SELECTED STORIES
Back issues by year published
2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996
 
| |
Year 1997>>
|  Summer 1997 | |
Brenda's Journey
Utopia

University Communications

External Affairs
ucla home


Summer 1997
Utopia
page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

UCLA's profound "spirit of place" -- a quality missing in so much of contemporary life -- grows out of thoughtful planning and careful development

By Michael Webb
Gary Panter, illustrator

There is a community of 60,000 in Southern California where crime and racial intolerance are rare, and everyone is fully employed. It governs itself, generates most of its own power, and has tamed the automobile. Trees, lawns and shady paths cover as much ground as the buildings, and a wealth of intellectual and physical stimulation are within a short stroll of each other. This utopia is, of course, the UCLA campus -- the Jeffersonian vision of an ideal garden city, made real.

There is a community of 60,000 in Southern California where crime and racial intolerance are rare, and everyone is fully employed. It governs itself, generates most of its own power, and has tamed the automobile. Trees, lawns and shady paths cover as much ground as the buildings, and a wealth of intellectual and physical stimulation are within a short stroll of each other. This utopia is, of course, the UCLA campus -- the Jeffersonian vision of an ideal garden city, made real.

Oakley and his staff are committed to strengthening UCLA's spirit of place, by ensuring that all new buildings and additions relate to each other, in scale and materials, and are treated as part of a larger whole, rather than as stand-alone monuments. UCLA's "Bureau of Beauty," as Oakley and company like to think of themselves, has a concern for harmony that extends even to campus bus shelters and parking kiosks, which are designed in-house. The group studies, but does not directly confront, awesome financial burdens and political entanglements of municipalities; it can devote its resources instead to reflecting on and refining the relationship between campus population, campus buildings and campus landscape.

<next>

2005 The Regents of the University of California