Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ugly University Buildings I have Known

I have spent a fair amount of time at six universities as a student or faculty member.  Five have astonishingly ugly buildings.

We begin with Mather Hall (below left) at Harvard: the Robert Taylor Homes of college dorms.  On the right is USC's Hoffman Hall, which was actually designed by a great architect, IM Pei.  It shows we all have bad days.

Next we have the Academic Center at George Washington (below left).   The photo makes it look nicer than it is.  Huntsman Hall at Penn is the new Wharton Building.  It is a little, er, out of scale for the surrounding neighborhood, but if Philadelphia ever returns to an agriculture based economy, it will have a really nice silo.  

Finally we have the Humanities Building at Wisconsin.  My understanding is that this ironically named building will soon be torn down.  That will certainly produce addition from subtraction.

The Indian School of Business was designed by John Portman, and is simply beautiful.


Ches said...

Check out the following link to access a BBC series that Stewart Brand collaborated on in conjunction with his book How Buildings Learn. I believe it is part one that he has some critical comments about MIT's School of Architecture building.

Ches said...

Woops the link is:

Don Coffin said...

..." Humanities Building at Wisconsin..."

That is one ugly building from the outsiide and one dysfunctional building from the inside. It's two, two, two disasters in one.

Unknown said...

I agree with you that most probably the university buildings are ugly. And in comparison to other buildings you always find your university building more ugly. May be that's a human nature to think our building is worst or may be University people don't like to spend more money on building renovation or interior.
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Jenna said...

There are a lot of new LEED certified university buildings going up at University of Oregon. You should check them out. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on LEED certification.

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