Page 1


sa corporate p r a wcampus l ifors thetpost-urban h e c future ity

post-urban - (adj) 1. a period in

programmatic incongruity


ABSTRACT Since the height of the American postwar era, the corporation has maintained a special relationship with the suburb by way of the expansive, semi-autonomous corporate campus. But even           the ubiquitous sprawl of the last half century, it has been and           

corporate campus - (n) 1. grounds, maintained by a corporation, which resemble a campus. 2. a building or group of buildings including a landscape component which maintains a programmatic and spatial distinction from its surroundings. 3. grounds formed into a self-referencing association, intended to convey a corporate ideal or image.

which the image of the city as a contiguous spatial and cultural construct is made subordinate to the scale and asymmetries of the metropolis. 2. a period in which the programs and typologies of the urban and exurban merge, creating a form of juxtaposed urbanism characterized by programmatic and spatial incongruity.


workforce Digital collage of Paris and one of its suburbs, approximately 14km from the central city.




of exurban incongruity. As

cities cope with spatial and programmatic incongruities of their own, the corporate campus offers a valuable, if unlikely, precedent for re-imagining the post-urban city,

juxtaposition landscape

zoning density

corporate campus


public park gardens parking lot

superblock low-rise no landscape warehouse terminal

manor, set-back overlooking landscape public/private landscape institution mansion

cosmopolitan hybrid

variety policy

open space





insular The qualities and limitations of the corporate campus make it a vehicle for critically evaluating the post-urban city.

manor object surrounded by landscape museum big-box

especially in cases where an existing, dense urban core does not exist or is untenable. And in return, the

asymmetric economics and geographies of the urban condition offer an opportunity to re-imagine corporate architecture.

Variable population density; note the areas of 0 residential population at the city core (Census data, 2010).

Buildings which report 0 residential population; note the concentration at the city core (Census data, 2010).

courtyard block urban enclosed yard institution residential

METHODS OF INQUIRY Perform comparative analysis (via collage/diagrams) to explore site density, program, occupancy, etc. of various precedents; compare density and program of suburban models to a potential site in the urban core.



group open yard college corporate


Conduct literature review to establish a vocabulary of inquiry, to            the campus as hybrid of cosmopolitan and exurban culture/ form.

Digital collage of Boston and one of Orlando’s six waterparks.

towers high density (if residential) linear landscapes    residential

Compile an index of relevant precedents from c. 9th century CE to thirty-year master plans out to 2030 CE; a broad survey of the typology of corporate architecture is essential to understanding its spatial relationships encompassing landscape, urban, and suburban form.


Explore the contemporary variety of program within the corporate campus using interviews, video recording, and diagrams.

production-oriented interstitial spaces industrial self-storage facility


  (graphically and through writing) related to the thesis development; this website will also be used to coordinate criticism and comments with the thesis panel throughout the thesis development.

factory yard assembly-oriented assembly space industrial traditional market



The corporate campus is in a unique position to exploit the spatial and programmatic incongruities of the post-urban condition due to its scale and heritage of self-referencing organization.

Digital collage of Assembly Square Mall, Somerville, MA and the Cigna corporate campus (with landscape).

0 residents/ sqmi

> average Manhattan density

building in census block reporting 0 pop.

Composite map of Boston metro population density and buildings with 0 residential population; this is one example of urban incongruity.

blocks medium-rise density streets urban typology transit-oriented development

The corporate campus is a hybrid of cosmopolitan culture and variable-density development. The semi-autonomy of the corporate campus relies on the optical and spatial juxtaposition of landscape and building.         itself is a zone of requisite programmatic variety, increasingly required to satisfy a culture of options for a relatively captive audience.

house semi-detached/detached yards metro-edge residential suburban typology

proposal by:

restricted area

Matthew Schexnyder, MArch Candidate Boston Architectural College thesis website:

private park gardens parking lot

South Boston

Ikea Digital collage of South Boston seaport and Ikea, Charlotte, NC (with parking).

building in census block reporting residential pop.

building in census block reporting 0 pop.

South Boston seaport and surrounds; consider the programmatic, spatial, and economic asymmetry in the contemporary urban condition.

The post-urban condition is shaped by juxtapositions of scale, public/private space, land-use, and program (zoning); drawing from both urban and suburban typologies.

General Motors Technical Center

Rolex Center Architect: Client:

Eero Saarinen General Motors Warren, Michigan, USA Completed, 1956 330 acre campus (w/22

   $%& buildings Budget: 100 million USD (1956) Scale: Masterplan Context: Suburban Program: R&D, engineering, design, manufacturing, amenities Occupancy: 16,000 engineers, designer, technicians Organization: Campus organized  

  *   lake) Circulation: Varied Materials: Steel, glass, panelized metal cladding, glazed/ masonry Structure: Steel Façade: Transparent, limited opaque

SANAA École Polytechnique FÊdÊrale de Lausanne Location: Lausanne, Switzerland Status: Complete, 2010 Size: building, 400,000 sf; 136 acre campus, 65 buildings Budget: building, 122 million USD Scale: Building Context: University campus, suburban Program: Laboratory, library, multipurpose hall, workspace, amenities Occupancy: building, 600 seat hall, 860 workspaces; campus, 11,000 occ. Organization: topographical, open with voids set in rectangular plan Circulation: Organic Materials: Concrete. Glass, grey carpet Structure: Reinforced concrete, structural slab Façade: Glazed curtain wall

Architect: Client: Location: Status: Size:  

PRECEDENTS Landscape architect, professor, and author, Louise Mozingo recently noted that the exurban corporate campus represents a “parallel manifestation of decentralization, specialization, and concentration� indicative of the dispersal of the American postwar city. In others words, the suburban corporate campus is a derivative of sprawl itself and continues to represent the pairing of cosmopolitan, technocratic culture and the semi-autonomous organization of the periphery. For this reason, the corporate campus provides a vehicle for exploring the consequences of sub-urbanizing the post-urban city.

Typological: The typological case study is a noteworthy example of the corporate campus within the exurban context. The corpo          !" typological case studies will, hopefully, provide a lens for understanding the variety and similarity within the corporate complex form. This disambiguation is also a tool for analyzing the image of the form as it exists in situ and how it might exist in a new urban setting.

Clockwise from top: 1. context and density, 2. promotional image from campus opening, 3. aerial view soon after opening, note central water feature, 4. emphasis on landscape and campus organization, 5. exterior, 6. interior, draft room, 7. drafting and administration building, 8. National Historic District site plan.

Transports publics - bus Taxi Zone de dÂŽpose des cars Point vÂŽlos (vente, rÂŽparation ...) VÂŽlos libre service Bancomat

Although often compared to a landform, the building is essentially the Modernist object in a landscape. Set on a manicured, green lawn, the building is not dissimilar from the corporate estate. In this case, the building itself assimilates the spatial functions of both courtyard campus and landscape. And like the centerpiece building of the corporate campus, the Rolex Center establishes an iconic image of the institution. It exists as a hybrid of the suburban campus and the cosmopolitan program.

Villa Capra, c. 1591

University of Oxford, c. 1700

Chateau de Marly, c. 1686

Harvard University, c. 1850

University of Virginia, c. 1825

Nela Park, c. 1911

Stanford University, c. 1890

GM Technical Center, c. 1956

Connecticut Life, c. 1957

Rolex Center Analysis

Royals Business Park Architect:

KCAP and Maccreanor Lavington Architects Client: London Development Agency, Development Securities plc Location: Royal Docks, London, UK Status: Ongoing, 2008 Size: 50 acre campus; 3,550,000 ft2  

#  Budget: ? Scale: Masterplan Context: Suburban, infrastructural, transitional +  < = #  mixed-use, housing, retail, leisure Occupancy: 10,000 jobs (est.), 1,800 homes Organization: Aggregated, elongated  

  >@%J 220 yard site Circulation: Varied Materials: Varied Structure: Varied Façade: Varied

Programmatic: The most architecturally-oriented of the case   !   culation, function, and formal organization, the programmatic precedent highlights the basic relationship of components necessitated by the corporate program. Additionally, the program        #  typology by providing innovative or unique shifts in form and/or organization. PROGRAM At the heart of every corporate campus is the corporate headquarters. If the campus is essentially self-referential, then it is the campus centerpiece building and its attendant landscape which is often the spatial and programmatic anchor of the campus. But whereas the program of the campus is typically dedicated to a particular industry, the internal program of the headquarters is quite diverse. In a way, the relative isolation and specialization of the corporate campus requires a broad range of programs to cater to the needs of the corporate workforce. Program Activities: Corporate headquarters, production space,    

     public interface, amenities.

The Royal Docks area represents a mix of tax incentive policy and reduced regulation which aims to regenerate (or in this case, create) the urban condition through public/private development rather than a long-range strategic plan. Operating within an â&#x20AC;&#x153;urban enterprise zoneâ&#x20AC;?, Royals Business Park is the result of a public initiative for speculative, private development. This neo-liberal approach to urban regeneration offers the business park with cultural amenities as a means to a civic-minded urbanism.

Typology/Scale: Corporate campus with focus on primary building. Campus Area: 49 acres Masterplan Floor Area: 776,880 square feet Project Floor Area: 100,000 square feet Clockwise from top: 1. context and density, 2. industrial site w/ suburban adjacencies, 3. existing, low-density site, 4. proposed cultural center, 5. proposed plaza, 6. emphasis on public landscape and recreation, 7. remaining images: program diagrams and site plans.

Matthew Schexnyder, MArch Thesis Proposal, Boston Architectural College, Spring 2012

Parking Mobility Transports publics - m1

GM Technical Center provides the ideal precedent for examining the post-urban condition. In the most basic sense, it is emblematic of the frustrations and disappointment of our early adventures in suburban sprawl; it is hard to separate the architecture from value judgments regarding that condition. However, the campus is actually a hybrid of urban and suburban culture. While isolated within a suburban landscape, the campus itself is a bastion of cosmopolitan culture (educated management and researchers from the city).

This study of precedents will include a collection of campuses and buildings which relate to the exurban corporate model. Within this survey, the case studies can generally be divided into three sub-categories: conceptual, typological, and programmatic. Conceptual: Consisting of unbuilt work, the conceptual case           corporate campus. These projects are concerned with metropolitan issues, encompassing the city and areas of variable density within the peripheries. By framing larger contexts of urbanism and its relationship to sprawl, these theoretical projects provide insight into the post-urban condition of the city. Establishing a position on the post-urban condition is essential to understanding the potential of the corporate campus (and/or its re-evaluation) as a model of urban settlement.

Parking public Parking Â&#x2C6; autorisation

Plan of Saint Gall, c. 9th Century

Mies van der Roheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chicago Convention Center (unbuilt)

Swiss landscape

+ superstructure


Object-landscape hydrid

= landscape



mass Apple Campus 2, c. 2013

Googleplex, c. 2003



glazing The diagram (above) shows the tandem evolution and cross-pollination of the prototypical campus forms. The plans are aligned to their respective centers of gravity. Over time, the campus has not only grown larger, but the relationship between building and landscape has become more complex.


Landmarks/ Districts/Nodes

Boston, Massachusetts, USA founded 1630 urban population 4,032,484 urban area 1,774 sq mi urban density 2,273/sq mile

Campus 85 Fargo site south boston waterfront district population 0 area .07 sq mi urban density 0/sq mile

boston ave. urban population density (2,273/sq mi)

South Station node downtown/financial district population 0 area .06 sq mi pop. density 0/sq mi

Fort Point district fort point district population 389 area .07 sq mi density 5,557/sq mi

ICA/Trade Center landmark/node seaport district population 0 area .05 sq mi pop. density 0/sq mi

Convention Center landmark south boston waterfront district population 0 area .07 sq mi density 0/sq mi

Design Center landmark marine industrial park population 207 area .04 sq mi pop. density 5,175/sq mi

South Boston district south boston neighbiorhood district population 1793 area .06 sq mi density 29,883/sq mi

SITE This thesis will deliberately explore the exurban campus typology   Q       which do not have any inherent â&#x20AC;&#x153;urban densityâ&#x20AC;? and thereby expose the asymmetric nature of the post-urban city. Despite the existence of some ambitious urban plans for the district, South Bostonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s industrial seaport zone offers this type of situation. The incongruous nature of the site as it is and how it is being marketed makes it prime grounds for exploring alternative spatial and programmatic potentials. This proposal will consider two primary lots (currently with zero population and some existing, single-story warehouse construction) for exploring the            variable urban conditions. Also, this site can accommodate the practical need for a contiguous campus which is compatible with     ! REFERENCES Bekaert, Geert, Andrew May and Xaveer de Geyter Architects, et al. After-Sprawl: Research for the Contemporary City. Rotterdam: NAi Publishers, 2002. Bell, Michael and Sze Tsung Leong, eds. Slow Space. New York: Monacelli Press, 1998.

Aerial view of the industrial seaport, with overlays of the site (shaded) and the footprint of Boston Common (dotted line). Boston Common not only provides a scaled comparison, but also offers an analogy to the proposed campus. The city greenspace is an example of urban incongruity which is considered, generally, as an asset.


convention center scale maximum lot coverage no landscape

courtyard compound building abuts entire lot perimeter enclosed/private landscape apparent spatial density

Koolhaas, Rem. Delirious New York. New York: Monacelli Press, 1978.

manor multi-use building private/public landscape low spatial density


_  =     Â  ! Content. Koln: Taschen, 2004. Lampugnani, Vittorio Magnago, Jacqueline Burckhardt and Novavartis, et al. Novartis Campus: A Contemporary Work Â&#x201A;  !=<Â&#x192; Â&#x201E;\ Â&#x2026;%JJÂ&#x2020;!

campus self-referential context mix open/closed landscapes 

Mozingo, Louise A. Pastoral Capitalism. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2011. NBBJ, Change Design: Conversations about Architecture as Ultimate Business Tool. Atlanta: Greenway Communications, 2006.

park no clear organization buildings and variable landscapes picturesque

= +!{ \!=Â&#x2021;_<Â&#x192; Â&#x201E;\ Â&#x2026; 2005. pasture

{ _  Â&#x201A;Â&#x2C6; !^Â <\  !] Architecture Design, Vol. 78, No. 1, January/February 2008.

Matthew Schexnyder, MArch Thesis Proposal, Boston Architectural College, Spring 2012


super block

}\  ~ !|= !  < Routledge, 2007.

Venturi, Robert, Denise Scott Brown and Steven Izenor. Learning from Las Vegas. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1977.


no buildings open/green space pastoral or wilderness WC WI NDA LI

maximum FAR (actual) four use categories: Waterfront Commercial, Waterfront Industrial, Neighborhood Development Area, Local Industrial FAR all uses: 2.0 max height all uses: 65â&#x20AC;&#x2122; (low to mid-rise)

Use Categories Banking Post Office Community Center Day care Library Place of worship Art gallery Auditorium, theatre Museum Public art Dormitory, fraternity College, university Schools Entertainment and recreation Fitness center Funerary uses Clinical laboratory Other health care uses Executive suites Hotel Motel Artist' mixed use General, light manufacturing Office uses Golf driving range Open Space Outdoor place of recreation for profit Stadium Data center Courthouse Penal institution Solid Waste transfer station Research and development uses Mobile home Single family home, detached/semi-detached Other residential uses Small restaurant Adult bookstore Bakery Local retail Garden supply retail Service uses Warehousing Trade uses Transportation uses Gas station/carwash Parking, surface/garage Waterfront service uses

Waterfront Commercial Subdistrict

industrial warehouses distribution warehouses equipment lot/parking

Fishman, Robert, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Beyond Utopia: Urbanism After the End

\]^_ \` \<{    |  in Modern Space,â&#x20AC;? Urbanitats, No. 7, Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona, Barcelona, 1998.

Glaeser, Edward. Triumph of the City. New York: Penguin Press, 2011.

Zoning Analysis

existing structures

Waterfront Manufacturing Subdistrict

Eckhout, Bart and Steven Jacobs, â&#x20AC;&#x153;(Dys)functionalism in a Post(sub)urban Landscape,â&#x20AC;? in Multiple City, edited by Sophie Wolfrum and Winfred Nerdinger, 34. Calbe: Jovis, 2008.

Potentials of Site and Precedents

Local Industrial Subdistrict

Deplazes, Andrea, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Campus as Location and Strategy: Thumbnail Sketches of Science City,â&#x20AC;? in Campus and the City: Urban Design for the Knowledge City, edited by Kerstin Hoeger and Kees Christiaanse, 35. Zurich: gta Verlag, ETH Zurich, 2007.

Isolated landmarks, districts, nodes emphasize the spatial and programmatic incongruity of the seaport area. Due to this incongruity, the proposed site is not integral to the image of â&#x20AC;&#x153;the cityâ&#x20AC;?. It is, in fact, post-urban: compatible neither with the image of the city center nor the density of residential South Boston.

Neighborhood Development Area

Betsky, Aaron, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nothing but Flowers: Against Public Space,â&#x20AC;? in Slow Space, edited by Michael Bell and Sze Tsung Leong, 456. New York: Monacelli Press, 1998.

If we follow the site zoning by rights,         Â&#x2026; <     place of worship, small restaurant, open   . Though unlikely, the corporate campus is actually compatible with the existing urban zoning.

Analysis Banks and post offices everywhere. Daycare and manufacturing do not mix. Churches everywhere.

No public art in manufacturing. No dorms anywhere.

The WM subdistrict has a fitness center. Do not die here. No healthcare. View the waterfront over a light industrial complex. Those belong on the interstate. Where do we put the artists? Corporate campus. But the campus will not have a golf course. Just open space is better than a golf course. Look at the open space, do not make money. The stadium belongs in Fenway.

This one is pretty obvious. See previous comment. R&D is welcome, but not in residential zones. Those do not belong in the city. Those belong in the suburbs. You can live over there. People have to eat. Those still exist? Bakeries everywhere.

No stations here. Very suburban. Not zoned for parking, but there is a chance.

Thesis Proposal Boards - Spring 2012  

Thesis Proposal Boards

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you