Campus Master Plan

It is with pride that the University presents its Updated Campus Master Plan. This Master Plan Report is the result of extensive thought and discussion within the Bishop’s community to update and implement the Campus Master Plans version released in 2012 developed by Peter Rose | Van Valkenburgh architecture & urbanism firms. We are thankful for the work done by Lemay in the development and the update of this document.

The Master Plan Report provides clear guidelines for the development and stewardship of the campus. It will guide the future development and land use at Bishop’s University.

Of course, the Master Plan Report should be understood as a “living document”. The plan will evolve, will be updated, but its objectives should remain constant: to return the campus to its roots as a walking, cycling and landscape-focused environment – with cars conveniently located, but not dominant. The Report also proposes to connect the campus more deliberately to the extraordinary surroundings.

The series of goals included in the report can be summarized as follows:

A Walking Campus

A Walking Campus

Bishop’s should be a walking campus – an all-weather, allseason, pedestrian-friendly campus. Pedestrian paths should be everywhere, forming a network of outdoor spaces, all deliberately defined by landscape. Pedestrian paths should not pass through parking lots, or other spaces dedicated to cars.

Buildings and landscapes, both within the University and in the region beyond, should be connected in multiple ways. This multiplicity of connections will offer a rich range of choices when navigating the campus, especially important on a campus with as varied a climate as at Bishop’s University. Fast and slow, in the sun or in shade: the campus should be beautiful and a pleasure to use in all seasons.

Bike and walking paths should be developed around the campus perimeter, along both rivers, into the woods and through the fields. Connected to existing hiking and biking networks beyond Bishop’s University, these paths could better connect the campus to the region, for the mutual benefit of both. Paths between Lennoxville and the campus should be improved, and a new pedestrian bridge should be considered.

Campus Walking Distances
Campus Walking Distances

Managing the Automobile

Managing the Automobile

Cars should be relocated to the perimeter of the campus. This new perimeter for vehicular circulation should be separate from the pedestrian network, and cars should not be in conflict with the pedestrian network.

Cars will be, for the foreseeable future, the primary means of travel to and from the campus. These cars should be parked on the campus in conveniently located lots. To the greatest degree possible, these conveniently located parking lots should be hidden, heavily screened by landscape and not visible from the network of outdoor spaces and buildings. The use of cars to move around the campus should be discouraged.

The main entrance to the campus should introduce the campus in an appropriately dignified fashion, and strategically reveal the essential character of the campus. The Highway 410 Bypass project provides an opportunity to both improve the University’s connection to the river, and establish a more harmonious integration between the University and the landscape

Vehicular Traffic and Parking Proposed Configuration
Vehicular Traffic and Parking Proposed Configuration

Integrating Landscape and Campus

Integrating Landscape and Campus

Strengthening Bishop’s connections to the glorious surrounding landscape is one of the critical goals of the Master Plan. One of the most beautiful spaces on the campus, which also happens to be at the geographic centre of Bishop’s, is the hill surrounded by a series of mostly two-storey faculty bungalows. Connected to the spaces in front of the Student Centre and the Theatre, this hill has the potential to be a truly iconic campus centre. The Quad, St. Mark’s Chapel, McGreer Hall’s Tomlinson Hall, and Bandeen Hall have all been identified as important heritage buildings on campus. Improving, developing and preserving these key campus assets, and programming them with appropriate activities, will tie these important places to Bishop’s history and assure their continued relevance to campus identity in the future.

Buildings and landscapes should each be considered as integral parts of a larger whole. Bishop’s should strengthen its connections to the glorious surrounding landscape – rivers, fields, forests, hills and mountains of the Eastern Townships, while preserving the important heritage resources on campus.

Landscaping near the arch and the chapel

Connections and Gathering Spaces

Connections and Gathering Spaces

Most of the activity on the campus is hidden behind opaque walls and doors. Much of this activity can and should be revealed, helping to establish further connections. Views into buildings, and from circulation spaces into classroom spaces, should be emphasized and enhanced. A more visible and transparent campus will improve the social and pedagogical life of the University.

Gathering spaces of all scales should serve as points of connection throughout the campus and landscape. The revered Quad is one of the only enclosed exterior spaces on the campus. This is an example of one type of informal gathering space, but these should be everywhere.

Two-thirds of Bishop’s students now live and eat off-campus. The possibility of healthy, affordable food available for all students, in multiple locations, will encourage the development of a lively 24-hour campus.

The Gazebo on campus

Working with Existing Conditions

Working with Existing Conditions

The above guiding principles have all directed the development of the Master Plan, and are the result of research undertaken by the Master Planning Team to determine the University’s key existing assets.

Improving, developing and preserving these campus assets, and programming them with appropriate activities, will allow the University to respond to site-specific conditions to maximum effect. Working with existing conditions allows for a Master Plan that is both sustainable and that can be executed within an economy of means.

By carefully studying the history of the campus, as well as its current structure, we propose a Master Plan that makes the most of existing conditions, and as such, consists of a feasible and realistic guide for the future of Bishop’s University.

McGreer quad in the summer

Archives:

2012 Bishop’s University Master Plan Report (PDF – 75 MB)

2012 Community Consultation Video Clips

2020 Campus Master Plan (PDF – 39 MB)

For additional information, please do not hesitate to contact:
David Lacroix,
Manager, Capital Planning & Projects
david.lacroix@ubishops.ca