There’s nothing like coming back to Princeton: a fresh blanket of snow on ivy gates, final exams, and roaring fireplaces.
But for some, homecoming looks more like this.
This is the wall behind my bed in the Forbes Addition. Home, sweet home. It turns out no amount of sticky tack can actually cling to cinder block walls. So, cool White Album poster.
But at least the Forbes Addition provides architecture grad students with a first project. Every September, armed with T-squares, first year students in the graduate program hunch over their desks (in the equally miserable architecture building) and redesign the Forbes Addition
Here are some of their design ideas (click on the pictures for full sized images):
More photos and thoughts from the designers after the jump….
Christine Chang said in an e-mail:
So my design for the new Forbes was just as much a critique of the existing Forbes as well as a critique of the traditional quadrangle typology that recurs throughout campus. I felt that its major flaw, aside from looking like a prison, was its lack of inviting collective gathering spaces for students to interact with each other. There was one sad little bench with some chairs in the middle of the courtyard/quad but overall the buildings are fortress-like and appear walled-off from the street and from the Dinky.
So the main idea was to ‘reinvent the quadrangle’ so that the dormitory could have spaces of encounter as reprieve from the isolation of individual living units. To do this, I proposed a scheme in which I removed any paths on the ground to encourage movement, not along vectors, but by using topographic change.
Another grad student, Kuan Hsu said:
So the project in short is all about how to conceive of residential cultivations as inhabited landscapes. There are three layers of landscape that are lifted up in certain angles to form public area, dorm floors, and roof gardens.
That’s all well and good, but in the end we’re left with the cold, ugly reality that are these cinder block walls. Yet another, more pissed, review of the traditional quadrangle typology and vector movement is from this flippant Forbesian, whose gauche review of Forbes’ architecture hits a little closer to home:
Ah, my friend. How I grieve for you in the way that only someone who has experienced this room can. As concentration camp survivors are the only ones who can truly know what it was like, so you and I, my brother, are among the few who can know the hell that is room A424. In short, do whatever you need to do to get out of this room. Sell your soul; it will be a bargain.
Or, just antidepressants.