>In class we have been discussing the Acropolis and the Xianyang Palace. We created a list of Ten ideas to further explore them. These ten ideas are: space, power, experience, principles, precedent, site, order, scale, technology, surface. When one combines this knowledge base with the campus walk that we took similarities and evolutions become very evident. The use of circles, stacks, and groups or groves is almost always in use, regardless of the time period the building was constructed.
s p a c e . . .
The space at UNCG is used for higher education, learning, or enlightenment. When you look at the way the campus is laid out you see three main space groupings. Learning, Playing/Socializing, and Sleeping. All three areas seem to be balanced in the amount of space they take up on campus. For me this says that I should not lump all my time in one area. I need to balance what I do on campus. Time spent studying, should relate to time in class. I should also be active and treat my body like a temple for the knowledge that I am learning here. Based on this hypothesis, Balance in ones life is important.
|blue areas are for playing. orange areas are for sleeping. green areas are for learning.|
How do we view power on campus. Is it by identifying which building houses the individuals with the most power?? Or are we in more of a unilateral environment where Cooperation, Collaboration and Interaction are more important.
College avenue is one of the min axises through campus. Each end is anchored by ideas important to UNCG, Music and Education. College avenue incorporates all three space elements, learn, play, sleep. This is the home of the “important” buildings, that house the Library, Administration, and Alumni. Food and social aspects are also on college avenue. These attributes could deem College avenue as the Power center of the university. Knowledge is Power….
The materials chosen in the construction of the campus buildings all contribute to the overall experience we have on campus. Most of the building are brick and incorporate some elements of stone and glass in them. Bricks emphasize strength and longevity, Stone, permanence, and Glass, alternative views?? The newer buildings seem to incorporate more glass. Maybe glass symbolizes forward thinking and the future.
Classical principles are most evident to me when looking at the UNCG Campus. Most of our building are constructed of brick and have “temple” like entrances.
|Elliot University Center|
The Alumni House and Petty Science buildings are both examples of buildings that I would say have a temple like entrance. The Elliott building is a much more modern interpretation. Most prominent are the grove like columns. The circular structure behind the columns is suggestive of the triangular pediment that we are accustomed to seeing. All of these building have an emphasized Entrance which is in contrast to the other parts of the building.
The university is bordered on three sides by major roads and on one side by train tracks. These create definitive boundaries for us. Main entrances also have brick “gates” to mark this transition space for us. Even though the boundaries are not physical boundaries the implied boundaries are very present.
The campus of UNCG is over 200 acres. This site is on a hill that puts it somewhat higher than the surrounding areas. We are bordered by 4 large streets with one major street, Spring Garden, running through campus. In the past we have removed streets to make the site more specific to what we do here. College avenue is an example of this. Other streets like Walker we put a building where the street use to be. We constantly adapt the site to suit our needs.
Order is also related to the site. There are several ordered areas on campus. The one that stands out most to me are the dorms on West Drive, Hinshaw, Bailey, Cotten, Gray, Shaw, Weil, Winfield, etc. They all create a central courtyard which contains a very orderly sidewalk system. All over the campus the sidewalks create order. There are patterns that tell us where to go and where not to go. Sometimes they mimic the architecture of the buildings, such as the library and it’s circular walk.
The university is somewhat of a large scale to the human. It takes time to walk from one side to another, yet everything is relatively convenient. To make the scale of the campus more human like we separate different departments into different buildings. Within these buildings different areas house different specialties. Specialty areas contain a small group of leaders and a larger group or collective of individual learners.
Here technology is a double edged sword. We utilize technology in several ways. Building and designing buildings is one way and another utilizes one central steam plant to heat the entire campus. One of the best examples on campus is our computing system. Anywhere on campus I can access the internet. Every classroom has a technology center that makes presenting material to a class extremely efficient. This technology makes it easier for students to learn, easier for professors to teach, and a much better learning experience. The only drawback with this technology are temporary technical issues that bring everything to a halt……
Surfaces make the buildings we see what they are. This idea is the most easy one to utilize to change the way we see something.
Here are three buildings that all incorporate brick as a predominant surface treatment. A secondary surface is stone or concrete. Both have a similar appearance. Glass is the third major element shown. Glass seems to be used more and more in the more modern buildings.
Overall; there is a very definite progression in building styles on our campus. Foust is our oldest buildings on campus. Materially it is composed of brick, stone, some wood, and glass. McIver sits somewhere in the middle of our building progression. A definitive style is portrayed with this building. We see a movement away from the classical columns and pediments that we are accustomed to in buildings. One can argue that the facade does incorporate groves and stacks yet no circles. The Music building is on of our most recent additions. Here we see the use of a circular entrance with a wall of glass next to it. The brick circular entrance contains vertical pilasters that act as our groups. The window wall also has these as well as horizontal stacks in the structure. There is also a round pond out front to reinforce the circle motif.
This idea of a circular entrance, with an adjacent flat window wall that incorporates stacks and groves seems to be the way we are moving for new buildings. Cooperation, Collaboration and Interaction are all ideas that I feel relate to a circular structure. Even when a circular structure is not used, you will see circular aspects in the landscape and hardscape immediately around the building.