In the class of Tuesday, September 8 we have been visiting probably the three most important buildings on campus: the Elliot University Center, the Jackson Library and the Caf. In this post I will speculate about the centers in these buildings and what elements help define those central spaces.
Elliot Univerity Center
The first time I went to the EUC I saw that almost everything (bookstore, dining places, information desk, FirstCard center, hallway to the library) is located on the second floor. The main hallway on this floor is crowded and is really a circulation space. On the first floor there are only meeting rooms. So I think that the centers are located on the second floor.
When you enter the EUC from the back side the stairs welcome you to go to the second floor. There are stairs left and right and they are shaped as some sort of circle. When you enter the second floor and you look down the hallway you see that this hallway, as the stairs, is completely symmetrical. There obviously is a balance between left and right. This symmetrical shape also spreads out a message: this building was built well-reasoned.
Beside the stairs there is another circular space in the EUC. It is just behind the entrance in the front of the building. You can see patterns on the floor and all the way up you see patterns in the lights. It looks quite similar to the Music Building. The entrance space in front and the staircase are the centers for me, because these are the two round-shaped elements in the building, both on one side. We have seen in earlier classes that circles are most of the times very important spaces on campus, especially inside buildings.
At the back side of the EUC (outside) there is a space with tables and chairs. It used to be an eating plays, so you can consider that as a center in those times. There also has been added an elevator to the building (see picture) a few years ago for people with a wheelchair.
When I saw the library at first it attracted my attention that the building is asymmetrical. It looks like some parts have been added on over the years. In my opinion the center of the Library is in between the two parts that characterize the building. The side that faces College Avenue (with the temple in front, I will talk about that later) was built in the 1920's, in the same time period as for example Brown Building and Stone Building. The other side of the building, that faces Walker Avenue, was built later, probably in the 1960's or 1970's. The small space that I consider as the center is lower than any other part of the building, it is right in the middle of the two parts, and it is used as a kind of connecter between the two parts.
Also the little temple in front of the Library can be a centre. It is shaped in a classical style of the ancient Greek and Romans. To them a temple is considered as a sign of worship and knowledge. I think this represents the Library quite well.
When you are walking on campus you can recognize the Caf because of its white frames on both sides. You can also see these on top of the parking centers around campus. In my opinion the center of the Caf is definitely the staircase which leads to the second floor. Through the day students are coming in from both sides (side that faces College Ave and side that faces the fountain). They all walk towards the doors that lead to the staircase. This staircase is the place in the Caf where most people are moving during the day. It is the center exactly in the middle of the building. When you walk down the stairs and walks through the building in the direction of the fountain, the building looks quite symmetrical. On the left side you see the Mail Center and on the other side Spartan Market (including Taco Bell).