Introduction and Overview

Throughout the planning process, ideas were generated and refined with the help of the Campus Planning Committee of Case’s Board of Trustees along with many groups representing the diverse internal and external constituencies of the University community. Thematic groups convened to discuss issues such as residence life, dining, recreation and security, while special vision-focused sessions were conducted on the undergraduate experience, the graduate, professional, and research experience, and the academic medical center. The input of these groups and other individuals in the Campus Planning and Operations Department were invaluable to the development of the Plan. Together, these groups translated the University’s Vision Plan, as seen on the previous page, into the physical manifestation of the Campus Master Plan.

A Vision for the Campus

Case Western Reserve UniversityPaul Klee’s Coming to Bloom, to the right, is a metaphor for the central idea of Case’s Master Plan. The painting, like the network of campus spaces proposed by this plan, has an overall cohesiveness, yet it includes areas that are markedly different. The structure of the painting is analogous to the structuring elements of the campus, such as sightlines, ease of connection, and human comfort. In the painting, the contrasting areas work with one another within this overall structure. Likewise, the differences among the eclectic set of buildings and spaces at Case, which are the physical representation of our history as an institution and as a community, modulate the feeling of the campus and add richness to its composition. Far from detracting from the overall structure, these elements can be made indispensable by the joyful contrast they provide.

The Master Plan advocates developing a vocabulary of architectural and spatial typologies as building blocks in the new, improved campus composition. Many types of landscapes, spaces and buildings exist on the campus already, though primarily in nascent form. The overall composition lacks clarity and order. This Master Plan outlines a vision for revitalizing existing elements of the Case campus; adding new parts to the overall mix; and, most importantly, unifying the campus into a composed, more vibrant, continuous whole.


Case Western Reserve UniversityThe 2005 Master Plan was developed to establish a framework for both improvements and growth. The plan makes recommendations for future improvements and expansion of some programs and services, development of new facilities to better support evolving academic and research programs, improving the living experience for the Case community, and supporting the growing number of partnerships and collaborations with surrounding institutions. In addition, strategic expansion and renovation to improve the quality of existing space is a focus of proposed changes.

This plan represents a collaborative effort between several firms and disciplines and incorporates the input of many groups within Case and the larger University Circle and Greater Cleveland communities. The plan summarizes a unique moment in Case’s history, when the University chose to study four different aspects of master planning simultaneously. Over a four-year period, Case commissioned an Architectural Master Plan by Ayers/Saint/Gross, a Site and Landscape Master Plan by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, a Utilities and Infrastructure Master Plan by Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann, and a Space Utilization Master Plan by Paulien and Associates. This document distills and integrates these more detailed plans and shows options for how the projects recommended by each might be coordinated and phased. Each of the four topical master plans also exists as a standalone document to be consulted for in-depth information on planning decisions specifically related to architecture, landscape, infrastructure, and/or space utilization. This plan will be complemented by a University Circle-wide parking and traffic study that is currently underway, as well as the Euclid Avenue Corridor project that will be completed by 2010.

The goal of this Master Plan is to generate a vision for Case as a unified, connected campus with a clear identity and an outward focus. The Master Plan embraces the varied nature of the Case campus as a mixture of historical and contemporary buildings and spaces. The plan seeks not to resolve these complexities and contradictions with a wash of sameness, but rather embraces the opposite approach. It takes as a given the form of the campus today, and instead of relying on an unrealistic strategy of removing all contrasting pieces, it draws disparate parts into a rich and unique composition that unifies and spatially interconnects the elements as a dynamic mosaic, representative of the Case Community.


Case Western Reserve UniversityEach of the four topical Master Plans began as a series of site investigations analyzing the existing conditions of the campus. This document draws together the findings of each plan, with a focus on the physical fabric of circulation, open space, and materials. The master planning teams also learned about the life and character of the campus through meetings with Case staff, students, faculty, and administrators. These site visits, analysis exercises, and conversations informed the development of a set of four principles to guide all further planning decisions about the campus. The evolving future of Case is laid out herein as a series of planning projects that will begin to shape the physical campus; the realization of these projects over time will ultimately help us achieve our goals. Small-scale, incremental design decisions can, over time, have as much of an impact on the physical campus as large-scale, deliberate planning projects. As such, it is important to understand that this document is an overview of four much more richly detailed plans, which are intended to guide the design and implementation of projects as well as the day-to-day maintenance work of the facilities staff.


The format of this book closely follows the process by which the Master Plan developed, beginning with the Analysis of Existing Conditions that leads to the development of planning principles. The Master Plan Projects section provides an overview of how the Master Plan can be carried out through a prioritized sequence of campus-wide and site-specific projects, organized by precinct. The status of each project is identified on a diagrammatic timeline for each precinct to differentiate long-term visionary projects from near-term projects, some of which are currently in planning or under construction. The planning and implementation process is summarized graphically in Planning and Implementation Overview.

The findings of the Architectural Master Plan and the Site and Landscape Master Plan are well-suited to graphic representation and appear in the Master Plan Projects section. The findings of the Space Master Plan are inherent in the logic that guided all other planning decisions. Similarly, the Utilities Master Plan recommends projects that are integral to all other projects in the Master Plan. The concepts and projects identified in the following pages have evolved as a result of collaboration among many individuals and disciplines to establish this long-range vision and action plan for the Case campus community.