Jefferson University Of Virginia Plan Essay

Decent Essays
Jefferson’s University of Virginia plan begins in the northeast with the focus of the university: the library. This was a building made to store books, host meetings, and hold classes. Extending southwest of that is a Lawn flanked on either side by pavilions and dormitories. The pavilions (five on either side of the lawn) were meant to be classrooms as well as faculty housing. The dormitories were built to house the students of the university and had bathrooms and showers dispersed throughout, though not in individual rooms. The dormitories and pavilions are separated from the lawn by a colonnade. Beyond the pavilions and dormitories, extending axially outward, are gardens with serpentine brick walls. These walls served as terraces and allowed…show more content…
Jefferson references the great architectural buildings of the past such as the pantheon to show his connection to the great teachers of history. However, despite the similarities, Jefferson makes some bold statements with what he does not include. His library is based on the pantheon, yet does not reference religion. In fact, there is no place in his plan for the university that focused on religion. This reflects Jefferson’s mentality that learning should be a secular entity, and thus his university has no religious affiliation, the first such public institution in the nation. Another interesting idea is that of the integrated faculty housing. In this manner, by having faculty housing, Jefferson showed how he viewed learning as a lifelong endeavor, that both faculty and students were in pursuit of. Each of the pavilions was also based on a different classical roman temple, to express the many varied disciplines taught at the university. The facades of each pavilion were intended to serve as architectural models to expand learning. On a more concrete level, the design of the university also reflects the social climate of the time, one which Jefferson adhered to. The university was originally a males-only institution, as can be seen by how the dormitories are un-segregated with bathrooms that allowed students to be seen in various stages of undress. In a co-ed university, this would not have been
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