Thursday, September 16, 2010

Remembering Trent: Architecturally

I was at the National Art Gallery the other day with my friend Jen. We were walking through a corridor that was made of smooth concrete. In fact, alot of the halls were made of smooth concrete. It made me think of the architecture of Trent University, where I spent 5 years of academic life. There were definitely years where I spent more time on campus than others, as my transcript will prove, however, I always loved walking around the space and finding new and exciting nooks to appreciate. Much of the university was made of concrete, some of it smooth, some of it looking like someone threw rocks at the wall while it was drying.

In any case, I really liked this style. I think it may have introduced me to another way of thinking about space and material. For instance, take the Bata Library photo courtesy of  
  It was built between 1967 ans 1969 by Ron Thom, who pretty much designed the entire original Symons campus. I love the way the building sits on the river, literally, and the juxtaposition of the vertical and horizontal lines of window and concrete. The library has a real vinatge feel to it, something that no interior renovation can really take away. I really like this picture of students in the library. What year do you think it is from? 
It is from 1988. Cool, eh? It looks like the early years of the library to me! I found this link that looks at the chairs of the library: Who knew someone researched that. Neato.

In any case, the Bata Library was one of the first real places that made me visualize myself as living in a different decade. Sometimes that is a game I play with myself, and for some reason, as much as I love the 50's, the Mod style of the 60's really gets me. The stairs are so big and made of wood and carpet, it's like the biggest awesome staircase I've ever had the pleasure of walking up and down. I love how the stairs are short so you can run down them really fast if you want, and it is way easier to go up them. 

Anyways, I think I am through waxing poetic about the library. All that concrete made me think of it, and how I wish I could sit on the stairs beside Bata and dangle my feet in the river while watching the fishing boats go by, looking for the big musky in the canal.

PS thanks to the Bata Library archives for the pictures.