The Fuller Theological Seminary Strategic Master Plan will guide campus growth and development over the next 50 years. Patrick Siegman directed the plan’s transportation component while a Principal at Nelson\Nygaard, as part of a team led by Moule and Polyzoides.
Fuller is a compact urban campus situated in the midst of downtown Pasadena, close by and on axis with major civic buildings. While the site offers all of the advantages of being located in a vibrant urban core, faculty, staff, and students were increasingly stressed by the city’s soaring rents and home prices. The plan addresses this challenge by providing 650 new faculty/staff apartments and 900 units of graduate student housing, gathered about a central green and a series of courtyards. New construction will also add a new student center, a center for worship, theology and the arts, and a library. To establish a strong street presence, the plan transforms Oakland Avenue, a busy road which bisects the campus. A large, landscaped midblock crossing acts as pedestrian refuge, traffic calming measure, and site for public art, creating a sense of arrival at a significant place.
To fit the new housing on this compact campus, at densities ranging from 50 to over 100 units per acre, the plan provides a comprehensive parking and transportation demand management strategy designed to minimize both traffic and costly underground parking. The strategy lets Fuller choose the optimal mix of investment in new parking supply and transportation demand management measures. The latter includes free transit passes, unbundling parking costs from rents, and Pasadena’s first carshare pod.
For the project’s traffic analysis, our team surveyed commute habits. This provided convincing evidence that converting commuter faculty and students into campus residents would result in little new traffic. The approach eased the plan’s approval, alleviating community concerns that campus growth might worsen traffic congestion. The plan’s first phase, adding 179 homes, is complete.
Images courtesy of Moule and Polyzoides