Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada, 1998
Situated at the head of Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy, Acadia University is consistently rated as Canada’s top small liberal arts university. From its founding in 1839 to the Second World War, the University maintained a commitment campus planning and high-quality architecture, and by the 1930s had developed an attractive and well-planned campus with the support of funding from the Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations. Following the War, the University entered a period characterized by a lack of planning and generally lowered architectural standards, as a result, at least in part, to the imposition of government control over all Canadian institutions of higher education. Under the dynamic leadership of its current President, Chancellor, and Board of Trustees, the University is now looking to right the mistakes of recent decades and has embarked upon both a campus master plan and an institutional strategic plan. Our master plan for the University proposes the closure of all roadways within the campus core, in order to strengthen the pedestrian character of the campus, and a strategy of inserting new buildings among existing buildings together with the judicious demolition of several post-WWII buildings which are both functionally and esthetically at odds with the University’s goals. An ambitious campaign of land acquisition is proposed to strengthen the campus’s edges and provide for its future land needs, while an existing tract of forest is enhanced and consolidated to form a University-owned green belt protecting the campus’s southern and western flank.
A series of “town/gown” alliances are proposed with the aim of strengtheningboth the University and the historic town of Wolfville in which the school isthe largest employer. Among the first phases of the master plan to be implemented will be a Botanical Garden and Environmental Sciences Building, currently under construction, and also designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects and Novell Tullett Landscape Architects of Bristol, UK; a major renovation to Patterson Hall, a science classroom and laboratory building; and the renovation of two existing residence halls and the construction of two new residence halls.