Saturday, January 21, 2012
BP 2: Circles, Groves and Stacks; The Fundamentals of Life
The EUC is often considered the center or "hub" of campus. Food, advertisements, conversation and activities are only a few of the many uses the EUC offers. One prominent shape that makes this functional building work is the circular pattern repeated through the space. Coming off of College Ave, the circular entrance featuring the spiral staircase allows many traffic patterns to flow without it feeling too crowded. Then proceeding though the space, the circle shape is repeated at the front of the building offering light and a meeting place. It is a shape that is inviting and grounds the entrance into this massive building, helping define it as a place of many uses. The circle also acts as an axis that can be equally split down the hall, protecting the center of the building. The doors to each specific section are clearly seen and equally displayed around the space. The circular shape is envelops the energy running through the EUC. Clearly the architects realized the amounts of people shuffling though and incorporated circles not only as a link between the front of campus to college avenue, but also to create an atmosphere where function is key to success.
Since 400 BCE and before, columns have been used as both supportive and decorative elements on the front of a building. They represent repetition and offer a distinct entrance. What the columns support can differ. Are they are set on a straight, horizontal lines or placed in a circular shape? At the library, they are set at a radius with the door directly in the center. The placement of the door is accentuated and then an axis runs down the stairs, straight across college avenue to the doors of the Stone Building. A line of sight is set on which surrounding elements are placed. Unlike the library, the columns on the Petty Building are aligned in a grove like design. The multitude of windows are also aligned in a grove like pattern on this vertical line the columns set, with one window seen between each column. The Petty Building has a pyramid awning like structure in the front to identify the entrance. Again, the door is placed directly in the middle of the columns and the pivotal point on the stacked awning. And also, an axis is created because the triangluar shape is mimicked across College Ave. at the Cafateria where a skelital version of a pyramid is used as an awning. The shape adorns the roof line and offers many different layers and scales of one shape. Does it remind you of anything? Maybe the food pyramid? Just some food for thought....
Each building expressed has a different function and ritual being exhibited inside. For the EUC, a multitude of activities go on at once, but one is not more important than the other. Congregation, socialization and eating are essential to have a well rounded experience in college and the environment only adds to the pleasure of the rituals being experienced. Buildings such as the Library and Classrooms have an essence of formality and structure to them because of the studying, reading and learning routine experienced inside. Columns set the mood of the building to depict what the space will be used for. The Cafeteria is built around accommodating layers and layers of food and people at once.