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Science and Engineering Laboratories

Walkway through SELSEL bricksWalter Netsch described the enormous Science and Engineering Laboratories as “a city underneath a roof.” Here the architect used bricks twice as large as those used in smaller campus buildings to express the size and strength of structures devoted to science and engineering. They are arranged to form an endless pattern of letter I’s on the building exterior. The dramatic ceiling arch between the east and west sides of these SEL second-story walkway, columnsenormous buildings owes its height to the second-story walkway that has been removed. From under the SEL sidewalk todayarch, one can see a concrete walkway still in use at the fourth floor level.

The columns supporting the roof here are a much larger version of those surrounding the lecture centers, again proportional in size to the load they carry. They lack the butterfly capitals visible in the other location, and because they have been rotated by 45 degrees, they expose a different geometry. The twisted columns here and on the lecture centers are precursors to the SEL twisted columns twisted geometry of Field Theory.

SEL ceiling arch