Places of work, learning, culture, and civic engagement that serve our public lives

Civic, cultural, academic, commercial, and social institutions serve specific purposes for the community, each with a particular set of demands on the built environment derived from their own separate identities.  These are places where people come together in their public and working lives – as students, co-workers, visitors, or patrons.  Spaces must be designed to support the technical requirements of the facility while meeting the needs of the staff, visitors, and community.  The work of campus design is to seamlessly accommodate the internal needs of the entity while reinforcing the unique physical identity of the place through its public spaces and as a part of the larger community within which it is located.

Campus site design is as critical to a facility’s internal functioning as to its relationship with the community and the inter-campus social interactions. The infrastructure that integrates roads and walkways, building locations and orientation, security measures, site engineering, and uses specific to the institution can also support a complementary landscape system and humanize the facility.  It is within the landscaped commons, with rich and interesting open spaces linked to the larger setting that people interact formally and informally while the business of the facility continues unimpeded.  Separating the people-spaces from service and support functions can minimize conflicts at individual buildings, building clusters, and campus-wide in order to serve the needs of the institution. Activities of the campus are organized through the internal functioning of individual or clusters of buildings, but it is the outdoor spaces that knit the buildings and groupings of buildings together creating the whole campus.

The relationship between the campus and the larger community plays a critical role in the conception of the perimeter of the campus, and can influence the internal arrangements as well.  The scale of development at the edges where the campus meets the neighborhood; the nature of the entryways; the character of the perimeter and interior landscape; the security considerations; and the treatment of the public face together determine how well the campus is integrated with its setting.

John Northmore Roberts & Associates has master-planned and designed the following:

  • industrial production and research campuses
  • government facilities
  • community centers
  • special needs housing and education facilities
  • schools
  • libraries
  • churches
  • museums
  • theaters
  • arboreta and public gardens