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Rectangular open space completely or partially enclosed by buildings of an academic or civic character. The grounds of a quadrangle are often grassy or landscaped. Such an area, intended as an environment for contemplation, study, or relaxation, was a feature of monastic establishments and the colleges that evolved from them. The quadrangular layout at New College in Oxford University (completed 1386), with its partially connected buildings, was enormously influential in subsequent collegiate building.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on quadrangle, visit Britannica.com.