Week 9: Activity

Architecture & Urban Planning

Cognitive Map

First off, my map isn’t oriented North-up. I think of the school with an upper-campus/lower-campus mindset, which makes upper-campus feel like North to me.


I also limited the map to the places I go this semester. Every semester, I develop a new cognitive map that connects all of my classes together. For instance, one of my semesters I took a couple classes in the LA buildings, and would go to the Horn Center to work on physics labs with a friend, so my cognitive map was focuses more on the opposite side of campus.

Adopt a Building

Originally, I was going to focus on the Vivian Engineering Center (VEC), but I was unable to find any info on the building. I couldn’t even find who it was named after. So, instead I focused on the Student Recreation & Wellness Center (SRWC), aka the Rec Center. The school’s gym has been listed on numerous top-x lists including this one where it tied for 7th for the 20 Most Impressive College Gyms and Student Rec Centers.

Opened in 2010, The Rec is one of the newest buildings on campus. It includes 5 basketball courts, a pool, a rock-climbing wall, a sand volleyball court, an indoor track, and multiple rooms for group classes. The building received a LEED Gold certification, making it the first certified green building for the university. The certification includes recognition of the buildings focus on sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environment quality.

CSULB Campus Redesign

For my redesign, I felt like if the campus were to start from scratch, it would make much more sense to move all of the academic buildings to the north part of the campus. I wanted to have all of the classes closer together. The way the school is set up now, the college of engineering is all alone in the corner, and feels disconnected from the rest of the school. My design brings all of the classes together, and moves the dorms to the south section. The dorm buildings would be multi-story and would closely resemble a hotel. My idea would include shops and restaurants on the first floor, with the rooms on the other floors. I created spaces within the building where there would be lawn areas for students to hang out and study. The areas around the building, along the roads would provide lots of parking for residents as well as commuters.

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As for the north side of campus, the academic buildings would be built along these circular paths, leaving areas in the middle for popular community buildings like the gym and USU. Also these areas could be filled with different gardens. My idea is that each garden would be themed like the Japanese garden already on campus.

Parking would still be around the perimeter, but would be much closer to classes to cut down on the walking and hill-climbing.