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In architecture, a quadrangle (or colloquially, a quad) is a space or a courtyard, usually rectangular (square or oblong) in plan, the sides of which are entirely or mainly occupied by parts of a large building (or several smaller buildings). The word is probably most closely associated with college or university campus architecture, but quadrangles are also found in other buildings such as palaces. Most quadrangles are open-air, though a few have been roofed over (often with glass), 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.
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 at 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. Although architectonically analogous, for historical reasons quads in the colleges of the University of Cambridge are always referred to as courts (such as the Trinity Great Court).
In North America, Thomas Jefferson's design for the University of Virginia centered the housing and academic buildings in a Palladian form around three sides of 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. 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").
- William J. Stratton, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
- Main Quad, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Woodburn Circle, West Virginia University
- Blue Boar Quadrangle
- Francis Quadrangle, University of Missouri
- Memorial Quadrangle
- The Aula Maxima at NUI Galway is informally known by this title
- Mob Quad in Merton College, Oxford is one of the oldest quads in existence.
- Peckwater Quadrangle
- The Quad, Harvard University
- Harvard Yard, Harvard University
- The Dartmouth Green
- King's College Quad, University of Aberdeen
- Main Quadrangles (among many other quads), University of Chicago
- The Quadrangle, Springfield, Massachusetts
- Radcliffe Quadrangle, University College, Oxford
- Schenley Quadrangle, University of Pittsburgh
- Bascom Hill, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Tom Quad, Christ Church, Oxford University
- Padmanabhapuram Palace
- University of Alabama Quad
- The Quad, University College London
- Founder's Building, Royal Holloway College, London
- The Diag, University of Michigan
- Buckingham Palace, London, England
- St. Thomas Residential School, Thiruvananthapuram, India
- Sunken Garden, College of William & Mary
- The Lawn, University of Virginia
- McKeldin Mall, University of Maryland
- Old College, University of Edinburgh
- Dahlgren Quadrangle, Georgetown University
- Academic Quadrangle, Simon Fraser University
- Old Campus, Yale University
- Branford College Courtyard, Yale University
- Main Quad, Stanford University
- Liberal Arts Quadrangle, University of Washington
- God Quad, University of Notre Dame
- Quad 2, Dickinson College
- Haveli, a form of classical architecture from South Asia & Persia, which incorporates a quad for cooling ventilation in the hot climate, and the private enjoyment of the open sky by residents, in a very modest culture