on September 18, 2012 in Blog, Campus Plan | Comments Off

The design team has almost completed its travels in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia to study various existing campuses in preparation for the design phase of the master planning process. So far, this has included the College of William & Mary, Richmond University, the University of Virginia, Johns Hopkins University, the Maryland Institute College of Art, Goucher College, St John’s College, the US Naval Academy, and St Mary’s College of Maryland. Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia has been of particular interest to the team because E. A. Sutherland praised its design as a model to be considered for Christian education. Sutherland, an early pioneer of Seventh-day Adventist education and first president of the campus that is now Andrews University, advocated the use of smaller, simple buildings to avoid debt, enable phased financing, improve access to natural light and fresh air, and to promote a student culture of self-government and independent thinking. Jefferson’s UVA campus still demonstrates most of these characteristics, although its agricultural emphasis praised by Sutherland has unfortunately been lost. The photograph shows graduate student Jason Blanzy measuring Jefferson’s colonnade shared by the student and professor lodgings, classrooms, and the library.

The team also visited Hartman-Cox Architects in Washington, DC to discuss campus building trends with partners T. Lee Becker and Mary K. Lanzillotta, and with staff designers and AU graduates Jason Barrett and Michael Figueroa. This included an extended discussion about design solutions, programming for campus buildings, architect selection processes, and implementation.

On September 16, the team also traveled to Bethesda, Maryland to meet with sixteen AU architecture alumni over dinner to discuss the possible future of the Andrews University campus. Graduate students took notes on planning and design recommendations and some alumni gave on-camera interviews that will be available later this semester. The students were also sure to receive some advice on future professional challenges and career opportunities. The alumni practitioners in architecture and planning, all based in the DC-area, included Jason Barrett, Maxwell Blakeney, Isaac Bonilla, Michael Figueroa, Sean Kilby, Julie Peter, Lindsey Ringwelski, Judith Romero, Leonardo Sarli, Rhiannon (Porter) Schroth, Isaac Smith, Michael Weich, Ruthzaly (Perez) Weich, Andwele Worrell, LaJoya (Vanderhorst) Worrell, and Timothy Zork. Summary notes of their comments will be available soon.