Off the Shelf: Karen Van Lengen

November 03, 2009

November 3, 2009 — Karen Van Lengen, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Architecture and former Architecture School dean, "Urgent Matters: Designing the School of Architecture at Jefferson's University." University of Virginia Press.

The dilemma of building contemporary architecture in the context of one of America's World Heritage landmarks, Thomas Jefferson's "Academical Village" at the University of Virginia, is the central theme of this book. Van Lengen writes about her vision of building the School of Architecture as a highly orchestrated collaborative design strategy to exemplify the potential of architecture, landscape architecture, preservation and planning in the public realm.

Using Campbell Hall as a working laboratory, Van Lengen demonstrates how various spatial, material and iconographic designs can influence and support the mission of an institution in a period in which branding and image making is the norm. The book includes both written and visual descriptions by the designers of more than 10 built projects of the past decade (1999-2009) designed by faculty, students and alumni.