Rhodes College, Master Plan 2010: A Plan for Enhanced Connections and Identity Memphis, Tennessee

Firm: Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company

Design team: Jane Cady Wright, AIA; S. Michael Evans, AIA; Richard G. Poole, AIA; Elizabeth S. Nemura, AIA; Wesley L. Page, AIA; Vanessa Phillips-Williams, Cathy Lester

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Client: Rhodes College; William E. Troutt, President

Area: 100 acres

The goal of the Rhodes College master plan was to provide a plan that enhanced connections and identity at the college. This plan responds to the total community, the people, mission, philosophy and physical context. It represents the historical evolution of the campus plan, an analysis of campus spaces and recommendations for new building placement. Finally, it defines principles and concepts that will guide future opportunities.

The history of the college, its commitment to Collegiate Gothic architecture, and the existing space analysis provide a physical understanding of the total context, buildings, functions and open spaces, thus allowing the historical patterns of Rhodes and its references to inform planning for future development. This analysis informs the recommendations for accommodating future facilities and enhancements to the existing campus fabric. The recommendations build on the tradition and mission of Rhodes, creating physical responses that intentionally generate positive outcomes for people and place. This is accomplished by continually enhancing the functions, aesthetics and programs of the core campus, creating opportunities for faculty and student interaction. Ultimately, the plan provides a physical framework to reinforce the Rhodes belief that the best education results from living and learning environments that encourage social and academic interaction, close faculty and student relationships, and a strong and vibrant academic community.

The plan presents five key actions:

  • Situate the new library in a manner that invigorates the intellectual heart of the campus, transforms the existing open spaces between Briggs Students Center and The Bryan Campus Life Center, and creates a new academic and student-services quadrangle.

  • Enrich existing residential communities with new student housing in the core campus.

  • Enhance the Snowden Avenue entrance to provide a second campus entrance identity equal to the Phillips Lane entrance.

  • Enhance the pedestrian experience by eliminating parking and vehicular circulation from the campus core.

  • Enrich the Collegiate Gothic architecture of the campus through enhanced landscape and open spaces.

The plan encourages the college to see every change, no matter how small, as an opportunity to enhance the campus aesthetically, to further define and celebrate the sense of place, to honor its past, and to prepare for future generations of students.

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