jeweled platypus


wednesday, december 05, 2007
Unlike the artificially coherent city of Santa Barbara

This is the De La Guerra dining commons at UCSB:

an interior shot of a cafeteria

I like it because it’s one of the only new-ish buildings on campus that has an exterior style like the older buildings on campus. The lower right corner of the picture shows a little bit of this sandy stone/concrete pattern that you find on some of the older buildings, like the library:

sunshine and eucalyptus trees

Those brown textured walls and lots of windows are what a friend pointed out to me as making up the UCSB style. Nerdy amazement! I used to be faintly annoyed by the mixed-up randomness of UCSB architecture, but when he said that obvious thing, I realized I could develop extensive naive theories about why I got faintly annoyed by the architecture. Anyway, this is the style I like for my Southern California beach campus because it helps the buildings live comfortably in their surroundings:

a geometric brown stone pattern

a guy walking near the lagoon

But a lot of the newer buildings on campus have been built in a bland neutral postmodern style with lots of orange and yellow and red, and it doesn’t look good in context:

looking at the university center and the lagoon

If you look closer at that one though, it references the older style:

the stone pattern at part of the ucen

I don’t know why the newest developments — the ones built in the past ten years and currently being built — forgot about all that in favor of pastel lameness:

the blocky modern entrance to another cafeteria

A good example of the difference between the styles is these pictures showing off the old and new Engineering buildings, on one of the department websites:

Engineering I, aka Harold Frank hall Engineering I, aka Harold Frank hall

Engineering II Engineering II

The old building has that nice sandy style with vegetation and visual variety; the new one is flat and boring with no local character.

The interiors of the old buildings aren’t so great though, with their own ugly orange stuff. That’s why I like the pretty De La Guerra dining commons so much. Also because of its unlimited cookies and horchata.

comments (1)

I'm following you on Twitter... and found you through your use of the word UCSB, which I'm tracking. It's nice to see someone from campus also Twittering. (:

Have a great winter break.
Brigitte on 12/14/2007 01:04:41

comments are off. for new comments, my email address is


I’m Britta Gustafson.

Popular posts

Fold a paper icosahedron

My handmade map of California

How the internet feels like a city

Blade Runner in San Francisco

Learning to see telephone poles

How UCSB joined ARPAnet

What is a book?

a little pixelly man, upside-down