Landscape Brutalism: Re-Imagining The Plinth | Dartmouth, MA
In 2015, after CRJA-IBI Group’s work on the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMassD) Campus Master Plan (CMP), this area of the Main Quad in the campus core was recognized as a vital “missing link” in creating accessible connections and identified as a priority improvement project for the Main Quad. The opportunity for implementation of the CMP recommendations was realized when a steam line needed to be replaced requiring the partial demolition of a Brutalist-era monumental stair.
The design transforms the vast concrete stair and plaza into an accessible, outdoor social space that connects the east and west side of the campus core while still honoring the original design intent of anchoring the adjacent Auditorium building atop a plinth. Respecting the historic mid-century minimalist design, the re-imagined plinth is a design of simple forms and materials.
The design builds on the existing architecture’s interplay with shadow, light and materials. This outdoor space serves as a new typology on campus, encouraging social interaction and allowing students to enjoy the outdoors year-round. This project is an example of how re-imagining mid-century Brutalism can bring social engagement and new life to once maligned landscape spaces.
TeamJohn Amodeo, Principal
Jeffrey W. Bittenbender, Associate