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Stanford’s Neuman appointed University Architect

David J. Neuman By Carol Wood

David J. Neuman, who on Nov. 11 was named Architect for the University of Virginia, has some experience following in the footsteps of revered founding architects. As University Architect and Associate Vice Provost for Planning at Stanford University, he had to balance modern needs with the original vision of Frederick Law Olmsted, who created Stanford’s original master plan in 1886.

“I am appreciative of the opportunity to oversee both the preservation and future development of Thomas Jefferson’s Grounds,” Neuman said. “I am keenly aware of the responsibility I have accepted and am prepared to continue in the tradition of the Jeffersonian legacy.”

In announcing Neuman’s hiring, University President John T. Casteen III said, “David Neuman comes to Charlottesville with an impressive background and range of experience in preservation and campus planning that align well with the needs of the University. His prior work at Stanford and the University of California shows that he has both the vision and the ability to inspire great architecture in an academic setting. We welcome him to our historic Grounds and the challenges ahead.”

For the past 14 years, Neuman has guided the evolution of Stanford’s campus in what an American Institute of Architects’ award citation called an inspired integration of the original founders’ and architects’ vision with a new and thoughtful master plan.

He succeeds Samuel A. “Pete” Anderson, who laid the groundwork for U.Va.’s current master plan before his retirement in May.

Neuman previously spent 12 years leading the design and planning at the University of California-Irvine as campus architect and associate vice chancellor.

As Architect for the University, Neuman will be entrusted with oversight of the 180-year-old Academical Village, designated by the American Institute of Architects as the most significant architectural achievement in America. Neuman will be called on to expand on the principles that define that historic core, and to be actively engaged in the design and construction of the ideal academic community for the University’s next generations.

The University Architect advises the Board of Visitors on facilities planning, architectural and landscape design projects, and development of the University’s design guidelines. Neuman will report to Casteen through Leonard W. Sandridge, executive vice president and chief operating officer. Neuman also will be responsible to the Board of Visitors’ Buildings and Grounds Committee, under whose direction he will guide design decisions.

During his first year at the University, Neuman will be asked to focus on a number of key priorities. They include: creating a strong team in the Office of the Architect; establishing effective working relationships across Grounds with key administrators, Casteen and the Board of Visitors; assessing the current master plan; assuming responsibility for existing and new capital projects; and developing and communicating an architectural vision for the University.

“It is our hope that under David’s guidance, we will have a clear vision of the University’s physical design needs for the next 50 years,” Sandridge said. “We expect him to evaluate the preservation and use of our historic resources, the design of our new buildings, the care and improvement of the Grounds, the protection of green spaces, and the reservation of land.”

At Stanford, Neuman said he relied heavily on Olmsted’s original plans in envisioning campus renewal, which included restorations that garnered a 10-year National Trust for Historic Preservation Award, as well as new buildings with architects such as Norman Foster, Robert Stern, Antoine Predock and Ricardo Legorretta. At UC-Irvine, he made his mark by collaborating with architects such as Frank Gehry, Robert Venturi, Charles Moore and James Stirling to create individual building masterpieces.

Neuman, a prolific journal contributor, has authored three books, most recently “Building Type Basics for College and University Facilities” (2003, John Wiley & Sons). He has been a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects since 1989, and is a member of numerous professional organizations.

He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, a bachelor of architecture from the University of Michigan, a master of arts in American studies from Bowling Green State University and is a Ph.D. candidate in urban planning at the University of California-Los Angeles.

Neuman will begin work at the University later this month. His wife, Anne Casey, will join the University’s Development Office in March as assistant director of corporate and foundation relations.



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