Petty Science Building - Circles, Stacks, & Groves
In touring the UNCG campus for structures integrating the techniques of circles, stacks, and groves (or groups), I found that each of the three were evident and operative in the structure of the Petty Science Building. Stacks present themselves in two different forms with this building.Firstly, the levels of the building represent a stack, as the rooms are layered upon one another. This usage of stacks is more of a technique based in structural usefulness rather than any sort of symbolism or meaning. The stack-like landscape of the hills around the building provide an interesting perspective to the building. Having the ground dug out as a plane in the front of the building offers two evident functions for the building. Primarily, the landscape around the building is likely flattened to even out the ground level in the front with the ground level of the building in the back, for ease of construction of the building, as well as aesthetic appeal such that each of the 'stacks' or levels of the building are equally visible around the circumference of the building. It also allows for natural light to enter the ground level floor, rather than having the class rooms below submerged under ground. The slope of the hills around the front of the building are structured as a slope, similar to a stack, in order to ascend smoothly up to College Avenue. This structural tool enabled the use of stairs in order to more easily descend to the lower entrance from College Avenue. The Circles below the bridge and in the stairs ascending to the main entrance offer a focal point around the entrances of the building, drawing focus upon the symmetry of the building, as well as honing attention to the central features of the building such as the illuminated bridge leading towards the Ionic Columns barring the entrance. These Greek Ionic Columns represent a Grove. In this application, I believe the Columns function both for structural security as well as a symbolic representation of the culture and ideas of UNCG. The columns appear strong and tall, conveying ideas of a powerful community, representing the students of the college. They also, more obviously, are representative of the Ionic Columns of Greece. This use of an ancient architecture is both aesthetically pleasing, as well as symbolic in illuminating the culture of both modern colleges, as well as the colleges of Ancient Greece. We maintain the utilization of their architectural ingenuity just as we maintain the pursuit of their scholarly ways throughout our education.