Walking around the lovely University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor I couldn’t help but notice striking differences between two very impressive building complexes that are on two sides of the same street.
On one side, you have the recently completed brand new business school structure…
On the other side, you have the European ("Harry Potter style", I heard someone say) traditional architecture law school…
One could not help but think what those differences in architecture mean something in terms of articulating values held by the two schools.
To me, the business school building spells out – new, different, open, modern, creative, changing, non-linear, abrupt.
(BTW – did you notice how many of the EMBA’s graduates in the last photo are Asian?)
On the other side, you’ve got the law school that seems to project – tradition, history, conservation, respect, strict, harmonious, esthetic.
Tell me it’s not just me.
Personally, I feel much more impressed and comfortable with the law school – I think a few would disagree that it’s grand – especially the library, but I do find the business school more of an attack of my senses challenging me as a bystander to feel something (even if slight unease and dislike) and perhaps that’s something that a business school should aspire to.
Values as expressed by architecture. If haven’t so far, someone should do a study on that.