I came across a number of blogs this week by M Arch students at North Dakota State, chronicling the progress and process of their studio projects over the past semester. The course is Arch 771: Advanced Architecture Designs taken by fifth year students in the five year Masters degree program offered at NDSU. The project appears to be an infill master plan for the university’s emerging downtown campus. Renaissance Hall, which was NDSU’s first downtown facility opened in fall 2004, in the renovated 100-year old Northern School Supply Building, housing architecture, landscape architecture, and art programs. I attended NDSU my freshman year and took pre-architecture and drawing courses in this building.

In 2008, two more buildings about three blocks north of Renaissance Hall were renovated and expanded to house the College of Business and the remaining architecture studios. Recently a five-story retail and student apartment complex called Cityscape Plaza was completed to accommodate the growth of students downtown. As more university growth takes place downtown it is important to create a cohesive campus downtown. These student proposals begin to look at what could become of this downtown endeavor and ways to link it to the main campus about 12 blocks to the north through visual and physical connectivity.

It’s interesting to see a range of graphical representation of site analysis and proposed modifications. Sketchup was used heavily, but done quite well. Admittedly the blog format as utilized is a bit difficult to navigate at first because most don’t provide an overall summary about the project. I imagine, since multiple teams have blogs, it was either a requirement or recommendation to document their process. It is especially intriguing for me to go through their process since, from my understanding, I would have been in that same course this semester had I not transferred to Iowa State after my freshman year. Additionally it is always fun to see the kind of work being done at other architecture schools. Check out the project blogs below:

> Pushing Fargo Forward
> Epidemic Design
> Interesting Fargo
> Town and Gown
> SeekSolveShow