The first time I traveled outside of North America was this summer for my study abroad program. I had the opportunity to visit seven cities in Italy through a program called Journey to Italy through OU. We mostly studied art and architecture while we were there. Everything we saw was so brilliant; it had an effect on me. When we visited Venice, of course, I was taken aback by the city itself. I was intrigued by the fact that there were no streets, everyone got around through the river ways. Boats, boat taxis, gondolas, etc. were everywhere. We traveled to the Venice Islands and one island, in particular, fascinated me: Burano. But the one thing that attracted me the most were the buildings along the riverways. No house next to each other was alike and each was painted a vibrant color. You can help but smile when you look at these buildings…they bring instant joy and could brighten anyone’s day!
Kaitlin McMahan- Post 1
The first time I went outside of the country was a study abroad trip to China. During that trip, the place that stood out to me the most was Tiananmen Square because there new and old building stand side by side. The Palace Museum that holds the Forbidden City and symbolizes Imperial China resides right next to the Great Hall of the People that houses the current government.
The Forbidden City was built during the Ming Dynasty and housed the Emperor, his family, and all of his important advisers from 1420 to 1912. It is built in traditional Chinese palatial architecture and was designed to sit right in the center of China’s capital, Beijing. The whole thing is symmetrical with all of the military advisers’ offices one side, all of the civil advisers’ offices on the other, and the Emperor and his family in the middle totaling 980 buildings all together. And yes if you are wondering that haze in the picture is smog.
The thing I love most about old Chinese Imperial buildings is their extreme attention to detail and patterns. The ceiling above is made entirely out of hand carved wood and is meticulously painted in repeating patterns. Also, almost everything has meaning: the statuettes on the rooftops tell the rank of the building; the arrangements of buildings in threes represents heaven; the yellow coloring represents the emperor. I just found it amazing how much thought was put into every design choice and the striking effect it has as a whole.
Julian White, post 1
As a music education major, I am very familiar with the Catlett Music Center building, located on the corner of Boyd and Elm Street. Music students affectionately call it “Catlett High” because its musical community-fostering environment makes it feel like a high school. Plus, it has lockers.
Finished in 1998, it was designed by Kaighn Associates Architects, Inc. and Bauer Stark and Lashbrook, Inc. in a joint venture partnership. It has characteristics of the campus-wide Cherokee gothic style, but it has a unique way of showing it.
The exterior of the building is a long and tall shape with jagged triangles and turrets forming the walls. The copper roof is dark and ridged, and rainwater runoff dyes the concrete green. The building has a partial second floor and partial basement. (There is also a secret office on what would be the third floor.) The classrooms form a grid around two outdoor courtyards concealed within the walls of the building.
The main entrance leads to Gothic Hall(above photo), which lives up to its name. It looks like a gothic cathedral, complete with a sky high ceiling, stained glass, and a huge organ that was built especially for the hall. It can be Halloween every day when you visit Gothic Hall and hear an organist practicing at midnight.
The stained glass in the large window panes is simple, but still attractive. A fun pastime is to take selfies when the sun casts the blue and green colors at face level. In this photo, you can also see the web-like support for the tall ceiling.
Aside from Gothic Hall, which can be used as a performance venue for organ and chamber music, there is the Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall and the Pitman Recital Hall. There are also three large rehearsal spaces for choir, band, and orchestra. At the bottom of the ramp coming from Gothic Hall is the Fine Arts Library. My favorite place to work in the library is underneath the slanted window ceiling towards Boyd Street.
When people speak about OU, my mind goes to this building by default because I have had most of my classes here since freshman year. When I visit music facilities at other colleges, they feel boring and depressing by comparison. I feel that some of my collegiate identity lies with this unique building, and it helps me take ownership of my education.
Catherine Wahpeconiah – post 1
I’m from Riverside, California and there is an inn that is considered a historical landmark called the Mission Inn located downtown. It started out as a very modest cottage inn and the owner’s son Frank Miller slowly added on the inn in varying different architectural styles until he died. It has Spanish Gothic, Spanish Revival, and several other styles.
Since its situated in downtown, they will sometimes have co-events with the hotel and the city. During the fall, downtown Riverside has weekly live music and vendors along the streets, and the hotel has a restaurant open to the public. One of the co-event occurs during Christmas time, called the Festival of Lights.
The Festival of Lights is held annually the day after Thanksgiving, and it was a tradition for my mom and I to go and see everything first lit up. They have tons of decorations, carolers, and fireworks. I have a lot of good memories with my family and friends related to the Mission Inn, and always recommend it to friends who are in the area.
Heather Turner, Post 1
Over the summer, I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Italy for a month. Near the end of our trip, we visited Rome and the Vatican City. The most impressive building I saw while in the Vatican City was not the Sistine Chapel as I expected, but St. Peter’s Basilica.
St. Peter’s Basilica can only be described as awe-inspiring. From the moment my group walked in, a hush fell over our group. I was spellbound by the high ceilings, particularly the rotunda that is so common in Roman architecture. The gold in the paint (unfortunately not as apparent in these pictures as in person) made the entire room sparkle. Large marble statues littered the room, and intricate paintings covered the walls and ceilings.
As I gathered my bearings, I realized that the basilica was much cooler than the blazing outdoors, despite being filled with people. The marble on the floors kept the ground cool, as did the lack of low-to-the-ground windows. Unlike the touristy feel of most of Rome, including churches, this building felt meaningful and weighty, undoubtedly due to it’s magnificent construction and design. Of all my memories in Italy, this single building stands out in my mind.
*This post was written by MAALWIN SINGH SIRJEET SINGH in the fall of 2016.
At one point of Frank Wright career he began to start using a lot of ideas concerning patterned concrete block. This idea was implied in the project Millard House. He changed the general perception of concrete blocks to be ugly and not beautiful. The price of this house rocketed sky high reaching almost $8,000,000.
Wright used 2 different styes in this project, the organic architecture and textile block house. The organic architecture can be seen where he infused the spirit of nature surrounding the house. The house is surrounded with plants, trees and there’s a pond located somewhere near the entrance of the house.