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University of Sydney Main Quadrangle

Quadrangle of University of Sydney

Wadham College Front Quad October 2009

Front quad, Wadham College, Oxford

Mob Quad from Chapel Tower

An aerial view of Mob Quad, Merton College, Oxford

In architecture, a quadrangle (or colloquially, a quad) is a space or courtyard, usually rectangular (square or oblong) in plan, the sides of which are entirely or mainly occupied by parts of a large building. The word is probably most closely associated with college or university campus architecture, but quadrangles may be found in other buildings such as palaces. Most quadrangles are open air, while a few have been glazed over often to provide additional space for social meeting areas or coffee shops for students.

The word quadrangle was originally synonymous with quadrilateral, but this usage is now relatively uncommon.[1]

Some modern quadrangles resemble cloister gardens of medieval monasteries, called garths, which were usually square or rectangular, enclosed by covered arcades or cloisters. However, it is clear from the oldest examples (such as Mob Quad) which are plain and unadorned with arcades, that the medieval colleges in Oxford and Cambridge were creating practical accommodation for college members. Grander quadrangles that look like cloisters came later, once the idea of a college was well established and benefactors or founders wished to create more monumental buildings.[2]

In America, Thomas Jefferson's design for the University of Virginia centered the housing and academic buildings in a Palladian form around three sides the Lawn, a huge grassy expanse. Later, some American college and university planners imitated the Jeffersonian plan, the Oxbridge idea, Beaux-Arts forms, and other models. The University of Chicago's Gothic campus is also notable for its innovative use of quadrangles.[citation needed] All five barracks at The Citadel (military college) feature quadrangles with red-and-white squares (the colors of the South Carolina battle flag), which are used for formations by the Corps of Cadets.

Quadrangles are also found in traditional Kerala houses (Naalukettu) and is known as the Nadumittam ("Middle Space").[3]

Notable quadranglesEdit

GalleryEdit

Educational establishmentsEdit

PalacesEdit

See also Edit

NotesEdit

  1. "Quadrangle, n." Oxford English Dictionary. Ed. J.A. Simpson and E.S.C. Weiner. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989. OED Online Oxford University Press. 29 June 2006. http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/50193968
  2. See the references at Mob Quad
  3. http://www.namboothiri.com/articles/illam-photos.htm
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