Wk 4 — Architecture & Urban Planning

Cue an extremely long moment of my sighing. Well this is embarrassing; Architecture is supposedly my strong point in all the arts department but I have to say I was overwhelmed by this week’s project and knew I’ll have to write out my new University construction, rather than drawing it out or using digital technology.

I’m a freshman at the Cal-State University of Long Beach and first off, my campus has a very simple yet unusual octagonal shape. After a moment of wondering how I’m going to fix this millennial/boomer architecture-like beauty into a 21st century #relatable piece, I have decided to turn a lot of the buildings into one giant department relative to its majors. In more simple words, this outdoors campus is going to be mostly indoors. I also have a disadvantage of not having stepped in any of its buildings before (besides the bookstore)so I don’t have feel for its designed atmosphere.

What’s staying:

  • Walter Pyramid, though I want to make sure it stands out as the tallest building we have so every other building on this new college plan does not exceed 18 stories high. Linked with The Pointe.
  • The Library
  • The outdoor fields
  • Zen Garden (will be placed in the middle of the campus)
  • Bookstore
  • Police Department (will be placed in the middle of the campus)
  • Amazon Locker linked with Mail Service (will be placed in the middle of the campus)

The major physical changes:

  • Engineering, Fine Arts, and Liberal Arts will all have its own separate building.
  • Programs involving Business, Science, and Health will be in a separate building, but linked by opened walkways on every floor to the Engineering Building.
  • Programs dealing with Education, Psychology, and Services will be in a separate building, but linked by opened walkways on every floor to the Liberal Arts building.
  • Every other performing arts programs (the CPAC, Dance, Design, Music, Theatre, etc) will be in a separate building, but linked by opened walkways on every floor to the Fine Arts building.
  • In total, there are 3 pairs of academic buildings built in a very cube-like shape in mind so she’s not thin and tall like today’s smartphones, but thick like a thick brick phone. The modern “Energizer Power Max P18K Pop” of architectural design.

In every building there will be:

  • A Faculty Office floor
  • Lecture Halls
  • A cafe floor with four separate cafeteria locations, serving different cuisines
  • A dorm on the middle floors (2–3), international housing included
  • Two floors for Wellness and Recreation (lounge+game room included), though the second floor does intersect with the Child Development Center
  • Administration and other useful Centers for students to go to for help
  • A rooftop
  • A sports floor
  • A transportation destination for both shuttle and transit bus
  • Visitation Center on first floor
  • Of course, WC is on every floor
  • Solar panels, water sources, etc.
  • Hospital/ward floor

! Every building has more of less of a certain feature like more lab rooms, lecture halls, technological advancements, conference rooms, sports involvement, or etc. It depends on the major and lifestyle of the general student population inhabiting said building.

21st KEwL Features: (A/N: this is really feeling like I’m making a phone)

  • I mentioned rooftop. That’s another recreational area equipped with telescopes, bars, a fire area, and pool. We live by the Beach, the view is beautiful and we’re using that to our advantage at night.
  • There will be 2.5 modes of floor transportation: elevator, stairs and slides for going down.
  • Students are required to bike from one building to another. If a student cannot bike, it’s okay that student can walk but I encourage the free bike abundant all over campus; this is an inspiration from seeing how the company Google create a fun atmosphere for its employee. Because us students are now adults and have to deal with the real world, I want to add a feel of “work” alongside “school”.
  • Spirit weeks can happen and at night every building’s rooftop light shows a different colour, like a team competition between the buildings’ residents.
  • There will be more polls and forums for students to add their input onto the school’s agenda, and there’s an app for that too.
  • And by cafe floor, I mean good cafe stores, one mini Starbucks perhaps but local businesses with quality food and dishes that appeal to the mass of students.
  • The heat gets to us, well me, hence why there’s less buildings and more vertical building than horizontal. And since we’ll have more land, I’ll just plant down more solar panels everywhere + the amount of parking we get.
  • These tall buildings will need lots of protection so its materials will have to be expensive, good A quality. Glass windows have to withstand fires and not store so much heat in the summer but retains in the winter.
  • Our gardens/farm, maybe even pastures for animals
  • Basements will be used for storage areas
  • Nokia 5G tower

Now to address COVID things:

  • We, the amazing science people, are going to have mini robots disinfecting the halls and walkways every 45 minutes of the day. This is why I made the buildings many floors and a square shape.
  • Very wide walkways
  • Every dorm room inhabits at least 1 person and at most 4 people
  • Every dorm room has a box compartment by the door for the masks. The first three boxes will be supplied, but after that the student is paying for them from the bookstore.
  • Every dorm has a built-in thermometer scanner to check your temperature every day. You have to check it before leaving your room and check in that you did through scanning the thermometer with your card which will automatically be uploaded to the system.
  • Every room or area has boxes of masks and 79%+ alcohol hand sanitizers
  • Every building has a security room on every floor
  • Every building has a curfew of 2 AM so the robots can come in and thoroughly disinfect the place for the next 4 hours.
  • News of the virus will constantly be updated on the app
  • Social distancing is a must or disciplinary actions will occur.
  • There will not be any stranger walking past the Visitation Center on the first floor. All deliveries go to the Amazon-Mails Department in the middle of the campus. If you bought something, you’re biking to get it.

In conclusion: I’m minimizing and modernizing the campus with very little real world knowledge and basic teenager/baby adult common sense. I’m sure there are hits and misses here and there in my unspecific plan but overall, I’ve made it have less buildings and more indoors. High-key, I should be doing the opposite and not cram everyone in BUT. What I’ve created is essentially a mini city with the population of a couple dozen thousand students. I want it to be self sufficient and independent.


  1. Explain your design. What choices did you make? What issues and needs did you consider? How did you reach your solutions?

My design is a bunch of boxes. I went with a very biased field in mind, I am nowhere as knowledgeable of how architecture works (I like it the most out of all types of art) as anyone who’s read about it so I chose an indoors school style. Halfway through I remembered “Oh man, we’re an earthquakes state” and thought perhaps basements made sense, to build a sustainable system underground like how China did in preparation for a nuclear war, but I question if the ground between the first few floors can withstand the immense pressure of the top floors shaking or is this more of a tornado solution. I added the basement, but I’m still washy washy on creating an ecosystem with it. We’ll have a bunch of open field so we’ll run out on our bikes if a major earthquake does happen.

2. How does your design address Education in the Internet Century?

My design, though does not go into the specifics with what it has, I can assure the engineering and science department will have a lot of technology to learn and play with. The other buildings will have advanced features to help enhance their speech or learning process and the recreation room will have VR-level gaming equipment. I added a Nokia tower to give us 5G technology as well as different WiFi’s for the separate departments. If one network goes down, everyone’s WiFi in that network goes down and we’ll have our students and professors repair the issues. There won’t be a moment when a student gets disconnected and feels frustrated that their own internet went down (well unless they’re commuting from home so.. F).

3. How does your design address Education in the Age of Coronavirus?

I personally don’t keep a tight leash on the news constantly updates by Covid but I know guidelines and I’m enforcing them to the campus. There’s safety nets with the hand sanitizer and mask, though gloves is an option. The infrared thermometer is there to keep track of the students and if they’re suspected of containing the virus, there’s the medical floor on each building. And importantly, no visitors allowed past the first floor.

Just a really bewildered college freshman uploading his assignments, nothing to see here.