Fall 2014 | University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas Reading Room, Austin TX
Instructor: David Heymann
See Also: Modern Monumental - Form 1
Monumental architectures have largely fallen out of public favor in past decades, as shared opinion and culture become increasingly fractured. These projects are investigations of whether monumental, platonic forms may still hold meaning for an increasingly skeptical public. Starting from the rational, shapes are networked and mutated to receive a diverse audience.
The UT Austin campus fabric has remained immobile since its creation, a framework beholden to the past that denies students an individual campus identity. Within the project, the University’s mission of individual greatness and aspiration is reinforced by subverting the surface narrative. The space is non-prescriptive and internal, a place of individual cultivation.
New reading spaces sit beneath an existing monumental staircase. This matrix of underground chambers responds only to an internal geometry, mutating the existing plaza above. Two monumental forms, the grid and the sphere, are pitted against one another, platonic forms that must resist imperfection to retain their character. The project seeks to alter these two geometries to their last breaking point, beyond which they are no longer visibly singular.