Did you know that UB holds one of the world's largest collections of poetry? Or that our Rare & Special Books collection is home to an original edition of Darwin's On the Origin of Species and four 17th century Shakespeare folios? I'm Charlie Wingfelder, 3+ year Master's student in the School of Architecture and Planning. This degree is unique in that we all came to architecture with diverse academic backgrounds - my B.A. is in International Political Economy. In the fall of 2019, our studio, led by professor Brian Carter, developed proposals for a new home for UB Special Collections on South Campus that would better leverage the contents of the repository, and the structure in which it is housed, to make a greater cultural impact on students and the broader public. A stronger facility for the display and study of these crown jewels of the university would give substance to the reputation of UB as an academic institution, while the auxiliary spaces in the facility gain significance by their adjacency to these treasures. Additionally, a new building on South Campus is an opportunity to enhance the quality of life on campus by providing new interior spaces and a structure that frames new relationships with existing buildings and outdoor spaces.
The UB Special Collections houses rare books, poetry, and university records and artifacts, many of which are by definition unique. These precious items are simultaneously valuable and vulnerable, and require careful protection and maintenance. Haven Hall intends to create spaces of various degrees of exposure in which people feel safe to gather, and are able to explore the collection in a protected environment. The public pavilion is the interlock between special collections and the campus. In this way, it is a space that defines UB as an institution that cultivates a strong academic community by celebrating the intellectual treasures of the past in our everyday pursuit of a brighter future. The pavilion can host public events, and can be a campus community space. The broad pedestrian walkway expands an existing thoroughfare, bringing a stream of traffic through the public sections of the building, without disrupting areas that are more secure.
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