By Roxanne Squires
ATLANTA — Architecture and urban design firm Cooper Robertson has announced its selection to develop the next phase of a master plan for Georgia State University (GSU), as the leading academic institution prepares for growth and major new initiatives.
The master plan work entails the reshaping and enhancement of the main downtown Atlanta campus as well as five satellite campuses throughout the state.
This next phase is a part of a medium- and long-term strategic plan in progress at the 52,000-student public university, which anticipates expanding to 60,000 students within the next decade.
The main components of Cooper Robertson’s work include planning for more students living on campus in Atlanta as well as creating a unified identity for the entire Georgia State University (GSU) system, which has grown over the past several decades to include facilities across Georgia in Newton, Alpharetta, Dunwoody, Clarkston and Decatur.
Mike Aziz, AIA, Cooper Robertson’s stated that directly integrating these ‘Perimeter Colleges’ into the GSU umbrella is crucial to the university leadership’s strategic vision.
John Kirk, AIA, partner at Cooper Robertson, explained that the new planning effort aims to make GSU into a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
“Our challenge and our goal for the master plan update is to create connective tissues that better tie the central GSU location to its surroundings, addressing the push-pull relationships inherent in any urban institution, as we work to weave the main campus and the university’s formerly disparate parts into a more cohesive and legible fabric,” said Kirk.
The GSU master plan update report and its specific recommendations is anticipated to be released later this spring.
Cooper Robertson has earned wide renowned for its campus projects and is currently implementing master plans at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., and Drury University in Springfield, Mo.
The firm has also developed long-term plans and designed buildings for the University of Delaware, North Carolina State, Ohio State, the University of North Carolina, Cal Tech, Yale University, Hunter College, Georgetown, the Duke University Medical School, among others.