Monday, February 7, 2011

BP4: commodity, firmness, and delight

In class on Friday we took a group trip around campus to explore some of the key buildings on campus, focusing especially on form, materials, axes, and circles. The first building we looked at was the Moore Humanities and Research Administration Building, commonly known as MHRA. I believe this building is a prime example of achieving commodity, firmness, and delight. Commodity refers to the space of the structure, and how accessible the building is for people. Firmness is the structure of the building; and delight is the building form and surface.

We started inside on the rainy day beginning with the main entrance of the building, which is in the shape of a cylinder. The front entrance is a very dominating part of the building.  Inside the large stacks of glass windows marks the entrance and lets a flow of natural light stream into the lobby.  The floor (right) is made of tile, granite, and stone; and has a pattern on the floor that resembles the look of water ripples. The designers intended on making it slowly space out so that the pattern gives direction in the building. The “ripples” direct a person to multiple places, for example the staircase, the hallways, and the back entrance. The back entrance is also marked with glass windows but not as much at the front. The repetition of materials throughout the inside of the building really gives it a sense of unity. 

looking between the columns and
glass windows
There are columns both inside and outside the building; however, the columns inside do not serve any purpose to the structure of the building. The outside columns are not only in the Doric style, but also surround the cylindrical shape of the entrance. The building is placed on the corner of Spring Garden St. and Forest St. Having the building here, with the glass cylinder facing the street, gives the building a look of importance.

In conclusion, I believe this building is significant in the understanding of the campus and who we are as a university because of the multiple education departments it houses. It is the home of German, Russian, Japanese, and Chinese language studies; English; classical studies; and history. It also includes space for research and programs such as the Center for Creative Writing in the Arts. International languages are a big part of society today and many students seek to learn and educate themselves with one, or many languages; and this building represents that department.