Significant Properties

U of U | Architect Favorites

8/16/2021 | Matt Swindel, Imbue Design

Founded in 1850 before Utah was a state...

The University of Utah campus is an amalgamation of architectural aesthetics, reflecting the times in which a building is conceived and constructed. Having spent formative years up at the U during undergrad and graduate school, the east bench location creates a unique place in the city for me.

Modern: At the physical heart of the campus, the Marriott Library represents the rigid principals of modern architecture, containing a place for research and gathering. The tradition of limiting natural light to protect books and documents was peeled away during a remodel in 2009 by local firm MJSA – massively opaque concrete walls were replaced with simple glass volumes, opening the interior to overlook our city and mountains.


Contemporary: The Utah Museum of Fine Arts [UMFA] designed by Machado Silvetti [local architect Prescott Muir] houses ancient, classical and contemporary art in galleries which vary in as diverse proportions as the showcased work. The visitor experiences vantages across gallery spaces while perusing the museum. One of our international professors dubbed the UMFA in their ‘Top 10’ buildings in the world!


Neoclassical: Regally referred as President’s Circle, this gateway to the University is indeed encircled with architecture by the locally renowned Richard Kletting. Inspired by the classical design virtues of order, rhythm and balance, the collection of neoclassical buildings around a park-like setting creates a space in the ideal of a college campus.


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