By: Gwynn Thayer
Blog post contributed by Lindsey Naylor
The Landscape Architecture Archive in the Special Collections Research Center provided historical insight on Monday for Master of Landscape Architecture students working to redesign the courtyard space behind Bragaw Residence Hall.
The full space between the Bragaw, Lee and Sullivan residence halls was designed in the early 1970s by Lewis Clarke, a well-known modernist landscape architect who taught in the NC State Department of Landscape Architecture during the 1950s and 1960s. The Lewis Clarke Collection, one of the largest in the archive, includes as-built drawings and project files for the space, which was one of several residence hall projects that Clarke’s firm completed for NC State at the time.
Clarke’s original design included an amphitheater, a rolling lawn with clusters of trees, a courtyard off of the Bragaw common area, an entry planting off of the Sullivan parking lot, and a series of sweeping brick paths with white brick accents that echoed the style of the paths designed by Richard Bell and installed a decade earlier to the west of the Brickyard.
Students are proposing new designs for the Bragaw space, which has morphed over time as Fountain Dining Hall was constructed and as new paths were installed that cut through the original design. The drawings and files from the Clarke collection helped paint a picture for students of how and why the Bragaw space evolved, which pieces of the current landscape are remnants of the Clarke design, and how a new design might respond to the site’s historical context.
In addition to the Clarke drawings and files, students were able to review slide images from the Office of the University Architect Records that showed Clarke’s models and concept diagrams for the project, the construction process, and the final constructed space.
Images in the Rare and Unique Digital Collections showed students how the space was used before Bragaw’s construction in 1958: During the 1940s the site was home to Vetville, a community of pre-fabricated apartments for veteran students with families, and one of several campus projects built quickly to accommodate the post-war boom of students attending NC State with support from the G.I. Bill.
Combined, the collections offered a rich history of the site for students who are considering how to transform it yet again. Students will translate their designs into construction documents, with the possibility that one scheme will be constructed by a summer Design+Build class. The studio, LAR 503 Design Development, led by Carla Delcambre and Jesse Turner, is working with University Housing and the NC State Facilities Division to get feedback on designs throughout the semester.
By: Gwynn Thayer
Blog post contributed by Lindsey Naylor
In LAR 582: Landscape Architecture Theory and Criticism, students take part in formal class debates and deploy arguments that draw from their growing knowledge of theory. For the first debate, Professor Kofi Boone assigned two teams that argue opposing sides of the question: Is the new landscape for the Talley Student Union a step forward or a step backward?
But only two students had actually seen the previous student union landscape — a visit to the Special Collections Research Center was definitely called for! With access to detailed drawings and archival images pulled from three separate collections, the whole class could grasp the forms, spaces and uses that defined what was then called the Student Center Plaza.
The former plaza was designed by Richard Bell, a renowned local landscape architect who just a few years earlier had designed the Brickyard. Bell’s design for the Student Center Plaza featured a multi-level fountain that stepped down into the site; walls and plantings that created a buffer against the railroad and the traffic of Dunn Avenue; an amoeba-like open lawn; and seating that wrapped around the site and the student union.
Students in Boone’s class came to D.H. Hill Library on Thursday to see in person the drawings and images from the Richard C. Bell Drawings and Other Materials, the Office of the University Architect Records, and the G. Milton Small Papers.
The Richard C. Bell collection, in the Landscape Architecture Archive, holds about a dozen drawings for his Student Center Plaza design, including grading and planting plans, site sections, construction details and illustrative renderings.
The University Architect collection has dozens of slide images, taken in the 1970s and 1980s, that give a rich picture of the plaza’s use and its human scale. About 25 of the slides were scanned for Boone’s class and soon will be available online in the Rare and Unique Digital Collections.
The Small collection includes floor plans, elevations and perspective renderings of the Student Center and the Student Supply Store, the two buildings that formed the southern and western edges of the plaza. The Student Supply Store was demolished during the new Talley construction, and the Student Center was gutted to form the core of the new building.
SCRC holds a wealth of materials that give insight into the history of community spaces on NC State’s campus. Boone, who works in the Experience Design Lab at the College of Design, is exploring ways to use digitized archival images and oral histories in conjunction with site-based virtual and augmented reality, to enrich individual experiences of campus and other landscapes.
Boone brought to class an Oculus Gear VR to share a 360-degree image of the current Talley landscape and refresh students’ memories of the existing site design. SCRC Associate Head and Curator Gwynn Thayer brought an early “model” as a fun, historical comparison– a stereoviewer, which was the 19th century’s attempt at creating a three-dimensional alternate reality.
By: Karen DeWitt
Phaidon Design Classics, a three volume set covering beautifully designed objects is now available in the Design Library as an iPad app. The app offers, at the touch of a finger, access to an encyclopedic, illustrated history of 1,000 timeless design classics by not only renowned designers, such as Marcel Breuer, Achille Castiglioni, Le Corbusier, Jasper Morrison, Dieter Rams, Eero Saarinen, and Philippe Starck but also anonymously designed pieces, such as the clothes peg, the corkscrew, and the chopstick, that have stood the test of time. Come to the Design Library and check out an iPad or iPad mini to try out this unique app.
For more information on the app, see the publisher’s website: http://www.phaidon.com/apps/phaidon-design-classics/
By: Karen DeWitt
Josef Albers’s Interaction of Color is a masterwork in art education. Conceived as a handbook and teaching aid for artists, instructors, and students, this influential book presents Albers’s singular explanation of complex color theory principles. Originally published by Yale University Press in 1963 as a limited silkscreen edition with 150 color plates, the content is now available as an iPad app, and has been added to all the iPads and iPad minis in the Design Library. The Interaction of Color mobile app for iPad is packed with elegant and innovative features that help you understand the book’s ideas, view the plates, experiment, and create and share your own designs. This interactive edition of one of the most influential books on color ever written offers users an entirely new way to experience Josef Albers’s original masterwork. Come check out an iPad or iPad mini from the Design Library to try out this unique and fascinating app.
For more about the app and the book, see the publisher’s information here: http://yupnet.org/interactionofcolor/