Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ten Design Ideas to UNCG - BP3

This design element encompasses all of the UNCG campus and can be put into several mindsets.  I could say how small the campus is compared to other Universities or I could comment on how the buildings are spaced from one another.  My focus is going to be on the feel of UNCG's space, however, and how the enclosed feeling of the campus brings a sense of unification to this space.  This stems partially from being inner city and partially from the campus being open to mostly only foot traffic, hindering how accessible it is to the outside world.

Example of Space Within UNCG

Like other colleges the appearance of power stems from the size of things on campus.  As an example lets take the library.  As it can be seen from any location on campus and is the tallest of the buildings in the area we subconsciously perceive it, and it's knowledge, as being fairly powerful.  This aspect also translates to outsiders how powerful our University may be just like a potential employee talking to the boss behind the large desk.

The college "experience" as it is known also translates to the buildings around us.  For people living on campus have a different experience based on what Hall they live in, what amenities they have, and where they are located.  Experience in the classroom setting shows form to meet a certain function, such as our lecture halls seats crammed together and aimed at the stage.

Experience of our environment

This element boils down to how a traditional academic building looks like and what purpose it fulfills.  Should we be able to look at a building and know automatically what purpose it serves?  With UNCG in mind this is the case most of the time.  Some buildings might be a little harder to identify than others, but the idea is there none the less.

As stated above, UNCG does have a feeling of being blocked off from the outside world.  This could stem from the lack of through roads, the surrounding large buildings, the amount of park systems, being inner city, or the feeling of everyone around being a college student like you and no outside passer byes.  Our sense of security on campus is mixed and mingled and varies from person to person.  These feelings not only come from how much actual security we have in the local police force, but from the amount of lighting and openness in any given space.

The site of UNCG is an important dynamic to how UNCG has formed.  Being inner city UNCG wasn't able to spread out all over the place like some other UNC schools.  This contributed to making UNCG a more intimate school.  This however has caused some issues in the last few years as UNCG struggles to adapt with an increase in interest.  Some suggested fixes are taking down older buildings and replacing them with more efficient ones or even creating a second campus a bit away from the main one.  Above all I think the site of UNCG has been the greatest contributor to how it has evolved.

The order to the buildings at UNCG are similar to that of Greece in their construction.  From the steps, columns, entrances, and layouts of certain buildings on campus we can tell which are the most important of buildings in their function or position in the hierarchy of the school.  The grandest buildings are typically for offices with persons of power or academic based buildings.  Next usually are the dormitories, and then the lower offices and service buildings.  Also from an outside perspective the order of how our University looks is a separating force against the outside world.

Scale is similar to space in how our University is organized.  The size of our school, the space between buildings, how large some buildings are compared to others.  Scale also plays on the details of buildings.  How large the stairs, columns, windows, doorways, and entrance way are play a vital role on how we perceive a building.

Scale of bridge, columns, and entrance yard

I'm going to take technology in the sense of how buildings are constructed.  For our campus it is fairly obvious to see how modern building techniques were used in most of our buildings.  But when we compare how the most recent buildings were built to the oldest buildings on campus we can see a difference in not only styles, but in how the buildings hold themselves up, connect to other spaces, and relate to other buildings.

New technology to construct with new techniques

This basic element of our campus can be broken down into types of surfaces.  Ones that come to mind are marble, granite, wood, metal, brick, and glass.  Other parts to surfaces are details that might be put into these materials.  Patterns of brick, combinations of materials, and intricate colorations to name a few.

Surface materials vary

Map credit to, images credit to Matthew Weikert.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent insight, I particularly enjoy your ideas of experience correlating to the fresh and exciting college experience and how you perceive scale in many different forms, from brick, to building, to campus. Good job.