<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> UCI Pereira


UNIVERSITY of CALIFORNIA, IRVINE

Photographs of the UCI campus by Ian Parker

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Visitors since 2006
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BRUTALISTIC ARCHITECTURE and WILLIAM PEREIRA

It may seem a bit incongruous  when driving through the somewhat bland Orange County suburbs of Irvine to come across towering, brutalist concrete sculptural forms scattered amongst the trees; but that was exactly what architect William Pereira designed in his master plan for the UCI campus in 1963. It was a bold plan at the time, and still is. Pereira wanted to create a sort of academic village in a wooded, hilly park. At the time, it was a barren hillside of treeless cow pastures. Instead of flattening the hilly terrain with bulldozers, he created floating white concrete platforms suspended over the ground on pedestals, that would support the buildings and present them like individual sculptures on display in a giant museum sculpture garden. 

[Brutalist buildings are characterised by minimalist constructions that showcase the bare building materials and structural elements over decorative design.The style commonly makes use of exposed concrete, angular geometric shapes and a predominantly monochrome colour palette.]
 

Pereira's buildings were indeed brutalist, but functional, with passive solar features to capture the sea breeze and keep them cool without air-conditioning. The fins and sunshades provided an opportunity to create different patterns. Each building - representing a different academic department - had its own pattern and therefore identity.


Crawford Hall Annexe

Rowland Hall

Social Science Tower


Aldrich Hall [1]

Krieger Hall

Langson Library


Gateway Study Center

Steinhaus Hall [2]

Crawford Hall

Engineering Tower

Student Health Center
Computer Science

 

NOTES:

1] Aldrich Hall was designed by Dorman Richard and completed in 1974. The style pays faint homage to Pereira.
2] The Pereira windows on Steinhaus Hall were removed in 2008 as part of an earthquake retrofit, and replaced by a very pedestrian facade. I found this historic image on the Web.
3] Names are those currently assigned to the buildings - not those used at the time of construction.

 

 

It is impossible now to visualize Pereira's buildings as he would have envisaged them and as they were in the 1960's - standing alone and isolated on all sides. Photographs by Ansel Adams made in 1968, comissioned to commemorate the 100th annivesary of the University of Caifornia, are our best record from that time. The campus is now a leafy arboretum, with innumerable trees and new buildings blocking the sightlines. In 2009 student photographers attempted to recreate some of Adams' images from the same spots whre the master placed his tripod. They found it a difficult task; as did I in selecting clean, unobstructed viewpoints.

 



PEREIRA ENGINEERING and COMPUTER SCIENCE BUILDINGS

   
   
   

 

Computer Science Building - monochrome reflection : UCI

 


BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Not a lot to show here. The original biological sciences building (Steinhaus Hall) underwent an earthquake retrofit in 2008. This involved the removal of the exterior window 'fins', completely destroying the Pereira facade. The lecture hall remains untouched; but it is impossible to find any unobstructed view as the building is now enclosed and overtowered on two sides by McGaugh Hall and surrounded by trees on the other sides,

   

   


ALDRICH HALL and LANGSON LIBRARY

[Aldrich Hall was not designed by Pereira, but I include it here as it follows his style]


   






SOCIAL SCIENCES

CRAWFORD HALL

 

 

ROWLAND HALL

   

 

SCHOOL of the ARTS


 

 

IanParker
1146 McGaugh Hall
University of California,
Irvine, CA 92697

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