“A prison disguised as a dormitory”: an architect resigns from UCSB for a ridiculous dormitory designed by Charles Munger | New


Image: UCSB

A key architect resigned from his committee membership at the University of California at Santa Barbara over his proposal for a new monolithic dormitory that would apparently not provide windows for some 94% of its individual residences.

After fifteen years serving on the UCSB Design Review Board, architect Dennis McFadden resigned in protest against his decision to select a financial-cum-ametuer architect Charles Mungerthe plan for a 1.68 million square foot structure that will also be bear his name following a donation of $ 200 million to the university. Munger reportedly stipulated that his plan be followed without modification as part of the giveaway. McFadden called the design “unbearable from my perspective as an architect, parent and human being” in an angry letter sent to the university on October 25.

“The building is a social and psychological experience with an unknown impact on the life and personal development of the undergraduates that the university serves,” continued the architect.

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger also responded to the news on Twitter, calling the design a “sick joke” and calling it a “prison disguised as a dormitory” before regretting the days when the UCSB campus was littered with orders from Charles moore.

The dormitory is said to house over 4,500 students at a time when student accommodation available in the massive UC system is at its lowest. McFadden expressed concern about the building’s lack of interior lighting and air, citing the improved mental and physical health take place when these design considerations are taken into account.

McFadden went on to say that Munger’s design “ignores this evidence and seems to take the position that it doesn’t matter.”

According to McFadden, the committee approved the plan (which would be priced at $ 1.5 billion) without a vote and without any consideration of other proposals. The architect also noted that, if built, it would be the largest dormitory building in the world, in front of the Bancroft Hall of the United States Naval Academy, which has a total of twenty-five entrances compared to the two in the proposed building.

“The project is essentially the student life part of a mid-sized college campus in a box,” he said. “The project will long outlast the circumstances of its origin and will have an impact on campus life and the lives of its students for generations. “

A response from the university was not available at the time of going to press. Archinect invites you to express yourself on the controversy here.

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