One of the main objectives of the Campus Master Plan is to further develop the collegiate nature of the campus, creating a sense of place and community. UMBC has a unique physical environment, defined by its physical elements: the landscape and terrain, the pedestrian paths, the relationship of buildings to one another, and the character of the open spaces. It is with this in mind that we developed the campus framework.
This framework is the underlying design concept by which all components of the master plan follow. It provides organization and a unique structure for campus development by which campus buildings, open space, and circulation are organized. The framework for UMBC is comprised of three basic parts: the Spine, a series of major Linkages, and three major Open Spaces.
The campus Spine is the heart of the framework. It is comprised of two main pedestrian ways which radiate from the center of campus at UMBC’s landmark building, the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery, in both the south and east directions. The Spine acts as the main promenade for pedestrian movement and terminates at the main vehicular portals on their respective sides of campus.
Complementing the Spine is a series of Linkages that act as major circulation routes. The Linkages help connect diverse land uses, improving program collaboration and creating a more unified collegiate atmosphere. A series of secondary linkages support the main connections by providing connectivity among the academic, residential, athletic and natural areas of campus. Locating buildings and open spaces appropriately along the Linkages creates a more walkable, pedestrian-friendly campus.
There are three major Open Spaces within the central core of campus. These spaces, due to their scale and importance on campus, are part of the campus framework. They are well defined and memorable spaces, providing relief from the main circulation paths of campus. The Open Spaces, considered part of the campus framework, include the academic quadrangle south of The Commons, the pond adjacent to the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery, and a planned central green north of The Commons. The Open Spaces are bound by the major pedestrian circulation elements of campus, like the Spine and Linkages, reinforcing the framework of the campus plan.
The Campus Framework Plan shows how these three elements create the Campus Framework. Click here to enlarge the Campus Framework Plan.
The Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery is UMBC’s signature building, serving as the anchor of the Spine and as a major campus landmark. Included in the Campus Framework are five pedestrian nodes or points where pedestrian-related amenities are grouped to increase the perception of an active, urban corridor and to support the pedestrian orientation of the campus core.