Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blog Post 3: 10 Architectural Ideas Applied to UNCG's Campus

In class we analyzed the Xianyang Palace and the Acropolis in Greece for ideas of space, power, experience, precedence, principles, site, order, scale, technology and surface. These Architectural concepts can also be applied to UNCG's architecture.

UNCG is a collection of many buildings laid out in a very functional arrangement, with many parks and green areas in between buildings which gives students the feeling that they are in nature while still being on campus. Many smaller buildings rather than a few large buildings shows the idea that the university values each academic school and major equally by giving each school their own building. There are clearly certain zones of buildings throughout the campus, with all residence halls generally in one location, most academic buildings off of College Ave. , Sports courts and fields in one area, and perhaps the most common buildings (Jackson Library, EUC, and dining hall) in the same central location.

Hierarchy is definitely seen with the Jackson Library, being the tallest building on campus. This shows that knowledge is the first priority of the university. The EUC is also a good example of power due to its large size compared to the other buildings on campus. This shows that community is important to the university as well.
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At the Main entrances of UNCG, you see the university seal of a spartan head that is very ornamented on an engraved brick and stone wall. This shows a visitor two important bits of information: when the university was founded and what our mascot is. This formal entrance also gives a good first impression to anyone coming into the university. The portion of Spring Garden Street going through campus shows off the more ornamental buildings, such as Curry and the Foust building. The views of these landmark buildings shows off the history of the university and contributes to the experience one has when coming to UNCG.

I learned that many of the buildings of UNCG such as the Curry and Forney buildings are true to Neo-Claudian style. This is appropriate because it is a Greek influence and this is a major theme, our mascot being a Spartan. I also think about how the buildings are spread out, being a complex rather than singular buildings. The Acropolis could have been and an early influence for these complex-style institutions.

The main purpose of UNCG is to provide education/give knowledge to its students, and the architecture reflects this. Most importantly with a centrally located library and easy access to academic buildings by way of College Ave. The closeness of the residence halls as well as the centrally located EUC promotes community.

The site of UNCG is very important, located in close proximity to five other colleges. Since Greensboro is the 3rd largest city in North Carolina and UNCG is located in the downtown area, the urban location is important to student life. The expanse of green area at UNCG within the city acts as a green oasis and promotes preserving nature and sustainability.

Order is seen again with the proximity and scale of the Jackson Library as well as other landmarks on campus. The height of Minerva overlooking the campus shows her importance and implies the meaning and significance of wisdom to the university. The "zones" of certain types of buildings mentioned earlier also contributes to order.

The campus is perhaps the most intimate in the quad and residence hall area, promoting community. The EUC also promotes an intimate gathering place by providing a space for many functions within the same building. On the contrary, the size of the EUC entrance hall is grand and impressive and implies that is a main area of ceremony and important functions. 

Technology is what sets UNCG apart from many other buildings and makes the university what it is. Many of the newer buildings on campus are sustainable or "green" buildings such as the new Jefferson Suites, the new School of Education building, and the Gatewood studio. Green building is a key priority to the university for staying up-to-date with current technology as well as being an example for other buildings in the area. 

A variety of surfaces are utilized for buildings at UNCG. Many buildings are brick, old and new. Some buildings incorporate stone which gives them a very distinguished appearance. Perhaps the most stark contrast for building surfaces on campus is the original Jackson Library compared to the new tower addition. This shows the transformation as well as the concept of old vs. new throughout UNCG. 

1 comment:

  1. You did a wonderful job incorporating the 10 architectural ideas onto the campus. However, I don't think you satisfied the idea of space well. And scale could have been done better. Nice choice of images.