FutureVU, Vanderbilt University

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Nashville, Tennessee, USA
333 acres

The Vanderbilt campus encompasses 333 acres and is located one-and-a-half miles southwest of downtown metro Nashville. The original 11-building campus now includes 179 buildings and over nine million square feet of built space. Vanderbilt is home to more than 300 tree-and-shrub varieties and was designated as an arboretum in 1988.

The goal of the comprehensive campus land use plan named FutureVU is to ensure that the university campus is designed and prepared at every level to support its students, faculty, and staff and uphold the university’s mission and values. FutureVU articulates a comprehensive vision for the university’s footprint and provides a basis for campus stewardship that enhances the university’s mission. Community engagement has been a founding pillar to the development of FutureVU. Students, faculty, staff, and trustees were deeply engaged throughout the process.

The framework for FutureVU represents a high-level, data-driven, holistic, and sustainable vision for physical development of the Vanderbilt campus for the next 20-30 years. The vision includes long-term, campus- and neighborhood-scale transformative projects, endeavoring to establish legible connections within the campus and extending to surrounding communities.

The campus of Vanderbilt is defined by a series of distinct neighborhoods, each with its own unique character of land form, built form, landscape, pedestrian/vehicular circulation, and use. Existing campus neighborhood characteristics are defined and enhanced, and emphasis is placed on the physical, humanistic experience of the campus. Neighborhood-specific ideas are built on the foundation of the transformational notion of a campus Greenway. The Greenway—a connective network of paths and open spaces—will define primary pedestrian circulation routes, connecting neighborhoods, open campus spaces, and program along its way.

The work of the design team included a Campus Planning Guideline, which details Architectural, Sustainable, Landscape, Circulation, and Space Planning strategies for future campus planning efforts. FutureVU, as a masterplanning tool, is a living resource for campus planning that will evolve as priorities and opportunities shift and present themselves to the university.

Design Team:
Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects
Reed Hilderbrand
Rickes Associates
Atelier Ten