University Buildings in Context
In the Context of Place: Universities and Regional Localities _ Angelos Psilopoulos
However tied universities might be with a heritage building, an iconic establishment, a place or a nation, the very word is actually founded on the notion of an ever-evolving, shifting and moving, expanding and contracting, association of individuals who are incorporated into a body of shared aspirations and function. The university is, first and foremost, a set of values and an endeavor of the exploration of knowledge, appealing to those who are apt to take on the shared burden of the task. By this definition universities transcend the limitations of place and space. They also act as a social condenser, turning diversity into community.
By necessity though, this activity is bound to happen somewhere. It is also likely to invest this “somewhere” with appeal that extends further than mere geography. Likewise, the crowd that is attracted to that “somewhere” now comes from all over the world, in physical or digital space. Seen as a generator of such interest, the locality of the university amounts to a capital that establishes value on a wider scale. Campuses, cities, even nations, achieve even mythical appeal because of this activity, which is not only limited to cultural production but extending also to an actual economic impact on the place.
Addition and Subtraction
Addition and Subtraction _ Alison Killing
In renovating old buildings and adapting them to new uses the question of what to keep, what to remove and how to go about adding new elements is key. These five buildings all tackle this issue, some very subtly, with one or two simple moves which transform the entire building and the way it works, others intervene more boldly to effect their changes. mlzd’s Janus building in Rapperswil-Jona in Switzerland, Renzo Piano Building Workshop’s Harvard Art Museums, Manuelle Gautrand Architecture’s Comedie de Bethune – National Drama Theater in Locon, France, Flores & Prats and Duch-Piza’s Casal Balaguer Cultural Center in Palma de Mallorca and noAarchitecten’s Hasselt University illustrate some of the challenges of renovations and offer a range of approaches to tackling them.