Archive for the Architecture Category

Harder Hall

Posted in Architecture, Uncategorized with tags , , on April 2, 2010 by michaelchernoff

So the weather has been good here and I haven’t had time lately to update my blog as much as I would like to. But I’m writing to today about the reconstruction of the art school that I may not be here to see finished. Yesterday I found out that the courtyard is going to be ripped up and new gallery space will be placed in and the front of harder hall will be expanded.

This sudden construction is a little weird for me because it’s a mixed bag of benefits. On the one hand the school needs more gallery space, studio space, and just space in general. And it’s great that our program keeps expanding and the school just doesn’t seem to stop spending. But the Dean and Trustee’s approved destroying public space in front of our school along academic alley?

This just seems like another case of governing heads eliminating space where people interact so they can attract more prospective students and boost tuition and prestige. But where are students supposed to spend their time outside…on no man’s land lawn? Ceramics interior? The basement entrances that have locked doors? The courtyard is a free style space where it is used for shows, athletics, and socializing, and its a point where everyone enters and it fucks up senior shows. I don’t even think a 3 or 4 story structure is going to look good squished against the side-walk.

The nice thing about towns and campuses is that there a centered space for congregation and everyone knows it. If we put a building there, everyone will wonder “are people hanging out?” “Where?” There are lots f space in Alfred but it’s an art school space issue. This an issue of progress for the school but progress sometimes leads to irreplaceable losses…take a look at Hornell.

I wonder what would happen if students protested? But I don’t think this a big enough loss to picket.

Skyways and Space

Posted in Architecture, Image Discovery! with tags , , , on January 23, 2010 by michaelchernoff

I was reviewing some small ideas that got me going from reading a wiki page that started with Being John Malcovich. I had read earlier on about the Minnesota Skyway system and how segregating it was among the poor and wealthy citizens in the downtown area. Such an account was conceivable for me but I didn’t know how far-reaching the skyways was. The map above shows every major shopping and government building connected. A completely secure interior walkway eliminating outside travel.

Now it is cold in Minnesota and many cold weather cities have interior tunnels for travel. But this a way for middle class people not needing to interact with the poor and homeless citizens of the city. Public space is largely dead and reborn with shopping centers. All of communal activities from shopping, fundraising, dining, community activities is centered not in city streets but mall corridors and courtyards. DMV’s, military, and churches have implanted their activities in malls. Aside from parks there is almost no example of unsegregated housing in cities dictated by streets and transportation. If it’s bad for cities, it’s even worse for suburbs where the mall is the only town center. Suburbs like Colonie, Latham, Loudonville around the city I live in have no town squares. Small towns and farm land and been built over with thruways and strip malls. There is almost no sense of connectiveness among communities like this because every landmark is a box with a storefront and huge intersections that alienate walkers.

People are so concerned with commercial developement and security that as a society we are wasting more money on transportation and infrastructure than we need to. But developement has not stopped even in a so-called recession now. In Florida the construction of housing developments is non-stop…you can see them in progress over the states flat lands and waterways. Urban Sprawl and privatized public space is causing humans to waste our culture and resources.