Engineering Quadrangle

Architects: Voorhees, Walker, Smith, Smith & Haines of NY

Date of Construction: 1960-1962

Materials: granite, limestone, red brick

Floors: 3-4

Use: classrooms, library, offices, laboratories

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Part of the same $53 million campaign to modernize Princeton campus, the Engineering Quadrangle was constructed to bring all of the engineering diciplines into one building and cost about $8 million.(1) The Quadrangle, designed by the New York firm Voorhees, Walker, Smith, Smith & Haines, is composed of six connected halls that form the letter “P” and surround a central courtyard. The facility is generously equipped with 120 laboratories, 25 classrooms and a research library among other amenities.(2)

The main entrance along Olden Avenue consists of a huge polish marble wall that sits on an elevated plaza. The marble is broken up by the entranceway into three bays of double height windows divided by metal columns that support a metal overhang, marking one of the most Modern elements of the complex. The double height atrium is also made of all marble and houses a sitting area and cafe. An angular staircase is the central feature of the lobby with its railings made of wood and glazed glass. The terrazzo floor of the atrium marks a visually interesting combination of cream, beige and black colors formed into irregular patterns that offer relief from the highly polish marble walls.

The rest of the facade is comprised of repeating bays of brick and windows that are outlined in grey paneling. Exept for the main entrance, there are very little architectural elements that add to the Modern entranceway. There is some new construction on east side of the building that uses grey glazed brick and interesting protruding architectural elements but unfortunately this is hidden as a service area. The quadrangle was also expanded outward to house facilities for both chemical and electrical engineering and now forms the letter “R” with more contemporary additions.

Additions of different laboratories were added in 1979 and 1989- 1993.  Renovations occurred from October 2001-June 2003 by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners LLP.

(1) “Engineering Quadrangle”. Princeton University, An Interactive Campus History 1746-1996. Princeton University. n.d. Web. 30 March, 2011.

(2) “Engineering Quadrangle”.


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