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Princeton University Scudder Plaza

Princeton, New Jersey

Client: Princeton University
Architect: Minoru Yamasaki (Woodrow Wilson Bulding)
Landscape Architect: Quennell Rothschild Associates
Completion: 2000

Robertson Hall, home of the Woodrow Wilson School, and the plaza in front of it form a self-contained unit on the edge of central campus. The formal and spacious court, named Scudder Plaza, reinforces the symmetry and classical proportions of the architecture. The row of saucer magnolias, which are surrounded by a bed of English spreading yew, echoes the rhythm of the soaring quartz-covered pillars on the northwest façade of the building. In winter their delicate branches, with buds borne like candles on the tips, are a foil to the elegant, slender pillars. In spring, the trees provide a spectacular show of pink blossoms under which students study and socialize. The reflecting pool, with its bronze sculpture “Fountain of Freedom” by James Fitzgerald, provides a popular respite from the heat of midsummer for students and visitors alike.