Princeton University, Scudder Plaza, Princeton, New Jersey

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) – Special Recognition Excellence in Planning and Architecture

Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs recently undertook a comprehensive renovation and expansion of Robertson Hall, retaining Quennell Rothschild & Partners to redesign the surrounding landscapes, including the adjacent 6,000 square foot Scudder Plaza. The starkly modernist development was originally designed by Minoru Yamasaki in 1965. By 2000 the plaza and large ornamental fountain had become seriously deteriorated.

Working closely with the University Trustees, the School’s Dean, and the physical planning department, a new design for the plaza was created incorporating additional shaded seating areas, outdoor performance spaces, and improved building access.

The badly deteriorated existing limestone pavements, walls, benches, and the fountain pool were replaced with Canadian granite to provide a more durable and easily maintained facility. Sixteen new honey locust trees were added at each end of the plaza, as well as stepped seating surrounding the pool and fountain. New stairways and ramps connect the plaza with the campus pedestrian circulation system and surrounding buildings. A new vehicle drop-off area was created at the south side of Robertson Hall.

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    © Paul Warchol

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    © Paul Warchol

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    © Paul Warchol

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