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March 20, 1960 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1960-03-20
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Ne w




COLLEGE campuses are more
and more becoming showcases
for architects.
The schools themselves are con-
cerned with developing attractive
physical plants, and architects
are putting some of their best ef-
forts into educational buildings.
College buildings appeal to ar-
chitects for several reasons. They
present great challenges and great
rewards. A college building, the
modern concept states, must "fit"
with the rest of the campus. This
means that while the building is
designed as a modern structure,
it must ,harmonize with the sur-
roundings, which can range from
modified gothic to Victorian in
style, depending on the campus.
The buildings must be properly
designed to handle rush periods
of students, must be economical,
and the architects themselves
seem to believe that they must be
expressive structures. Because they
are generally large buildings, com-
missions are large enough to make
college buildings attractive to the
finest architects of the day.
LE CORBUSIER will design his
first American structure for
Harvard this year. The late Frank
Lloyd Wright did an entire cam-
pus. And the outstanding names
in American architecture today-
Saarinen, Stone, Harrison - have
all contributed to the college
building scene.
The new structures, because
they utilize modern techniques
and relatively cheap materials,
are often more economical to
build than the standard brick-
faced, reinforced concrete struc-
tures which became standardized
after World War II and persist'
even today at many schools, in-
cluding the University.
These contemporary buildings
are not limited to heavily endowed
private schools, as one might be-
lieve. The state universities of Il-
linois and South Carolina, tax
supported, can boast of architec-
tural gems on their campuses. And
many other schools are coming to
realize the importance of fine ar-
chitecture on a campus - Ohio
State, Wayne State, California-
all have or plan to build in the
new style.
The University has not, and
does not plan, a building which
one could term the best of mod-
ern architecture, a unique, aes-
thetically pleasing contemporary
structure of high quality.
A QUICK survey of some of the
outstanding modern struc-
tures built at college campuses in
the last decade will show what has
been going on around the coun-
Edward Stone, designer of the
United States' pavillion at the
Brussels World's Fair and the
American Embassy at New Delhi,
among other structures, has two
fine examples of contemporary
college architecture to his credit.
His dormitories at the Univer-
sity of South Carolina demon-
strate that contemporary design
need to cost a lot of money. The
structures. are twin seven-story
towers covered by "veil block"
walls, a screen that surrounds the
structures from top to bottom.
The screen protects the build-
ing from the sun, acts as decora-
tive covering and shields balcok-
les between it and the walls of
the buildings.
While the rooms are similar to
those of South Quadrangle, each
of the twin towers holds only 256
students. The cost for both: $1,-
100,000. Mary Markley Hall, with
Robert Junker is city editor
of The Daily and a senior in
the literary college, majoring

facilities for 1194, cost almost $6
million. The difference in cost,
for the same number of people, is
still over $3 million. And which
has the more architectural merit
need not puzzle us long.
STONE has also created the new
Stanford Medical Center,
again easily spotted by his use of
the concrete screen. The $21 mil-
lion center includes training fa-
cilities for 250 medical students
and a 434 bed hospital. The build-
ings are low, and the seven sepa-
rate structures are connected by
use of covered walkways.
Stone has used here, in addition
to his screens, sculptured concrete
for roof and pillars, providing de-
sign interest with inexpensive
decorative surface.
The other big name in modern
American architecture, Eero Saar-
inen, has completed a dormitory
for Vassar, an auditorium and
chapel for the Massachusetts In-
stitute of Technology and numer-
out other structures for colleges
across the country.
His Noyes dormitory for Vassar
is expensive, but unique. It is built
to curve around a quarter circle,
and each room has a window seat
built into a triangular bay win-
dow jutting out in front. The fa-
cade gives an effect -of agitation
because of its wave-like surface.
IN HIS KRESGE Auditorium
for MIT, Saarinen utilized a
curved triangular slab of concrete
for the roof. This dome supports
itself, and the walls of the struc-
ture are joined to it only by a lay-
er of insulating rubber.
Kresge seats 1238 people and
cbntains a huge stage area which
(Continued on Page 8)
Paul Rudolph utilizes
"contemporary gothic"
architecture in the ultra-modern
design of Wellesley's Jewett
Arts Center.

Vassar's new Noyes dormitory has
a curved facade which gives the
effect of agitation because of its
wave-like surface.

triangular o
Technology Kre

Massachusett's Institute of
Technology inter-denominational
chapel is a circular building with
a very simply decorated interior.

South Carolindorms covered
by "eil-block" walls.

Harrison and Abramovitz design
a flying-saucerdlike construction
with pillar-free seating for Illinois'
new Assembly Hall.


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