James Wm. Golden
Frofessionel Core I
November 22, 1978
Is an architect an artist or a high-class mechanic?
Perhaps a better question to start with is, what. is architec-
ture? In my mind architecture is an art-form. But, it is a
unique art-form; one that touches and influences the lives
of every human. It's wide influence is what separates it
from other arts; painting, sculpture, literature, and to a
lesser degree music. I feel that the way Aero Saarinen
summed the state of the profession in his day is still valid
"... I am speaking of architecture as an art. we must
We must recognize that most building today is very
thoughtless and routine, done by architects who look on
architecture as pure business. But there is also arch-
itecture... which is an art. It's driving force comes
from it's art characteristics. Unlike painting and
sculpture which nave been at odds with society for the
past EC years, architecture h",' had to work with society
and has succeeded. And also unlike painting and sculp-
ture, where the individual works entirely alone, arch-
itecture involves many people. ...Yes, architecture -
as contrasted with building is an art."
I see architecture as an all-encompassing element of
of man's existence. Architecture is involved in oall aspects
of man's life. We are born in architecture, we grow in and
around it, we learn and work in it, we worship our God in it,
we marry and raise families in it, and eventually we die in
it. Architecture touches every facet of our daily exist-
ance, from the house we live in to the office we work in.
It's scope covers everything from the scale of the city that
we call home down to the bed we sleep in. In my opinion
architecture is more then art, it is an essential element
In order for architecture to be sensed and comprehended
by man it must be of a scale that man can respond to. By this
I don't mean that everything should be two stories tall and
60' long. I am referring to scale in relationship to the
intended function of the particular building. The scale of
the human body, but rather to the scale of man's religious
beliefs. The towering naves inspired a sense of awe in the
people who worshipped in them. An awe related to their awe
in the power and majesty of the God they worshipped.
It don't agree with the "Less is More" philosophy. I
cannot relate to a glass box. It may be a thing of great
beauty, but I believe all it does is take your breath away.
I don't believe it gives you anything back in return. I
think the most personal end enjoyable types of architecture
are those that you can get involved with; find things that
stick in the back of your mind, that you will remember later.
One of the great joys of my life is walking around
looking at the buildings which comprise my surroundings.
I am constantly finding new details on buildings that I have
been walking past for years. I remember how excited I was
day I discovered that Flint Hell and Newell Hall have the
same battlemented terra cotte cornice. This may be a trivial
item to many people, but I feel that it is the little sup-
rises that we find in our travels that take the act of mov-
ing from place to place from tedium to experience.
To be art, architecture has to provide more than the
bare functional necessities of day to day life. I believe
that architecture has a much more basic role in man's life.
This role I believe has almost spiritual qualities. Man
is aware of the shortness of his life in relation to the
world around him. Religion gives him the means for under-
standing his place in the universe. And architecture, in the
strength, beauty, and meaning of his surroundings, is capable
of providing the continuity linking the past and the future
with his life.
I.d like to conclude the philosophy portion of my
paper by from "Place and Cccasion" by Aldo Van Eyck. This
sums up the present state of my attitudes on the profession
of architecture today. However at this point in my life
there is no guarantee that my viewpoints will be the same a
year, or even a week from now.
PLACE AND OCCASION
"There is a garden in her face." Thomas Campion
Space has no room, time not a moment for man.
He is excluded.
In order to include him--help his homecoming--he must be gathered
into their meaning (man is the subject as well as
the object of architecture).
Whatever space end time mean, place and occasion mean more
For space in the image of man is place, and
time in the image of men is occasion.
Today, space and what it should coincide with in order to become
"space"--men at home with himself--are lost
Both search for the same plece, but cannot find it.
Provide that place
Is man able to penetrate the material he organizes into herd shapes
between one man and another, between what is here and what is there,
between this and the following moment?
Is he able to find the right place for the right occasion?
Is he able to linger?
No--so start with this: articulate the inbetween. Make
a welcome of each door
a countenance of each window.
Make of each a place; a bunch of places of each house and each city
(a house is a tiny city, a city a huge house).
Get closer to the shifting center of human reality and build its
contraform--for each iran and all men, since they no longer do it
themselves (if society has no form, who can build the city-counterform?),
Senmut,the Egyptian, made what he was commanded to make: a habitable
house of granite for a single dead queen. Are the sons of Senmut today
unable to make what they are requested to make: habitable places
for the millions that live, but are no longer able to fashion
their own houses with mud, no longer forced to drag granite.
Architects and urbanists have become true speciakists in the art
of organizing the meager.
The result draws very close to crime.
The time has come for another sort.
City implies "the people that live there"---not "population".
Whoever attempts to solve the riddle of space in the abstract
will construct the outline of emptyness ana call it space.
Whoever attempts to meet men in the abstract will speak with his echo
and cell this a dialogue.
Man still breathes in and out.
When is architecture going to do the same?
My initial bpproech to the design of the "most used"
library involved determining just what it's daily functions
would be, who would use it, and how they would utse it. Through
some interviews with library users (none of them architecture
students) I was able to put together a picture of their likes
and complaints of the existing libraries on campus. Quiet
study spaces are preferred, with no through traffic; but dead
silent spaces are just as distracting as noisy ones. Most seem
to prefer study space with some sort of visual release so they
look away from their work when they want to, but controlled
So as not to be a constant distraction. Most were concerned
with the functional aspects of libraries as related only to
their own type of use, but all had some similar concerns;
quick access, convenient xerox machines, convenient rest-
rooms, comfort, and circulation routes that weren't too long
or circuitous. There was also an interest in the social aspects
of libraries as meeting places.
The high use and turn over rates of the collection in this
library generated my initial organization of functions. I am
trying to achieve an almost supermarket type of efficiency
without the supermarket atmosphere. The nature of the stack
spaces for both the reserve and circulating books, and the
adjacent study Preps that both require, indicated that a
grouping of these functions in one area. of the library might
be appropriate. The uses of the reading space and the period-
ical collection with their mere social nature suggested that
they might be best located away from the quieter atmosphere
of the study areas. The special needs and space requirements
of the micro-reproductions suggested it's relationship to the
major circulation route.
The social aspects of a library as a mingling and meeting
place suggest that some sort of tie, either visual or physical
with the Plaza is appropriate. I feel that the library should
have some of the same varieties of structured and unstructured
spaces that create the dynamic atmosphere on the Plaza and in
the area between Carlton Aud .nd Little Hall.
I want to use the contrast between the old and the new
to play up the multiplicity in the functional organization of
my design. The types of forms that my design intentions have
generated will work well with a reinforced concrete structural
system with brick infillwalls. The HVAC system will be of
an air induction type. The system will work with my structural
and lighting systems to help to define the various areas of
activity in the library. Acoustic control will handled as
an integral part of my special design and will very sccoring
to the tree of the library. The fire protection system will
incorporate heat and smoke detectorselong with a CO2 type of
extinguishing system. Security will be handled architecturally
by two systems. A sonic alarm for after hours and the same
type of magnetic detectors used i'n the existing libraries,
But will rely on human participation as part of the normal
operation of s library.
I- feel thet maintaining the continuity, both visual
and physical, of this part of the campus is an essential part
of my design. I'm not out to create another monument for the
campus, we have too many already. I am trying to create a
library thet is both efficient and exciting for it's users.
In the massing of my building I am trying to continue the
rhythm of the neighboring structures. I want the new con-
struction of my library to echo the gothic character of it's
neighbors; not copy it, just echo.
The histcris nature of Flint Hall and it's place in the
evolution of the campus, encouraged it's reuse in my design
as an eoual partner to the new areas of my library. Flint is
not to be treated as some sort cf "old" object in space, it
is a integral part of the total design. It's new use as a
University cultural center will bring attention to it's im-
portant pertin the history of the school, end act as a draw-
ing card to the general public of the Gainesville community.
The existing traffic patterns of the campus played a
large part in generating the form of my library building;
along with it's relationship to the other areas of the campus
such as Libraries East and West, the Plaza of the Americas,
and the Muuphree area dorms. The interface between the
campus and the business community bordering University Ave.
also played a part in the formation of my basic design
I feel that the major access to the library building
will be from the Plaza area of the campus, with secondary
access routes coming from the dorms and across University
Ave. Establishing a strong link with the existing libraries
is a major concern with my site orientation for the library
portion of my design. The activities located in Flint Hall
will draw a mixed group of users divided between the Gaines-
ville community and the University community. To provide
access for these two types of users I propose resurecting
the original north and south entrances of Flint, end re-
instating the rather grand nature of the building's original
The existing tree forms on the site are to be maintained
since they are one of the chief assets of the site. The con-
figuration of my design calls for the removal of only one
significant tree. The grove-like grouping of trees to the
south of Flint Hall will be enclosed in a sort of garden
court. This court will be easily eccessable from the Plaza
across the pedestrian walk that I propose turning Newell Dr.
in to. I envision this court having a quieter nature than
that of the Plaza, being a sort of relief from the general
background din occurring there (chanting krisnes, protesting
To compensate for the removal of the existing parking
lot on the site and the closing of Newell Drive to vehicular
traffic, I propose to construct a three level parking structure
on the site of the parking lot north of Library West. It will
have one level with an elevation of -10', a level at grade
level, and a level at a +10' elevation. The garage is to be
surrounded by an earth berm to soften it's visual impact on
the area. I feel that the landscaped earth berm fronting on
University will present a less hostile face to the community
than the present parking lot. I calculate a net gain of ap-
proximately 25 parking spaces as compared with the present