For 25 years, Ayers Saint Gross has highlighted campuses from colleges and universities around the world as part of our Comparing Campuses research project. Having covered hundreds of campuses, our research has provided a broader view into the development of campuses, their resilience to change, and their contributions to a sustainable future. We believe in the value of shared research and support institutions in celebrating their common ground and learning from their differences. The Comparing Campuses poster is both a succinct tool and content-rich deep dive into the most pressing issues of campus planning and inspires understanding that leads to the creation of even better spaces in which to live, learn, and teach.
Our 2023 poster highlights resilience through adaptive reuse, showcasing four stories of universities repurposing buildings and sites throughout history. Several pressures ranging from changing demographics to macro-economic conditions force institutions to find creative solutions. Adaptive reuse strategies can help reduce carbon impact and minimize the cost of meeting space needs while maintaining lively campus environments.
Our research explores adaptive reuse opportunities and how four different colleges and universities leveraged these shifts to repurpose existing structures and environments into higher and better uses. It then details how these comprehensive renovations can support a better human experience, reduce operational costs, and minimize carbon emissions. Alongside sustainability principles, adaptive reuse projects can breathe new life into celebrated environments while preserving history and emphasizing cultural identity—ultimately improving the site and surrounding community.