University implantations as factors of transformation. Towards excellence of urban environments and promoters of innovation for the post-speculative city

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The quality of the University is directly connected with the quality of its urban & architectural spaces. Any educational environment, especially the one involving elements of Architecture, ought to express a special engagement to its specific natural, social and urban context. Some principles are critical when planning a University precinct, to follow coherent guidelines before starting any campus design. As a first approach, the interference of foreign styles improperly understood should be avoided, in particular those whose origin, essence or formal display would not fit into local cultures (Chaabane, & Mouss, 1998). Universities have the essential mission of providing an integral formation for human beings. Analysed throughout history, this university mission has also included the raising of good citizens (Nussbaum, 1998). With all these convictions in mind, the key objectives of higher education have to be hosted in an adequate urban and architectural body. This requires special emphasis on the proper arrangement of the physical spaces in which the important enterprise of human formation has to take place. University architecture incarnates an interactive dialogue between buildings and individuals. Its planning process has therefore to exceed a mere provision of available spaces. The clear artistic intention of the design of the university complexes must be a mandatory requisite, which entails that open spaces are as taken in account as much as the built volumes (Gaines, 1991).
Strategies For the Post-Speculative City : Proceedings of the 4th AESOP European Urban Summer School, Madrid, Spain, September 2013
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