Architecture as community: A hall of residence for Texas Tech University
Repka, Michael G.
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There are many ingredients that make up the mix which is termed architecture, but none is more important than the people who experience it. People, through their perception of space, their use of space, and their movement through space, create for themselves the architecture that surrounds them. In Western Europe, the planning and structure of the urban environment promotes an interaction among those who live there and demands that they participate in their surroundings. This active participation leads to the development of a community among individuals that works toward common goals for the greater good. In turn, those who participate in the process experience a growth process. The whole develops into something which is greater than the sum of its parts. Drastic changes occur to the student during the transition from life at home to a life at university. Freedom is gained while youthfulness is not quite lost. Students experiencing this transition are in need of many things. Initially, they seek to identify with their surroundings, and replace the support system which existed in their previous environment through social interaction. The student then searches, unknowingly perhaps, for something to further their development, their transition from adolescent to adult The architecture of a place can facilitate a multitude of interactions between people within an environment. These positive interactions promote a community in which unique ideas are possible and goals are attainable. The exploration of ideas by individuals, working in conjunction with others in community, is a process of growth and development. The architecture of a place promotes community in P which development occurs. A residence hall for Texas Tech University is an appropriate vehicle for the expression of this hypothesis. The university's Department of Housing and Dining is dedicated to actively promoting student development and the creation of community to achieve this purpose. This design will also address issues on a campus wide level to become a place that contributes to the campus as if it were a member of the larger community which surrounds it. p The residence hall will house approximately 350-400 students and a trained faculty of professionals and para-professionals to assist the i students in their developmental process. This size is typical to the most ^ successful residence halls already located on campus, and is considered an "ideal" community size.