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Old 02-18-2013, 04:06 AM
 
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And just look at the buildings. Virtually every established university (this is especialky true at state universities but private ines were not immune) I've seen has followed a similar pattern of development and architecture.

Older beautiful pre-war buildings typically smaller and usually in the heart of campus, typically built close to each other with ornamentation in various architectural styles ranging from gothic to Romanesque to baroques to Neo-classical - almost always these are the most beloved parts of campus where students hang out between classes.

Post war modernism: unadorned structures, boxy, set apart from each other often behind vast expanses of green or giant austere plazas or parking, sometimes glass and steel boxes, but often brutally cold concrete fortresses. Often huge and imposing, cold and utterly devoid of anything inspiring, towers in the park, and brutalism - no one hangs out at the worst of them.

A gradual return to human scaled buildings and ornamentation beginning with post modern experiments in the latter part of the 20th century but accelerating with a return to creating buildings that relate to each other and the street ans campus that create a sense of place that people enjoy being in.

It's always amazing to me to see how we lost our collective minds for nearly 4-5 decades, threw out centuries of knowledge about cities, art and architecture and handed over our civic institutions to monstrously bad architects and planners. Did anyone, the students, the faculty, the administrators, the boosters and alumni, the regents...anyone actually enjoy these buildings thes Campus zones utterly devoid of any interest whatsoever?
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Richmond/Philadelphia/Brooklyn
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If you drive outward on some of the streets here in Richmond, you can see that same trend going on.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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The university I go to was built after WWII, founded in 1957 and starting with a couple portables though followed soon after by some permanent buildings with a big building boom in the 60s. The only pre-WWII building is a farmhouse used as a hang out spot for grad students.

The campus has one truly brutalist building, the Math and Computer building.

http://farm1.staticflickr.com/144/37...33159463_z.jpg

I've heard people call it the Math Dungeon. Not sure how many people feel about it that way, but I wouldn't be surprised if many do, it has a ton of class rooms, and none of them have windows since the rooms with the windows are all faculty offices. Even the server room got priority over classrooms for windows.

There's another building some nick-name the submarine, it's basically like a bomb shelter... I can't remember it having any windows, although it has a skylight that brings a bit of natural light into the little atrium on the main floor and to the basement floor. Technically it's not totally a basement, since the building is on a slope, half of that level is at ground level and the other half is underground. However, there's a floor below that, so if you enter at the main entrance, you have to go down 2 levels underground on a big metal staircase down a concrete stairwell to get to some of the classes. A lot of lecture halls (not so much class rooms) also lack windows even when they are along exterior walls, I'm not sure how common that is elsewhere.

The arts library is generally well liked, although it sits on a big podium with a moat around it which I don't really like. Other buildings have moats too, although at least that means the basement rooms have windows. Otherwise the building looks alright and the study areas almost all have windows. This is one of the main greens with the library in the back.


The one thing my university has going for it is that the campus is pretty much all pedestrian only, in the middle of a ring road, and parking lots are also just at the edge. Most of the popular places to hang out outside are on the inside of the pedestrian area, so places where there are buildings between the outside area and the road. The hang out places are also often near areas of high foot traffic and either centrally located or near important indoor hang out areas like major student lounges, libraries and caferias.

Some of the modernist buildings aren't as bad. There's a few buildings similar to this one.


This is where the engineers hang out. That's basically the gateway (literally too) to one of the main student residence areas, which is also the most popular residence for engineers, and a couple strip malls with lots of restaurants and fast food places. It's also next to the engineering lounge and engineering coffee and donut shop, and surrounded by engineering buildings.


This plaza is a popular hang out place for Arts students - and skaters, it's between the Arts Library, and a couple other arts buildings


This is another popular plaza, outside the student life centre which has a major cafeteria. The cafeteria is still not that big though, none of them are, so especially in warmer weather, it over flows into this plaza. The building also has a pub, exhibition area and several services.


Big green next to the residences, so obviously gets used in warm weather.


Small green next to a cafeteria, math/sci/eng library and math and chemistry buildings.
https://ssl.panoramio.com/photo/44750753

Geological rock garden that's framed by buildings on 4 sides and gets a lot of foot traffic through and around it. There's benches and a fountain too. It's been a bit of a mess up until now due to construction on the building next to it, but once winter is over, I think it will be pretty well used. Even with the noise from construction it was getting used. It's next to nano-engineering, science and math buildings.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Likewise, went to UC Davis. Since it wasn't built in the 20th century, it doesn't look anything like what campuses built in the 20th century look like. There's actually more cohesiveness to the architecture. Chem Annex, Physics, Phy Sci & Engineering library all have a similar look, Bainer (Engineering 1) somewhat blends, Engineering II and III and Surge, the new life science buildings, the buildings around Silo reflect its style.
Memorial Union facing the Quad, basically where liberal art majors and lower-division undergraduates hang out:
Panoramio - Photo of Memorial Union, UC Davis #1

Wellman Hall, Calculus, to English, to History, to Engineering... I doubt anyone (undergrad) hasn't taken a class in Wellman. Along with its central location just off the quad, this makes it the best known instructional building.


Death Star: aka Soc Sci & Humanities -- mostly offices,



Silo: Functions as the Memorial Union for upper-division life science majors.


Academic Surge: The hangout for upper-division Engineer majors:

Shields Library:


Chemistry Annex:

Science & Engineering library
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:29 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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I like the architecture of UC Davis, including the Death Star.

I met someone from Germany who thought the neo-Gothic of some older American campuses felt artificial and forced (she spent some time in Princeton). Living in Princeton, she also thought American trains were quite good.
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
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I spent most of my university career in a single building, a very attractive Georgian structure dating back to about 1910 constructed out of local stone. The other "building" at the time, built in about 1970, is much simpler, while the extension to it, completed shortly after I graduated in 2010, is of a post-modern look.

I did a "research summer" at the University of South Florida, which is one of the largest campuses (in terms of student population, and also probably in terms of built-up area) in the country. Construction mostly occurred in the 1950's and 1960's and the architecture is generally brutalist garbage. However, the natural features and walkways somewhat make up for that.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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My alma mater, the University of Dayton, just spent I don't know how many grand that could have been used for scholarships or modernizing the interiors of older buildings on installing a brick facade on its c. 1970 library. It was built among older structures at the "front door" of the campus, not off on its own. Apparently the brain trust at the university was offended by a soaring stone and concrete landmark in the midst of 100-year-old brick buildings; hence, we now have a bland brick building that is indistinguishable from any other brick building on campus.

To me, a crime was committed here. There is nothing wrong with a 1970s building looking like a 1970s building.

Before:



During:



Architect's drawing of after:

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Old 02-24-2013, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
My alma mater, the University of Dayton, just spent I don't know how many grand that could have been used for scholarships or modernizing the interiors of older buildings on installing a brick facade on its c. 1970 library. It was built among older structures at the "front door" of the campus, not off on its own. Apparently the brain trust at the university was offended by a soaring stone and concrete landmark in the midst of 100-year-old brick buildings; hence, we now have a bland brick building that is indistinguishable from any other brick building on campus.

To me, a crime was committed here. There is nothing wrong with a 1970s building looking like a 1970s building.

Before:



During:



Architect's drawing of after:
Based on your pics, I prefer the after, although I agree that the money was probably best spent elsewhere.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:01 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mancat100 View Post
Based on your pics, I prefer the after, although I agree that the money was probably best spent elsewhere.
I don't see that the building has been enlarged. It's impossible to tell from looking at it if it was made more "user-friendly", but I'd bet an hour's wage it wasn't. I don't see a thing wrong with the original building, and agree that the money could def. have been better used.

A friend used to say the University of Illinois was "Early Land-Grant" style architecture.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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On the outside all that was done to the library was to plaster bricks over the original facade. The interior was remodeled as well, which no doubt needed to be done (just guessing; I was one of those students who entered the library only when absolutely necessary ).

If the library, as it now appears, had been built in 2012, I would see it as an unobjectionable, but rather bland, building. But the library was not built in 2012; it was built in 1970.

In other threads we talk about historic preservation; is 1970 not part of our history as well?
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