Staff Opinion – Building identity: University Style

Andres Diaz

The buildings on campus represent a variety of styles and eras differing from the more uniform architectural style some other universities follow.

When arriving at the WTAMU campus for the first time some students may find it difficult to recognize where campus begins and ends because of the varied style of the buildings. The Clock Tower gives us a pleasant welcome. We feel part of something when we see the gallant buff monument. We realize that the splendid structure of the Old Main represents a long journey that must continue.  We admire the comfort and high-end quality of the Classroom Center. But, we also feel like we are visiting different universities. There is very little in common among most of the structures around campus.

Let us take the example of the residence halls like Stafford Hall, Cross Hall, and Buff Hall. It is difficult find something similar among their facades. I am still trying to find the connection between the neighbors Dinning Hall and Shirley Hall, or between the Box, the Classroom Center, Mary Moody and the Fine Arts Complex. Does the arch of the First United Bank remind you the entrance to the Activities Center or that of any other building of WT?

One easy explanation for these differences is the constant renovation of our campus. No doubt, our landscape is the sign of a vibrant community in continuous evolution. We must be proud of having not only our centennial Old Main, but such a unique construction as the Buffalo Courts Alumni Center – dating back to 1934. The Jack B. Kelly Student Center and the Agriculture and Natural Sciences buildings exemplify our synchronization with the modern times and the FAC, our commitment with the future. Nevertheless, WT buildings lack architectural links. Throughout the thought process, we opted for a  Prefabricated Metal Building Construction as a revolutionary way of constructing these necessary structures.

These are times of active renovations and constructions, but there is much more to come in terms of infrastructure. Therefore, we need to take serious commitment with our development plan since it is important towards building a university identity. Some universities like Oxford (UK), Northwestern (Illinois) and Baylor (Texas) keep a strong corporate image in which the appearance of their facilities identifies them. On the contrary, others like UC Berkeley (California), MIT and Harvard (Massachusetts) challenge their tradition by raising modern structures that will strengthen their leadership position. What do you think about our campus’ landscape? Let us know your opinion to the email [email protected]

See images of the Baylor campus

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