New Book About Quinnipiac’s Architecture

Published on May 24th, 2018

An in-depth, personal account of one architect’s unprecedented collaboration with a university through exponential growth has come to light with the release of The Architectural Story of Quinnipiac University: Four Decades, Three Campuses, Two Presidents, One Architect.

Authored by Jefferson B. Riley, FAIA, a founding partner of Centerbrook Architects & Planners, the book recounts 40 years design for Quinnipiac. The legacy began with a campus concept plan in 1978 that guided the design of the original Mount Carmel Campus for the private, coeducational university in Hamden, Connecticut. It continued with the development of two new campuses: the York Hill Campus, also in Hamden, and the North Haven Campus.

The cumulative body of work by Riley and Centerbrook at Quinnipiac now stands at nearly 100 new buildings, additions and renovations.

John Lahey, Quinnipiac’s president for the past 31 years, wrote in the book’s introduction, “This book documents a remarkable story in both higher education and architecture: virtually an entire university was envisioned, designed, built and put into use at the hands of a small team of people, which included a single architect, Jeff Riley.”

Riley reflected in the book’s prologue, “At the beginning, I had no idea it would be so grand an undertaking, nor did I in the middle of it all. It is only now that I can look back on the past 40 years and see how much Quinnipiac has defined me and the firm, and we it.”

The period of remarkable growth saw the fledgling, cash-strapped college develop into a nationally ranked university. The enrollment increased from less than 2,000 to now more than 10,000 students.

At the outset, Riley established overarching design principles that are explained with captivating diagrams and illustrations throughout the book. Much of today’s widespread love of the campus is due to steadfast adherence to these principles through decades of building.

In addition to insightful narratives, confessions and revelations, The Architectural Story of Quinnipiac University relives four decades of campus design through sketches, renderings, floor plans, professional photography and acknowledgements of the many individuals that contributed along the way.

A bonus for readers is the inclusion of designs that, for various reasons, were never built. Additional preliminary designs give a glimpse, however speculative, into future growth of the university. The book concludes with an essay by Riley’s partner at Centerbrook, Chad Floyd, FAIA, titled Evolution of the American College Campus and Lessons Learned.

The Architectural Story of Quinnipiac University is now in stock at Amazon and Images Publishing, and can be found at Quinnipiac’s two campus bookstores. It follows Centerbrook’s fourth book, titled Centerbrook 4, which was released last fall and can be purchased at Amazon and Images. Both titles also appear in select bookstores.