Monday, February 23, 2009

UCLA Campus

In 1925, UCLA was relocated from its small campus on Heliotrope and Vermont Avenues to a beautiful, large campus in Westwood. The early campus buildings are in a Northern Italian Romanesque style because the University of California Regents thought that Westwood's mild climate and rolling hills were reminiscent of Northern Italy. After World War II, the campus supervising architects abandoned the Italianate theme and campus expansion since that period has included buildings of varying styles. The buildings on campus work well together and are unified by their cream, rose, and red color schemes. The campus also has beautiful landscaping, a lovely sculpture garden devoted to 19th and 20th century works, and a small botanical garden.

Powell Library, modeled on several Romanesque churches in Northern Italy, is one of the four original buildings on campus from 1929. The library has a beautiful interior with a large, domed reading room and a warm exterior of brick and terracotta:

Royce Hall is another of the four original Italianate buildings from 1929 also modeled on several Northern Italian buildings including the basilica of St. Ambrogio in Milan:

White bark tree:

The Murphy Sculpture Garden is the largest sculpture garden on the West Coast and maybe one of the best sculpture gardens in the country. "Ptolemee III" by the German-French artist Jean Arp (1886-1966), 1961:

"Maja" by German sculptor Gerhard Marcks (1889-1991), 1942:
"Dance Column I and II" by Robert Graham (1938-2008), 1978. Venice Beach based artist Robert Graham was the husband of actress Angelica Huston.

Gaston Lachaise's (1882-1935) most famous sculpture "Standing Woman" from 1932 with Richard Serra's T.E.U.C.L.A. ("Torqued Ellipse UCLA") in the background:

Architect Maynard Lyndon built Bunche Hall - the tallest building on the UCLA campus - in 1964. At the time of its completion, everybody hated this building and referred to it as "the waffle." The protruding square windows that give Bunche Hall its waffle-like look are made of special thick glass that filters sunlight and reduces air-conditioning costs. The building is supported two stories off of the ground by 16 pillars so that it does not disrupt the flow of foot traffic between the north and central areas of campus. One former faculty member, referring to the pillars, described the building as "death on little pig's feet." Regular people and architectural critics continue to hate this building, but I love it:

The 16-panel modernist mosaic depicting the history of music by muralist Richard Haines (1885-1949) nicely compliments the clean lines and glass walls of architect Welton Becket's Schoenberg Hall at the Herb Alpert School of Music:

L.A. artist Joseph Young (1919-2007) created a 16-panel "History of Mathematics" mosaic in 1968 that decorates the UCLA math buildings including the Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics:

The Inverted Fountain, inspired by the natural hot springs in Yellowstone National Park, was also built in 1968 and supposedly circulates 10,000 gallons of water per minute:

The Genetics Building designed by leading post-modern architects Venturi Scott Brown and Associates in 1998:

Classic campus view:

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  1. Some interesting buildings, but the enormity of everything is a bit scary. Would be good to see what these architects did with the interior designs.
    That genetics building would be enough to send me packing :) Granted, I don't understand post-modernism, but the building is only 11 years old and it looks decades older. Looks aren't everything, but science is supposed to be progressive and cutting edge; I'd find going to work in this building everyday alienating and a bit soul crushing I think. Still, maybe the inside compensates...

    I'm not a 'history' person in general, but love what you've published here. Found your site randomly, and the 'cat of the week' posts got me initially :) But yes, the enormity of everything in LA, just the sheer size of the place, I find that a little intimidating having come from Melbourne/Sydney (and I thought Sydney was annoyingly enormous).

    Good work ;)
    Sorry... contemplating a blog myself, but nothing yet.

  2. Several people have asked why there are no students in my photos of the UCLA campus. The campus is so empty is because I took these pictures on a Saturday morning between academic quarters.

  3. The UCLA campus is actually one of the smallest, if not THE smallest (not counting UC Merced), campuses in the UC system. So, "enormity" is definitely an overstatement.

  4. My son is a student at UCLA and looking for information I found your blog. Just wanted to say thanks for your excellent work.