Samuel F.B. Morse and Ezra Stiles Colleges New Haven

Eero Saarinen and Associates


  • Dick van Gameren TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment


When Yale University in New Haven decided to increase the number of student rooms in the late 1950s, a discussion ensued about whether this should be realized in the form of ‘colleges’, residential communities with shared facilities, or ‘dormitories’, hostel buildings without facilities. Because Yale was primarily seen as a college university, similar to Oxford and Cambridge, and not as a campus university, the decision was taken to build two colleges. The colleges ware named after two illustrious Yale alumni. The design commission was awarded to Eero Saarinen, who had already made several plans for university and commercial campuses, all of them with a strict, modernist orthogonal arrangement.

The assignment to realize colleges was the pretext for Saarinen to create a plan that took as its starting point maximum expression of the residents’ individuality within a collective, small-scale entity. He translated this into building forms where repetition and regularity seemed to have disappeared completely.

Author Biography

Dick van Gameren, TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment

Dick van Gameren is dean and full professor at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of Delft University of Technology, and partner at Mecanoo architecten in Delft, the Netherlands. Combining his work as an architect with a professorship, Van Gameren maintains a critical approach to design by lecturing, researching and publishing. In 2007, Van Gameren won the prestigious Aga Kahn Award for the design of the Dutch Embassy in Ethiopia. In 2008, Van Gameren founded the book series DASH (Delft Architectural Studies on Housing) and is since then editor in chief. At TU Delft. He leads the Global Housing Study Centre and is also board member of the Archiprix foundation, of the Jaap Bakema Study Centre in Rotterdam and of the Amsterdam based AMS Institute. He is also a member of the TU Delft Global Initiative Steering Committee.






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