Z dziejów budowy toruńskiego kampusu uniwersyteckiego 1967–1973
From the history of the construction of Toruń’s university campus 1967–1973
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The university district in Toruń belongs to one of the first Polish complex examples of a university campus – a popular phenomenon in the post-war period. The idea to build an academic ‘town’ or ‘district’ appeared at the very beginning of the university’s existence. Binding decisions in the matter were not made until 1963, in connection with the world celebration of the 500th anniversary of the patron’s birth, planned for 1973. The investment was located in Bielany, the town’s peripheral district situated in the north-west part of Toruń. The Department of Architecture of the Warsaw University of Technology was to prepare the urban and architectural plan, whereas Docent Ryszard Karłowicz became the main designer. The spatial form of the campus is original and it does not follow any direct models. It is a concept bearing the optimal functional features, following the characteristic world tendencies in western architectural practice in the first post-war decades. The design of a homogeneously shaped system with a visible functional division was based on grouping scientific-didactic buildings and residential-social buildings along two perpendiculars to the axis. Both axes were connected by the buildings of the library, the Main University Office Building (Rektorat) and the university aula – the centre of the university in the scientific, administrative and cultural sense. On account of the magnitude of the venture, the investment process was divided into three stages: 1967–70, 1971–75, and 1976–80. The work was planned so as to create the whole complex until 1973. Undoubtedly, it was feared that after the end of the Copernicus celebration there might be insuficient funds for subsequent stages. That is why it was important to construct a general university complex, some didactic buildings, and necessary social buildings in the first stage of the construction. The works lasted over 5 years. The ceremonial opening of the campus took place on 2 October 1973. The schedule of the construction process was based on the so-called association network PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique). This special method of planning, earlier used in Poland only in theoretical designs of residential districts, was designed in the USA for space projects. Later the association network PERT was used in civilian projects, for example to carry out major construction investments. Thanks to the method, despite delays typical of the socialist economy, all buildings planned in the first stage of the construction of the campus were completed.
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