An addition to an historical context : for the Texas Tech Ex-Students Association facility and visitor center
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The approach to designing a contemporary building to be added to an historical context is a fascinating and highly controversial subject. In terms of methodology, the approach is influenced not only by the extent of one's education on historic preservation but also by one's personal philosophical point of view. The current philosophy of assessing an architect's design ability when adding to an historical context, is the extent by which one can distinguish or identify the new from the old. This philosophy generally insists that contrast is the best solution.1 This is where I disagree with the current philosophical approach. It is my opinion that the addition should show a likeness to, and not be in contrast with the historical context. Moreover, the new building must make references that are identifiable and express these references through visual relationships between the new and old. Therefore, in order to design a new building that is visually identical and sympathetic to a given historical context, one must copy the identifiable, historical and architecturally significant qualities, features, and materials of the context and integrate these qualities into the design of the new building. Universities around the country acknowledge the importance of having and maintaining a facility that is solely oriented toward establishing a place that visitors, potential students, and ex-students can come to for all types of information concerning the university when they are visiting. This project is a combination visitor center and ex-student association facility. The Ex-Student Association portion of the facility will provide all the space needed in order to continue to operate at full capacity soliciting funds, holding fund raising activities, having banquets, printing solicitation materials and giving academic scholarships. The Visitor Center will have space to distribute the information to possible future students in the form of campus tours, slide and movie shows, question and answer gatherings, etc. The total size of the facility is 21,230 square feet. The location of this facility will be on the Texas Tech University campus bordered by the streets of 19th street and University avenue. This site is vacant of any buildings and has sufficient space for building and parking.