Day 1: UMass Dartmouth

Presenter Information

John Amodeo, IBI GroupFollow

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Location

UMass Dartmouth

Event Website

www.umassbrut.org

Start Date

22-10-2021 11:00 AM

End Date

22-10-2021 12:30 PM

Abstract

Modeled on UVA’s Lawn, Paul Rudolph’s mid-century Brutalist UMass Dartmouth buildings march down both sides of a gently sloped great lawn following the grade with one exception, the Auditorium, which is raised above the quad’s lawn on a 6’ high plinth, accessed by monumental stairs underscoring the entire building. With its entries elusively tucked into the ends of the building, the Auditorium steps were ceremonial at best and vacant, functionless and windswept at worst.

Evolving tastes, priorities and social behavior over subsequent decades, and even more recently, the pandemic, have made indoor/outdoor relationships, outdoor space, and universal access a top priority, thereby rendering these highly minimalist inaccessible and ceremonial plinths obsolete.

In 2017, a massive steam tunnel replacement project required the demolition of the steps, offering an opportunity to implement a priority project of the recent Campus Vision Plan to activate the Auditorium steps. Landscape architect, John Amodeo, who worked on the Campus Vision Plan, will show how he used landscape design to re-imagine the UMass Dartmouth Auditorium’s plinth from the merely ceremonial to an activated place for students, faculty and staff to gather, socialize, learn and renew, while respecting the Rudolph legacy and preserving the Auditorium’s impressive stature.

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Oct 22nd, 11:00 AM Oct 22nd, 12:30 PM

UMass Brut: Re-imagining the Plinth

UMass Dartmouth

Modeled on UVA’s Lawn, Paul Rudolph’s mid-century Brutalist UMass Dartmouth buildings march down both sides of a gently sloped great lawn following the grade with one exception, the Auditorium, which is raised above the quad’s lawn on a 6’ high plinth, accessed by monumental stairs underscoring the entire building. With its entries elusively tucked into the ends of the building, the Auditorium steps were ceremonial at best and vacant, functionless and windswept at worst.

Evolving tastes, priorities and social behavior over subsequent decades, and even more recently, the pandemic, have made indoor/outdoor relationships, outdoor space, and universal access a top priority, thereby rendering these highly minimalist inaccessible and ceremonial plinths obsolete.

In 2017, a massive steam tunnel replacement project required the demolition of the steps, offering an opportunity to implement a priority project of the recent Campus Vision Plan to activate the Auditorium steps. Landscape architect, John Amodeo, who worked on the Campus Vision Plan, will show how he used landscape design to re-imagine the UMass Dartmouth Auditorium’s plinth from the merely ceremonial to an activated place for students, faculty and staff to gather, socialize, learn and renew, while respecting the Rudolph legacy and preserving the Auditorium’s impressive stature.

https://scholarworks.umass.edu/umassbrut_community/2021symposium/day_1/7

 

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