The Auburn Research and Technology Foundation asked DumontJanks to help develop a research park master plan to accommodate future growth. The research parcel was one of three evolving land uses on the south end of the main campus along South Donahue Drive: the research “park” proper, arts uses including performance and museum facilities, and a developing health sciences cluster. HR&A, the university’s real estate consultants, explored market demand for a 10-year growth horizon and examined what type of research growth might be attracted, given current and projected university research strengths.
Together, we suggested the university create a singular district idea; one combining research, arts, and health science academic and clinical facilities, with a strong complement of residential portfolio and concentrated support retail/restaurant/café uses to create a more integrated 24/7 south campus district, much like the original north campus and the historic town center. To unify this concept, we envisioned a connected open space and circulation idea that takes advantage of the local forest, stream assets, an expanded street network, and the handsome rolling hills of this area.
The research portfolio of the district would diversify beyond the current pattern of speculative office space, to include small start-up lab and innovation space, shared work spaces, small corporate enclaves for successful start-ups, and larger individual research/corporate headquarter “campuses” that desire proximity while retaining their own corporate identity.