A Master Plan for the Same Polytechnic College

Building a college is no small task. It takes a significant amount of time, expertise and money to establish and grow any school but this challenge is especially great in the case of the Same Polytechnic College. The remote location of the project in a developing country means that informed planning, management and decision-making are all the more critical. Recognizing this, our first step was to develop a comprehensive master plan for the Same Polytechnic College that communicates the purpose and goals of the project, sets forth guidelines for the orderly and efficient growth of the campus, and supports future decision-making by identifying the physical resources that will be needed to build and operate the college.

This master planning process began when the government of Tanzania agreed to donate a parcel of land in the District of Same to our organization for the purpose of establishing a college. Several different parcels were available and the process of making a final selection and receiving a title deed to the property would take several years due to many related issues associated with property laws and development in Tanzania. Since all the available sites were fairly similar and located in the same general area, we were able to start developing goals and guidelines for the design and construction of the campus, rather than wait for this selection process to run its course.

To support this effort, we engaged the expertise and experience of three key partners: the Los Angeles office of international design firm Arup, the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Ca, and Killefer and Flammang Architects in Santa Monica, Ca. Bringing together such a diverse, multidisciplinary team of professionals, academics and students enabled us to simultaneously address not only the physical parameters but also the broad range of issues key to successful design including transport, utilities, economics, implementation, risk, sustainability, social objectives, and political influences. This approach allowed our goals and the environmental conditions of the District of Same to be prioritized in order to create a tailor-made master plan that integrates the technologies and spatial solutions most appropriate for the project and its location.

We have just finished the final draft of the resulting document from this process and have posted it below in this blog post and to our website for you to view in full. This presents the rationale for the development of this project, lays out goals for the campus site and anticipated programs, and provides projected facility needs, planning principles, and design goals for the buildings and supporting infrastructure needed for the projected enrollment of 1,200 students. And now that a permanent site for the campus has been selected, this document is being used to guide the final design and layout of the campus.