Creating individual identities for each college was the combined ambition of the campus architects, leaders, and faculty. Each college was designed and built with a specific vision, but only the students could define the unique spirit that brings life to each residential community.

Porter College: Architect's Vision

Architect's Vision for College Five (Porter College)

"[College Five, now Porter College] is conceived as a compact quadrangle recalling aspects of Christ’s Church College, Oxford and a small town in the Alps-Maritime.... The desire for compactness—without resorting to elevator high-rise buildings—stems from the University’s prescription to leave areas between colleges as undisturbed landscape.... [The residential units] form the walls that enclose the ‘town square’ and separate it from the natural landscape.... To carry the town analogy further, beyond the residential court is the public square, seat of government and public assembly."

- from Satellite College for a New University (1968)

Color drawing of imagined Kresge College street scene, 1970

Color drawing of imagined Kresge College street scene, 1970

"The scale [of Kresge College] is intimate; the effect is of a Mediterranean village set incongruously in the midst of a redwood forest.... The symbolism of the village is everywhere.... [The architects’] stagecraft is quite serious. Americans have traditionally gone to faraway places to have their sensory awareness expanded by settings so untypical of the U.S.A. that they take on the quality of stage sets... [The architects] have used a timeless symbolism to make a new, real place for a succession of impermanent inhabitants. If college life is a metaphor for life in the world outside, why shouldn’t architecture heighten the experience?” 

- from “How to Make a Place: Kresge College, University of California at Santa Cruz,” Progressive Architecture (May 1974)

Kresge Early Site Plan

Kresge College Early Site Plan

"In 1976 [Glenn Robert] Lym interviewed a dozen Kresge students... “For them [Lym argues], Kresge realized the spatial order of a forested retreat. They considered Kresge to be embedded in the whole Santa Cruz campus and its forest, which in turn was separated and protected from the problems and realities of the metropolis and nation outside.... They wanted to erase all traces of the street’s public, civic nature.” 

- John Pastier, “U.C. Santa Cruz: Kresge College,” AIA Journal (August 1979)

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