Babson College is a graduate and undergraduate business school located in Wellesley, Massachusetts, best known for its focus on entrepreneurship. Inspired by Babson's emphasis on innovation, Sasaki's master plan for the college champions new methods of campus engagement and participation. The master plan originated out of the need for additional residential beds and attention to the first-year student experience in responds to enrollment growth.
As Babson approaches its 100th anniversary in 2019 and develops plans for a new capital campaign, the need to evaluate the entire campus environment with respect to its academic and strategic vision and its commitment to "living entrepreneurially" became essential. The master plan presents a development strategy of renovation and reuse, demolition, new construction, and landscape design that collectively create moments for spontaneous interaction, showcase Babson's unique pedagogy, create habitable outdoor areas, and better reflect its academic and strategic vision.
While Babson College embraces innovative approaches to teaching and learning, the physical campus does not showcase its unique programs. Aging facilities invited the opportunity to reconsider, repurpose, and renovate existing buildings in a more efficient manner that best reflects the innovative identity of the college. Repurposing and renovating also helps Babson achieve its Climate Action Plan goal of reducing square footage by 10 percent.
Sasaki used original methods of engagement to facilitate dialogue, solicit feedback, and frame the key areas that are addressed within the plan. MyCampus, a tool created specifically for Babson College, is an interactive online mapping survey for students, faculty, and staff to capture impressions of the campus and understand how they use the campus, and to evaluate development concepts. Sasaki also prepared a comprehensive space needs analysis and master site assessment to identify space shortages and develop sustainable strategies for the college. With over 90 meetings on campus, the master plan became a reflection of the campus community and a blueprint for future development.
The extensive analysis and engagement process resulted in a plan that showcases innovation and consolidates students, faculty, and staff at the center of campus in the HUB building. Academic and residential uses are knit together near the HUB building, and help form both an academic quad and first year quad. Landscape and site improvements transform College Drive from a vehicular road into a pedestrian oriented College Walk, while a robust space migration strategy rationalizes the locations of many academic and administrative departments. In total, the campus master plan at Babson College creates a campus environment that enables its students, faculty, and staff to live entrepreneurially.
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